By Christopher Wolfington
Nurses and physicians alike understand they have a complicated job that is both technical and emotional. This makes it difficult when it comes to medical billing. There are many ins and outs, but as with any profession there is always room for growth. Here are some common tips and traits that can help healthcare providers optimize performance and become more effective in medical billing procedures.
While the coding process provides a standard method of describing procedures, errors can still occur – and that often happens. Incorrect, mismatched or missing/additional codes can lead to billing errors with patients, and a convoluted clearing process after the fact.
Always triple-check codes before submitting claims. If the description of the procedure is different or vague, contact someone before assigning the code. Always keep a medical coding resource handing to ensure the proper code is being used to avoid errors.
80% of all medical bills contain errors. If a medical bill contains an error, insurance companies will reject them. This results in a long-winded cycle that baits providers into waiting weeks and even months before getting payments. This is why it is of utmost importance that claims are accurate the very first time around. Checking claims multiple times for accuracy and completion before submitting them can save time and money. Common errors to look out for include:
- Incorrect patient or provider information
- Incorrect insurance information
- Duplicate billing
- Incorrect documentation
- Missing or unclear codes
Look to Improve
As the healthcare sector constantly changes, physicians and practices should be adapting as well in order to maximize efficiency and in turn, overall revenue. Keeping up with the latest regulations and practices can ensure efficiency and accuracy.
- Identify problem accounts – having clear procedures for handling patient accounts can aid in seeing and solving potential challenges. Being able to track late and declined payments, frequent contact changes, or other problematic behaviors can help providers better target patients for additional reminders or collections.
- Track accounts receivable – Tracking the outstanding money to a healthcare institution is an important data trail to determine the effectiveness of collection procedures. Comparing these figures over years can help in determining how efficiently a practice’s revenue cycle is performing.
- Stay informed – Medical billing procedures are constantly shifting and staying up to date with these changes often require additional education, training for staff, or overall hardware or software updates. Staying on top of this is much less of a financial burden than being caught behind the times and having to deal with resubmitted claims, errors and defaults.
Implementing and staying true to proactive billing practices does take time, effort and resources – but it will pay off with increase revenue, a better experience for patients and more efficient office operations. Use these tips to expedite you practice towards success in today’s healthcare economy.