Thursday, February 28, 2002

DMERC customer service

Q. How can you be sure the information given by the Customer Service Units at the DMERCs is correct?
A. While all Customer Service staff at all four Regional DMERCs are run through a thorough training program before placed on the Customer Service Unit telephones, there are times when you may question the information you are given. Here are a few to tips to make sure you are getting correct information from the Customer Service Units:

1. Keep your manual and bulletins updated. Read them, train your staff on them, and make sure you keep them handy. Often the questions we ask the Customer Service Staff at the DMERCs are questions that can be answered from the manual, bulletins or Q&A information at each DMERCs Web site. Also be sure to take advantage of all educational sessions offered by your DMERC.

2. If you have done your home work and still need some help, make sure you record the name of the Customer Service Associate you speak to, along with the date and time and brief content of their response. Ask the CSR where they found their information so you can mark it in your own manual and/or bulletin so you will not need to ask them the same question again.

3. If you are unclear or dissatisfied with the answer your CSR provides, you have the right to ask to speak with their supervisor. The supervisor will generally return your call within 24-48 hours.

4. Do not be afraid to ask for further explanation if you do not understand what the CSR is telling you. Often times the CSR can put you on hold and seek the assistance of a supervisor.

5. Finally, if you have locations in more than one DMERC Region be aware that there are many differences in the DMERCs. What you may be told in Region A, for example, may be different in Region C. A recent example is the acceptance of faxed or electronic CMNs or prescriptions. Region B DMERC published an article in the December 2001 Bulletin discussing the use of these CMNS and orders. Region C did not publish such an article. Be aware of these differences.

Nancy Burma is president of Alternative Billing Solutions. Reach her at 952-881-1767.