Jun 11, 2021

Managing Your Athletics Department’s Medical Expense Program

Managing Your Athletics Department’s Medical Expense Program

An intercollegiate athletics department is a busy place.

At any time, men and women participating in NCAA-sanctioned sports are there for training, practice, therapy, treatments, games, and more. They’re even just hanging out because the athletics department is often their home away from home and where they feel most comfortable.

An athletic trainer like you has a lot of responsibility on your hands, watching out for athletes’ health, safety, and wellbeing. It’s what you went to school for and what you’re most passionate about doing. Meanwhile, the number of sports on campus you can assist with continues to grow, with programs for:

  • Men’s and women’s basketball
  • Baseball and softball
  • Volleyball and women’s beach volleyball
  • Football, men’s and women’s lacrosse, and soccer
  • Cross Country, golf, and fencing
  • Ice hockey and women’s field hockey
  • Gymnastics and wrestling
  • Tennis, skiing, and more

Unfortunately, it’s not surprising that athletes are often injured, given that they devote 30 to 40 hours a week to their sport. With all these sports and all these athletes, the potential for injuries increases—ranging from strains to fractures—all for you to manage. And, injuries, often mean insurance claims.

“Managing a school’s medical expense program is often handed over to trainers because they’re close to the athletes and have medical knowledge. It’s not a perfect fit, but one that does make practical sense,” says Dave Tomchek, program manager at A-G Administrators. Tomchek should know because he spent 25 years at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas working with health insurance and claims management.

But, if you’re managing insurance claims, how much time does that take away from training?

Too much. Tomchek estimates that it could easily amount to close to a full-time job.

Fortunately, A-G Administrators has a solution that the over 675 colleges and universities in our student-athlete accident insurance program use that lets trainers get back to what they do best: caring for their athletes.

Get Out of the Office and Provide the Care Student-Athletes Need

College baseball players stand in a huddle at the pitcher’s mound.When you see the many administrative tasks that are part of a medical expense program, it’s easy to understand why it’s a process that can take so much time out of the workday. Ongoing tasks that need to be handled throughout all sports seasons include:

  • Verifying eligibility and primary insurance for all student-athletes.
  • Coordinating the billing mechanisms with medical providers that care for student-athletes.
  • Providing timely filing and claims administration to reduce chances of collections or an unpaid medical provider.
  • Following up on missing forms.
  • Evaluating current claims administration and insurance policies to ensure financial soundness.
  • Reporting to upper management and/or the athletic administration about the financial viability of the program or researching other plans for changes and adjustments.

“Schools also need to make sure that they are HIPAA-compliant and that their EMR (electronic medical records) systems are also up to the level of compliance demanded by the government,” Tomchek adds.

How can athletic trainers like you or others shouldering insurance tasks get back to your primary job responsibilities? Or, be able to take advantage of opportunities to make other, more meaningful, contributions to the department and athletes?

You can with A-G Administrators and EGBAR: Efficiency Generating Business Automation Resource.

With EGBAR, it’s Like You’ve Added Staff to the Athletic Department

“EGBAR is A-G’s proprietary insurance claims management software system. It’s unmatched in the industry and provides an information portal for schools that is safe, secure, and compliant,” explains A-G’s Director of Collegiate Partnerships, Joe Giunta.

When a college or university offers an A-G Administrators’ accident insurance program to their student-athletes to help pay for out-of-pocket expenses not covered by their primary insurance, the school gets access to EGBAR. EGBAR allows users to view overall claims history or check on a specific claim’s status in real-time.

  • We work with several leading sports EMRs (electronic medical records), including ATS, SportsWare, Healthy Roster, and Presagia Sports to enable one-click injury claim notification by the trainer.
  • You can bulk-upload paperwork. Just scan the papers and upload them into the claim. No separation is necessary. Our secure software automatically pairs any uploaded documents with the correct claim within 24 hours. If for some reason it can’t, then we will manually connect it within 48 hours.
  • We follow up on outstanding claims and negotiate with providers. With access to 43 provider networks nationwide, we have a lot of flexibility to control costs.

What this means, according to Amanda Rogerson, director of finance and client services at A-G, is “All of that time-consuming paperwork disappears, letting you get back to what you do best: watching out for your athletes’ health, safety and wellbeing.”

Rogerson, like Tomchek (and many of A-G’s staff), has a background in intercollegiate athletic department finances from her time at the University of Delaware and Marist College. She is very familiar with everything a medical expense program must do and how EGBAR makes all of those tasks disappear.

As an Athletic Trainer, You Will Love This Data

EGBAR can generate reports for comprehensive risk management strategies that provide real value to your job. For instance, you can find out claims by body part. Or, you may find out there are many similar claims for a certain type of injury that could be decreased with a change in training or strength conditioning.

“Now athletic trainers will have the time and energy to look deeper into these opportunities because they’re not burdened with handling the department’s medical expense program,” Giunta says.

Your School Will Love The Potential to Control Costs

In addition to implementing training changes, you will have more time to help athletes with less serious injuries so that they don’t turn into claims. And, athletes can now come to you rather than having to go to an outside clinic for care.

Also, because A-G works with 43 networks and establishes good relationships with providers, it means that claim costs can start to be controlled. This affects underwriting, which, in turn, can lower premium costs.

All in all, A-G gives everyone what they need most:

  • Time savings.
  • Cost savings.
  • Freedom to do what you do best.

As an Athletic Trainer, Your Time is Valuable

You don’t need to spend time on your school’s medical expense program when A-G and EGBAR can handle it for you. You owe it to yourself, your student-athletes, and your school to request an EGBAR Demo and learn more about A-G.

A-G has spent nearly 40 years protecting students, athletes, and schools from the many pains and costs of injuries. We look forward to talking to you about your unique medical expense program and how we can help relieve your pain points and expenses.

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