Wave HDC is now a part of Experian Health.

COB Curation: Real-Time Coordination of Benefits

Wave HDC’s COB Curation solution is integrated directly into the eligibility verification process, integrating seamlessly into the registration and scheduling workflows.

POSTED March 01, 2023

By David Figueredo, Chief Operating Officer


According to a 2020 Kaiser Foundation study, 17% of claims are denied, with 50% of providers in the southeast and mid-west experiencing 20-30% denials rates, according to CMS Transparency data published in 2021. While denials can be the result of a wide range of procedural and informational issues,

As one looks at the data, a prevalent theme is that nearly 50% of denials can be associated with registration and coordination of benefit reason categories.

In the idealized world payers believe providers should operate in, a patient is registered weeks prior to their scheduled preventative services episode of care. During that registration process, the patient freely informs the provider of their insurance, being sure to communicate their comprehensive and complete set of insurance profiles. Every Medicare patient knows they have Medicare Advantage and provides their insurance policy number and complete demographic information set for their Medicare supplemental policy and Medicaid tertiary coverage, which are all perfectly entered in their EMR and verified in real-time.

The reality is that most patients do not fully understand the myriad of commercial and government entities involved in providing coverage. They typically do not carry copies of all their insurance cards, nor would they provide each to their provider when scheduling appointments. Registration staff are overutilized and typically don’t fully understand enough to ask guiding questions to the patient that would uncover additional insurance.

Compounding is the issue with payers who, due to informational firewalls that exist, may not even be aware of the existence of other responsible parties at the time of service. Their system may contain outdated third-party liability information, which can misinform providers and lead to erroneous claim denials. Even when a commonly informed entity, like Medicare and Medicaid, provides pointers to other insurance like managed care plans or Medicare Advantage programs, they seldom provide complete insurance data or policy details sufficient to allow the registration staff to take action… if they had noticed in the first place.

Wave HDC’s COB (Coordination of Benefits) Curation solution is integrated directly into the eligibility verification process, integrating seamlessly into the registration and scheduling workflows. Wave’s technology automatically analyzes each payer response in real-time at the point of processing to identify hidden cues to other insurance that your systems and staff cannot see. Once identified, our system does not just alert the user of the existence of other insurance; it automatically triggers additional inquiries to those third-party entities to verify the active and billable coverages and to collect and curate a comprehensive insurance profile. These secondary payer responses are further interrogated to identify additional cues to surveil further and curate.

This dynamic automation process, coupled with Wave’s best-in-class identity confidence scoring and primacy engines, is the Wave difference. When all insurances have been exhaustively discovered, each resulting policy is systematically evaluated for identity risk profiling using our advanced identity engine, which flags potential risk policies for manual review while allowing high-confidence low-risk coverages to auto-post to the HIS or host system to eliminate operator error. Wave understands that each provider organization’s compliance department may have differing opinions on how risk is measured and under what conditions coverage should be posted to a patient profile. Therefore our implementation team works with each client operations and compliance team to codify, build and verify all identity and compliance logic before go-live, thereby allowing higher levels of automation with lower risk profiles than any other solution on the market today.

With a comprehensive set of insurances comes an additional problem: understanding which insurances are actionable versus informational. Wave Analyzer’s primacy engine interrogates each policy to determine its type of coverage and other essential details that allow the system to categorically determine the primacy order for each policy. Additionally, by systematically identifying the patient’s primary, secondary, and tertiary insurances’, the system can mark and even suppress informational and non-billable coverages. With a comprehensive understanding of advanced primacy rules, our engine eliminates the guessing game and increases billing accuracy by automatically identifying and categorizing coverages in real-time. If you don’t have Wave, you have a team of people doing this, and unfortunately, it’s inconsistent.

This systematic automation approach to insurance verification leads to a more comprehensive insurance profile for each episode of care. As such, our technology identifies corrected primary coverages, undocumented MCO, and Medicare Advantage changes and even discovers unknown secondary and tertiary coverages when that information is the most urgently needed at the point of care. This leads to more accurate registrations and good faith estimates, remediates issues within the authorization cycle stemming from authorizing with the wrong entity, and significantly reduces coordination of benefits denials by resolving the issue at the perimeter of your revenue cycle process rather than during the claim denial management process.

In one deployment study for an extensive, multistate practice, Wave’s automation COB (Coordination of Benefits) curation was integrated directly into the real-time insurance verification process at the time of patient onboarding and led to the realization that the system was provided corrected primary coverage for 12% of patient registrations and identifying undocumented Medicare supplemental and Medicaid secondary coverages for 6% of registration! If you use a registration QA tool, it’s NOT catching these errors. These errors are caught on the front exclusively by the Wave Analyzer or when your denial management team is alerted and then worked manually.

In another large health system deployment, the process was applied to the claim denial management process in which all primary payer COB denials were processed before staff assignment. The Wave Analyzer identified (Coordination of Benefits) COB corrections and obtained actionable information for 92% of all COB denials. Of these claims, >60% could be refiled to the corrected primary payer immediately, while the remainder required payer and patient outreach as the Wave Analyzer found evidence of inaccurate\outdated TPL records stored in the payer claim adjudication system that required correction.

Your organization relies on accurate data; you need Wave HDC.

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