Q&A: After hours patient registration
Q. How should our facility handle patient registration after normal business hours?
A. Patients enter the healthcare and hospital system from multiple portals of entry including through emergency department (ED), by direct admission, and through procedural departments such as cardiac catheterization laboratory and surgery, making registration and certification challenging.
No patient should enter the facility without notification to the registration department, which then determines what payer class the patient falls under and implements the appropriate procedure. For Medicare, there will be verification and certain CMS forms required. For commercial payers and managed Medicare, there is insurance verification. Certification should be obtained through the utilization department, which notifies care managers and registration of the approved patient status. All patients require consent to treat and other regulatory forms with which your staff should be familiar.
For after hours and patients entering through the ED, the registration function may be consolidated in the ED but the procedures should be the same. Authorization should be obtained as soon as possible after the patient enters the system, but in some cases cannot be obtained until the payer staff is available.
For more information, see The Revenue Integrity Training Toolkit.