As a psychologist in a group or individual practice, you are likely seeking new patients. Joining an insurance panel has several advantages. As an in-network provider, you will receive direct member referrals. Additionally, panel providers experience quick reimbursement and easier submission of claims, pre-authorizations, and eligibility verification from the insurer.
Go to the websites of several managed behavioral healthcare companies such as Magellan Health, Aetna, United HealthCare and your regional Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Each of these companies maintains a provider network department that manages panels, including the process to join, credential, contract and maintain provider standards.
Complete an online provider panel application. You will need information such as your tax identification number, education credentials, clinical specialty, national provider identifier, hospital affiliations, personal information and information about your work experience. You may also be required to submit supporting documentation such as copies of your licenses and credentials.
Call the managed care organization to obtain a hard copy of the provider panel application if you prefer to mail it, rather than complete it online. When you call, the provider representative can give you details about the process and how long it takes from application receipt to gaining entrance on the panel. Mail your applications as directed.
Wait to hear from each organization. Time frames and processes may vary, but allcompanies need sufficient time to review your application, verify credentials, and complete the contracting process. To save time during the credentialing process, register with the Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare and allow organizations access to your information, as most use the CAQH to verify your credentials.
Sign and send back any required contracts. As a panel psychologist, this contract binds you to accept specific reimbursements and prevents you from billing patients for the difference between what you might charge and what you might receive from the insurer. After the contract is executed, you will officially be in the network as a provider.
Francine Richards is a licensed multi-state insurance agent with years of human resources and insurance industry experience. Her work has appeared on Blue Cross Blue Shield websites and newsletters, the Houston Chronicle and The Nest. Richards holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of Maryland.