Selecting a professional administrator is an important decision, after all, the administrator is the one who will be managing the injured party’s medical funds and providing resources for the rest of their lives. When deciding which professional administrator to go with, there are many factors that should be taken into consideration, including:
- Savings provided on medical expenses
- Cost of service
- Quality of customer service
- Security of sensitive information
- Convenience of technology
Not all administrators are created equal. One single factor should not drive the overall decision on which professional administration company to utilize. The service, tools, and professionalism along with savings provided by the administrator on behalf of the injured party can vary drastically. Below is a list of priorities to consider when evaluating which administrator is best suited for the injured party’s medical needs and care, and important questions to ask to help determine what they are truly offering.
Savings on Medical Expenses
The savings that a professional administrator provides is one of the most crucial factor when determining who to choose. If a professional administrator can provide significant savings for the injured party, they can extend the life of their medical funds, reducing the chance of prematurely depleting funds needed to pay future medical expenses. If the administrator makes use of multiple pharmacy, PPO provider and equipment networks, they can often provide even greater savings, allowing the injured party to conserve more of their settlement money. Remember, even though additional medical costs are covered by Medicare if the MSA is properly exhausted, spent and reported on, an injured party will most likely still have additional out of pocket costs associated with their Medicare plan if funds are exhausted prematurely. Choosing an administrator that can guarantee the most maximized savings will help avoid painful out-of-pocket medical expenses.
With the rising cost of prescriptions, these savings can help greatly. For example, a common prescription for injured parties is Diazapam, used to treat anxiety. Instead of paying $4.20 per month, as listed in the MSA, the injured party can pay $2.40 per month with Ametros. These savings add up over the years and could amount to $9,542 over the injured party’s life expectancy, which is usually more than 21 years.*
Many vendors that offer professional administration do not focus solely on this service. Instead, they offer it as more of an added benefit. This means they likely have not spent significant time building out their savings networks or installing a support team to promptly respond to any questions and ensure bills are properly discounted.
Questions to ask:
- What type of savings do you offer for your members?
- What medical networks and systems do you use to manage your members’ healthcare?
- Can your members choose any pharmacy or provider or are there limitations?
- What resources do you have available to help your members access discounts or find more ways to save?
- Do you offer analysis of spending and savings trends for your members?
It is important to consider costs charged by the administration company when evaluating professional administration services. However, as mentioned above, the cost for the service is not the only number that matters. For example, an administrator that costs $2,000, but saves over $23,000 on the MSA funds over the lifetime would be a far better choice than an administrator that costs $1,000 but does not offer any savings whatsoever. For this reason, it’s important to understand the potential medical savings first, before focusing solely on the cost of the administration service.
When it comes to cost, some professional administrators charge a yearly fee, while others charge a one-time flat fee. However, most professional administrators are fairly similar in cost, so it becomes even more important to evaluate their savings capabilities, features and service levels that are included in their offering.
Questions to ask:
- What is the setup fee for the account and are there yearly charges?
- What are the savings over the injured party’s lifetime compared to the upfront cost?
After settlement, the professional administrator becomes a resource to help manage an injured party’s MSA account and advocate for the member. A service-focused professional administrator puts a strong emphasis on personalized attention for the injured party to ensure all of their questions and concerns are handled to get them back to health. This level of assistance can only be quantified by customer feedback, so it is important to check out current member testimonials and to ask for references from clients that can speak about their experiences. In addition, it’s important to know who will be on the other end of the phone when the injured party calls in. The best administrators offer 24/7 phone support and have a team of top-quality member service representatives based in the United States. In addition, it is helpful if they offer additional ways to contact support such as email and online chat so you can count on receiving prompt customer service.
Questions to ask:
- Do you have member or client testimonials?
- Do you have references I could call about your service?
- Do you conduct member satisfaction surveys?
- Is there a dedicated U.S.-based customer service team available to injured parties?
