Intake and Referral Process: Helping Your Agency Become Efficient

Why Is Patient Intake Important? 

The intake and referral process can be stressful in post-acute care if a healthcare agency doesn’t have the right tools and resources to streamline the process. The back-office staff may already have a million other tasks to do, so the paperwork could potentially become lost in the void or inaccurate, causing the patient’s onboarding process to take longer than usual. 

Workflow inefficiencies cause wait times to increase for patients waiting to onboard, which ultimately puts the quality of care the agency provides at risk. 

The intake and referral process can be overwhelming if recorded incorrectly, but with a suitable EMR to streamline the process, it can be an easy onboarding process for everyone. 

The 3 Pains of the Traditional Intake and Referral Process

1. Paper Inefficiencies Lead to Slower Processes

Intake and referral workflows can cause a bottleneck for patient intake management if the agency uses a pen-and-paper method. With the paper method, there can be a multitude of inefficiencies that cause the documentation to be incomplete or inaccurate. If the document requires fixing, it can take longer for patients to receive the quality care they need or result in your agency being non-compliant.  

With the proper home health EMR, agencies can reduce paper inefficiencies with accurate data management and workflows within an automated referral system. In addition, when the intake workflow is automated, it can save the agency between $5,000 – $10,000 each year, depending on the size of the workflow.

2. Collection of Reimbursement Takes Longer 

Medicare takes at least 60 days to process a reimbursement claim if no information is missing or inaccurate. If an agency has manual documentation for the intake and referral process, collecting reimbursement could take longer than usual, especially if there are mistakes or missing information that the agency didn’t catch the first time. 

Agencies need an EMR system that is configurable and alerts users when there is missing information or an inaccurate document. A system that works with agencies allows them to increase their time from billing to getting paid.

3. Making Sure the Patient has Authorization 

Reports indicate that 97 percent of patients report that they’re frustrated with long wait times.

Authorization is vital when a new patient goes through the intake process. When an agency uses the traditional intake and referral process, there is the potential for the back-office staff to miss something, and a patient becomes authorized in the system when they aren’t supposed to be. 

Thus, causing inefficiencies such as having the patient wait longer for admission into the agency’s system. When this occurs, patients can become frustrated and already have a misguided impression of the agency before they have a chance to treat the patient. 

With a configurable system, agencies can be confident that the authorization form won’t submit until every task is complete due to hard and soft stops. Agencies need an EMR that works FOR them, not vice versa

Having the Right EMR to Help Streamline the Process Is How Better Happens 

With a suitable EMR, agencies can lower specialty care costs, improve wait times, create centralized data and records, and improve their PHI integrity. KanTime’s EMR solution helps agencies streamline the intake and referral process and ensures that agencies do it right the first time and manage by exception. It’s How Better Happens.

To see how our intake and referral process enhances agency efficiencies, request a custom demo