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Want to improve collections? Start by looking at your Patient Registration System

By Ranadene (Randi) K. Tapio, MBA, CMRS, CMC, Guest Contributor  bio

First and foremost, a good intake system and/or form is a must! If set up properly, your intake system and/or form will collect all the necessary information you need to bill a patients insurance carrier(s). Offices should collect, at minimum, the following information:


  • Patient’s full name
  • Gender
  • Birthday
  • Patient’s full mailing address
  • Patient’s home phone
  • Responsible party info
  • SS # (not required, but helpful later in collection purposes, if needed)

Insurance Information

  • Primary Insurance carrier name
  • Patient’s ID # / group #
  • Full claims mailing address, phone and fax #
  • Name and birthday of Insured (if other than patient)
  • Secondary Insurance carrier name (if applicable, will also need the same information as listed under Primary Insurance)

WC / MVA / PI Claims

  • Date of injury
  • Claim #
  • Carrier name and claims mailing address
  • Name of Adjustor, phone and fax numbers, and email address

Authorizations and releases
Patients must sign a statement releasing payment directly to your facility for services rendered.

HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices
Your office must have a HIPAA NPP, your patients must be informed of its contents, and they should sign their receipt of this document.

Financial Policies
Your office should have a Financial Policy that specifically outlines your expectations of your patients. Patients should be required to read this and sign that they have.

A good practice is for offices to use separate intake forms for private insurance vs. PI claims. It’s easiest to distinguish between them by simply color-coding the forms. White forms could be for commercial carriers, whereas blue forms could be for the PI claims.

Your Verification of Benefits (VOB) system is also an important process. Offices that routinely verify benefits generally have better collections and cash flow than practices that do not.


A good Patient Registration System, which obtains all necessary information, is a benchmark of better business practices.

Randi Tapio is the president of MedCycle Solutions, which provides Revenue Cycle Management, Credentialing, Outsourced Coding, and Consulting Services to a number of healthcare providers in a variety of specialties.  She holds an MBA in Healthcare Administration & Management and multiple professional certifications. She can be reached at or 320-290-6448.

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