A professional administrator will be holding and handling the injured party’s funds, so it is critical that they have adequate security measures to ensure members’ funds and sensitive information including protected health information (PHI) and personally identifiable information (PII) are protected. Professional administrators that have partnered with large corporations will have their internal systems thoroughly audited to ensure they are a secure and reliable partner to assist them during the settlement and post-settlement process. When choosing a professional administrator, the best way to find out how secure they are is to inquire about how your personal information will be protected.
Questions to ask:
- What steps do you take to protect your members’ information?
- Do you undergo routine technology and financial audits?
- Are you HIPAA compliant?
- Do you have clients that can confirm this?
Technology is a large part of professional administration because individuals want insight into how their money is being spent and what the savings trends are. Member portals and mobile applications that use cutting-edge technology allow the injured parties to view real-time account transactions and trends. Some professional administrators mail paper statements to injured parties once a year. For the injured party, having 24/7 insight into their account is incredibly valuable. Ametros has built a personalized online portal so that each member has instant access and visibility into their account to see how the funds are being used, including applied discounts and continuous savings. Some professional administrators even offer telehealth options so that members can virtually chat with a doctor without ever having to leave their homes.Questions to ask:
- What technology do you offer to members? (Online portals, mobile applications, telehealth)
- Do members have 24/7 insight into their account?
- Do members receive statements with spending and savings trends?
Going the Extra Mile
Very few professional administrators offer services that go above and beyond the core duty of administration. It is useful to work with a group that has a significant presence nationwide so that representatives are local to you. Also, when needed, it’s important to work with a group that will send people to negotiations, mediations or just to meet with the different parties involved to explain the service face-to-face with the injured party. Remember, professional administration can be incredibly valuable in helping all parties settle the case. Sometimes that personal touch is needed to ensure all parties are comfortable with the settlement process.
Questions to ask:
- Can your team members go to or call into settlement negotiations or mediations?
- Do you have a nationwide team available?
- What services do you offer outside the scope of professional administration?
Most groups offer some kind of self-administration options for those who may not want full professional administration. Beware that many administrators try to charge a hefty fee, and often an annual fee, for self-administration support that consists of simply providing the injured party with a guidebook and a phone number.
Questions to ask:
- Do you offer self-administration support for injured parties that choose to self-administer?
- How much do your self-administration services cost, and what does that include?
Savings on Medical Expenses: We save on average 28% below what is in a MSA or medical cost projection. This consists of savings on average of 55-62% off doctor bills, 10-95% off pharmacy bills, and 10-30% off equipment. We utilize multiple national discount networks to ensure we are getting the lowest prices and have a team that focuses 100% of its attention on securing the lowest rates. No other administrator has the scope of networks and discounts that we provide.*
Cost: Among the most affordable solutions. We never charge any annual fees, just a one-time charge of $1,000.
Service: Ametros’ team is available around the clock and a human being always answers the phone. Our team is multi-lingual, speaking English, Spanish, Portuguese and several other languages. We also will find translators for other dialects when needed. In addition, the injured party can contact us virtually by using our online tools for real-time questions and responses.
Security: Ametros’ security protocols have passed the highest levels of scrutiny and have been vetted by multiple Fortune 100 corporations. We invest in our technology and our procedures to ensure the injured party’s information and funds are protected. Ametros is institutionally-owned and professionally-managed. Ametros hires third parties to independently conduct routine audits of its financials, technology systems, and policies and procedures.
Technology: Ametros offers online portals and mobile access to injured parties. The injured party has the ability to chat with our team instantly and to setup telehealth appointments with doctors online. Our technology platform allows the injured party to find out the balance of their account, what bills have been paid and the savings we have provided in real-time. In addition, Ametros was the first company that developed an automated self-administration tool, Amethyst , that automatically reduces bills that the injured party receives even when the settlement funds are held in the injured party’s personal bank account. Ametros was also the first company with a patent that protects the innovations it has made regarding administration of settlement funds.
Going the extra mile: Ametros’ team of over 100 employees is the only team that focuses exclusively on administration. It is the only service we provide and pride ourselves at being the leader in the industry. We have representatives across the country that are always willing to jump on the phone or make the trip to meet with parties in-person.
Want to find out how Ametros can help you or your client?