Understanding the Patient Intake Process

1. A new patient (NP) has not received any services
from the provider (or another provider of
the same specialty who is a member of the same
practice) within the past three years. An established
patient (EP) has seen the provider (or another
provider in the practice who has the same
specialty) within the past three years.
2. During preregistration, basic information about
the patient is gathered to check that the patient’s
health care requirements are appropriate for the
medical practice, to schedule an appointment of
the correct length, and to determine whether the
physician participates in the caller’s health plan
in order to establish responsibility for payment.
When a patient arrives for an appointment, a
medical history form is completed for the physician’s
use. The patient information form is completed
to gather demographic information such
as personal, biographical, and employment information;
insurance coverage; and emergency
contact and related information. Patient information
forms are reviewed annually by established
patients to confirm the information. The
insurance card is scanned or photocopied; all information
is double-checked against the patient
information form.
3. An assignment of benefits statement may also
be signed by a patient or policyholder. This
form authorizes the provider to receive payments
for medical services directly from payers.
4. Every patient must be given the office’s Notice
of Privacy Practices once and must be asked to
sign an Acknowledgment of Receipt of Notice of
Privacy Practices. This process is followed and
documented to show that the office has made a
good-faith effort to inform patients of the privacy
5. Medical insurance specialists contact payers to
verify patients’ plan enrollment and eligibility
for benefits. If done electronically, the HIPAA
Eligibility for a Health Plan transaction is used.
Patients’ insurance cards are scanned or photocopied,
and their patient...