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How Vetsure Pet Insurance can help to tackle the ‘debtor level challenge’

19th October 2017

Since Vetsure insourced claims handling a year ago, we have been working closely with our accredited practices to deliver exceptional claims handling times. Today, we are proud to be able to turn around claims within 24 hours – a market leading achievement! In fact, our record currently stands at 11 minutes! However, we know there is still an enormous amount to do to help our partnered practices speed up their overall pet insurance claim turnaround time – and to reduce the debtor levels that can cripple many veterinary practices. To help, we’ve compiled these handy hints:

1) Only offer direct claims to clients using trusted pet insurers

We understand the pressure that clients put on practice teams to undertake direct claims. However, if the pet insurer used takes a long time to pay out, your debtor days will mount up – at worst you may end up having to chase the client at the end of a protracted delay followed by claim decline. Many Vetsure accredited practices only agree to do direct claims for clients insured with Vetsure – but if you feel that this is too extreme, agree amongst the practice team which pet insurers you are willing to do direct claims for and communicate this clearly to your clients. Monitor these ‘approved’ pet insurers closely and remove from your list if they start to let you down.

2) Use the Vetsure Hub to check excesses and claim status

When undertaking a claim for a Vetsure insured client, you should still look to charge the correct excess to the client at the time of treatment – otherwise, this may become a long-term debtor. Vetsure policyholders benefit from a flexible range of excess levels and will be charged an additional co-payment of 15% of the treatment costs after the pet turns 8 years of age. To make sure you charge the correct amount, look up the policy on the Vetsure Hub – there you can also check the status of the claim. Of course, with other insurers, you will be less sure of the excess to charge – another reason to only undertake direct claims for Vetsure!

3) Don’t let client bills build up – make use of the 90 day claim clause

Since starting to process claims, we have been very surprised at how frequently practices leave claims to build up over time – frequently only submitting the claim well over a year after starting treatment! This may be understandable if the client has to pay an excess every time they make a claim for an ongoing condition but, with Vetsure policies , the excess is only payable once per unrelated condition. So make more frequent regular claims to keep your overall debtor levels down. You may not be aware, but Vetsure policies have a turnaround limit such that claims submitted more than 90 days after the treatment start date can be declined. Whilst we do offer leniency in this regard for practices initially unaware of this clause, we like to work with you to make sure that it is implemented going forward to the benefit of all. Practices that make clients aware of the 90 day limit generally have more success getting clients to sign off their claim forms more promptly and regularly! Of course, making more regular claims is all made so much easier if you use the Vetsure e-claims system…..

4) Use Vetsure e-claims via the Hub

If you submit your claims electronically via the Hub the process is quicker and the claim is automatically emailed to the client for them to digitally sign off – it is then immediately ready for processing by the Vetsure Claims Team. If the client delays signature, for whatever reason, our Claims Team will chase them on your behalf and keep you updated on progress. This saves you the time and effort required to get clients to sign forms regularly and promptly – we do this for you and to cut out the paper chain! As above, the status of the claim can be checked at any time via the Vetsure Hub.

5) Make sure you complete claim forms fully

Despite the best intentions of practices, we still regularly receive claim forms with missing information, missed signatures, incomplete clinical histories and other random errors. More time spent on making sure claims are submitted fully and accurately will inevitably save time and effort further down the line. Click here to download our handy check list for things to look out for.

6) Get into a regular debtor chasing habit

Allocate a weekly task for somebody in the practice to chase debtors. This does not just include clients that directly owe you money but also chasing for the return of signed claim forms ready for submission. Unfortunately you will undoubtedly also need to chase pet insurance companies for payments that are owed to the practice – if this becomes a regular requirement from some pet insurers, consider whether you should continue to agree to do direct claims on behalf of clients using these companies.

Getting claims settled quickly and efficiently is in everybody’s interest – it benefits the client, Vetsure and the practice through the reduction of debtors. Our aim at Vetsure is not just to pay claims with lightning speed but also to help practices implement systems that will mean that the debtors you have associated with Vetsure are kept to a bare minimum. Whilst certainly not essential, the use of Vetsure’s innovative and award winning digital claims system can help practices to stay on top of claims. Use of Vetsure e-claims enables practices to submit claims regularly – and by removing the need to chase for a paper signature – significantly cuts down on hassle for the practice team. If you need support with any of the digital tools discussed in this article then get in touch with us either through your Vetsure Veterinary Relationship Manager or the Vetsure Claims Assessor who is specifically dedicated to your practice – contact us if you don’t know who this is!