Welcome to July!
Are you feelin' "hot, hot, hot" yet? We have some helpful reminders and tidbits to help cool you down—in the doctor’s office, that is. First of all, starting this month, routine medical documents sent to TriWest will now be shredded, so make sure you know which Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center is authorizing the care you provide. Also, what are the two questions you should ask every Veteran patient? Keep reading to find out, and much more!
In This Edition:
If you haven’t already, start sending your medical documents to your authorizing VA Medical Center (VAMC). If you continue sending them to TriWest, TriWest will shred them starting this month, as we no longer handle this Protected Health Information (PHI).
In May 2019, VA made a modification to TriWest’s contract taking over the responsibility of collecting initial appointment, final episode of care summary, and inpatient discharge medical documentation from providers. Between May 1 and June 30, 2019, TriWest and VA allowed a transition period where TriWest still forwarded medical documentation to the VAMC.
However, that grace period ended on July 1, 2019, and TriWest will begin shredding any medical documents it receives in error.
The best way to avoid this happening is by ensuring you send medical documents to your authorizing VAMC. The authorizing VAMC is listed on the first page of your authorization letter from TriWest. The contact information should be included on the VA clinical consult. You can also find your VAMC’s contact information at this link: www.triwest.com/vamc-contacts.
You walk into the exam room and find a new patient seated on the chair. He’s 65 years old and his chart shows he’s part of the VA Community Care programs—so you know he’s a Veteran.
What are the first two questions you should ask him to establish immediate rapport?
According to PsychArmor Institute’s training video for providers, “15 Things Veterans Want You to Know,” the first two questions to ask a Veteran patient are:
- What branch of the military did you serve in?
- What did you do while on active duty?
PsychArmor is a TriWest partner in educating providers on military and Veteran culture. As stated on the company’s website, PsychArmor “provides critical resources to Americans so they can effectively engage with and support military Service members, Veterans, and families across the nation.”
PsychArmor’s “15 Things Veterans Want You to Know” video talks about additional questions you can ask to better serve your Veteran patients. It also discusses the questions you should NEVER ask a Veteran.
“Being part of the military community demands extraordinary lifestyle adjustments and sometimes sacrifice,” says Dr. Blake Chaffee, Vice-President of Integrated Healthcare Services at TriWest. “Understanding who Service members, Veterans and their families are, what’s required of them, and why they do what they do, is essential to adequately engage and successfully work with them.”
When you’re preparing to submit a claim for services under VA’s Community Care programs, would you include a specific detail if it helped your claim pay faster?
Then take note: Always include the VA authorization number with your claim when submitting it to TriWest’s claims processor, WPS Military and Veterans Health (WPS MVH). The only exception is for home health providers, which should include the OASIS number instead.
WPS MVH uses the VA authorization number (or OASIS number for home health) to match up your claim with the authorization on file. Claims won’t necessarily reject if you forget to include the VA authorization number, but they may take longer to pay.
Where Can You Find the VA Authorization Number?
The VA authorization number should be listed on the first page of your TriWest authorization letter. You can also look up this information by logging in to your secure account on the TriWest Provider Portal at www.triwest.com/provider.
So the next time you’re preparing that claim for submission, make sure to have the VA authorization number by your side!
The processes for home health care agencies under the VA Community Care programs are a little different than procedures for most other providers. This is why the TriWest Provider Education team has developed resources just for our home health organizations.
- Home Health Quick Reference Guide: www.triwest.com/homehealth
- Home Health webinar slides: www.triwest.com/en/vapc3-provider/eSeminars/Home-Health.pdf
Sign Up for a Home Health Webinar!
In addition to the resources listed above, TriWest Provider Education offers regular, live, and interactive webinars on the home health process. To register for a Home Health Webinar:
- Go to Availity at www.availity.com.
- Navigate to the TriWest Payer Space.
- Click on the TriWest Learning Center.
- Find and register for the Home Health Webinar that works for you!
The following changes will be made to the Provider Handbook in August 2019:
- On Page 16, under the subhead “Notification,” Section A, the following statement will be added: “Claims, claims adjustments and remittance related notices will be mailed to the ‘remit address’ or ‘billing address’ listed with the provider’s data file, which is the address where TriWest is instructed to send payment on claims submitted by Provider.”