We’re pleased to have had an opportunity to catch up with Beth Brownstein. She has vast experience related to supporting breastfeeding including birth and postpartum doula work, hospital-based classes, breastfeeding support groups as well as being a home-visit IBCLC. She’s been an IBCLC since 2011 and is excited to focus more on her private practice, now that her hospital teaching commitments have come to a close. We asked her how things have been going for her this year….
LP: When did you get in network with Aetna?
BB: I got in network with Aetna as soon as I heard it was possible! But then I realized I didn’t really know what I was doing. There was so much conflicting information out there. I joined all the groups, bought books, listened to webinars and nothing seemed to really walk me through the process. I wanted to do it correctly. The last thing I wanted was an audit or to have to pay pack money to an insurance company!
LP: But you dove in and did your best! What was your experience when you filed the claims yourself?
BB: I was feeling overwhelmed with submitting claims. I was unsure about whether to bill for just mom or also for baby. Also, my reimbursement was very low. And many times there were errors, so I had to re-file. With the low reimbursement rates, it didn’t seem worth my energy to re-file claims, or sit on hold with Aetna forever trying to get questions answered. So the pile got bigger. I literally had money “sitting on the table.”
LP: Is that when you started considering a billing service?
BB: NO! I didn’t even know there was such a thing. I’d never heard of a biller for an IBCLC. It really wasn’t until I saw Lactation Practice sharing about the billing service on Facebook that I started thinking about it.
LP: Did you sign up then?
BB: No I was still a bit cautious. But when I saw Renee at a conference she answered all my questions and I immediately felt heard and supported. It helped a lot that we knew each other already so I felt comfortable. It seemed like I finally found someone to “hold my hand” through this adventure in insurance.
LP: So did you take care of that pile on your desk?
BB: Yes, after I signed up with Lactation Practice, the biller re-filed them for me. There were some that were beyond the deadline, but she salvaged what she could, and now, moving forward, I feel much more organized. I’m getting paid decently from Aetna for the first time.
LP: That’s great! Is there anything else you’d like to share with IBCLCs who may be considering our billing service?
BB: Yes, it was a good move for me. The process is easy. I really like the fillable forms that are provided. I feel supported and there’s good communication with the biller. Best of all I’m getting PAID!
LP: Thank you so much, Beth, for taking the time to chat!
Are you frustrated with doing your own billing? Let us help you!