Category Archives: medical billing

Medical Billing – Isn’t It Time to Avoid These Costly Errors?

As much as your medical center will strive to offer the best patient care, you still must consider it as a business. There are so many elements that can be costly in terms of time and financials and so, it is important that if you are going to avoid making errors within your practice, you have the best staff, the best technology, and processes too. If we look at medical billing and coding, we know that it is, of course, one of the most crucial elements of the medical industry and yet, for so many medical practices, there can be an extraordinary number of costly errors.

 

Many of your health expenses are paid as a result of health insurance and this is why those who are involved in the medical billing processes must be at the top of their game. Too much is at stake for errors to be made. Mistakes can build up too.

 

Accuracy is all-important.

 

Legislation changes constantly but do you have time to keep your finger on the pulse of medical billing? As a healthcare provider, it’s your responsibility to ensure that you and your employees are well-informed and that you meet and uphold the changes in medical standards. Of course, this is not always as easy as it sounds, in fact, at times, it can create longer hours and much more work.

 

After a busy day treating and reassuring your patients, the last thing you may want to deal with is changes to billing legislation. Therefore, it makes sense to have a professional company that you can delegate all billing errors to and who will keep up with important changes. As these people are trained to a high level and, their training is ongoing so to avoid costly mistakes, they have all the capabilities to take this chore off your hands. Plus, they are far more accurate than most people could be. This saves you time and money.

 

What happens when billing is inaccurate?

 

Even with the best of intentions, it is so easy for errors to be made. Unfortunately, the simplest of errors can turn into the most complex of problems to resolve. Ultimately, it leads to your patients potentially being put under financial hardship. It is no surprise when they feel frustrated and unhappy as a result. Of course, mistakes can be made but, if your patient is already under duress and worried about their health, this is just one more problem to deal with it at a time when physically or emotionally, they may not be capable of dealing with it.

 

There are many common errors all of which take time to resolve.

 

  • Wrong data entered
  • Duplicate billing request
  • Insurance coverage unverified
  • Upcoding
  • Undercoding etc.

 

Solutions

 

Why add extra administrative issues to an already busy day? Doesn’t it make absolute sense for this highly-important role to be given to companies who do it so well and who will take the pressure away from you and your team? Ultimately, fewer errors will equate to less stress and enable you to focus on patient care and so, outsourcing medical billing is undoubtedly the way forward.

Medical Billing Specialists – Optimize A List of Questions Before Hiring

 Optimize A List of Questions Before Hiring

As a medical professional with a busy medical practice, you will want to ensure that all your administrative processes work smoothly so that you can focus on the areas of the business most important to you – that of patient care. In the same way that you would interview potential new members of staff, it’s wise to compile a list of targeted questions so to ask any medical billing specialists before hiring. This way, you are more assured of a good fit and as it is an important decision, it will give you peace of mind by doing so.  In many ways, medical billing specialists become an important part of your team even if are not actively employed onsite.

Hiring the right company can make a big difference to your financials as it can ensure that your cash flow is interrupted. This is an important element for all business but it also ensures a healthy bottom line. Each part of a medical centers processes are important but if billing errors are made, this is a costly drain on time and only causes delays before payments are made.

Therefore, you may have many questions but, as a starting point, consider the following:

What qualifications do you have?

Before you sign on the dotted line, it’s a good idea to ask to see company references. If you know someone else who uses the company, this may naturally give you peace of mind, but otherwise, review the website for feedback or, ask for references. Most businesses will not mind.  You also need to consider whether they have an in-depth knowledge of medical codes and that their qualifications are up to date. As legislation changes frequently, it’s important to know that they are proficient. If you specialize in a specific field of expertise, you may wish to check whether they can provide you with the service you need.

What does the service cost?

Understandably this is an important consideration and you need to know whether they charge for a percentage of the charges which have been collected or if it will be a flat rate. You also need to check whether there are any additional fees to be taken into consideration. This may include data conversion, initiation or termination. Find out what is included in the service. If you opt for a cheaper service, you may find that the service is by no means comprehensive. So, less is not always more.

Find out more about how your account will be managed

Check for any frequency of reports and also, what data will be included. You may wish some reports to be customized. Consider their HIPAA compliance plan and whether your patient data is safe. In addition, who will be managing the account? Having a contact name and number should any problems arise is extremely important. It may be a big consideration for you to outsource this aspect of your business to any medical billing specialists so it is understandable that you want to be satisfied that the service will exceed expectations. Also, who do you contact if this person is not available or out of the office?

It’s also worth checking out the company’s website to ascertain the full complement of services available and this will help you to gain the right service for you.

7 Surefire Medical Billing Errors That Will Wipe Out Profit

 7 Surefire Medical Billing Errors That Will Wipe Out Profit

There’s no doubt about it, medical billing errors can easily wipe out profit and put a medical practice under severe pressure. It can be costly to your patients too. Miscommunication is common and even more so now with legislation changes that happen all the time. Human error will always occur from time to time but when it damages your business, it needs to be kept to a minimum.

 

 Here are 7 common mistakes:

 

  • Separate billing on charges that should be added together.
  • Duplicate billing. This often occurs when more than one person is involved in the procedure and both send bills out, believing it to be their responsibility.
  • Forms being filled in the wrong. This can be costly to both the patient and the company. Often insurance companies will not pay out if the information is not correct.
  • Upcoding, this is illegal but does happen. A medicine that has been prescribed is billed as a more expensive one and this inflates the bill. This practice would quickly damage any business through a legal process and quickly create a lack of trust from patients.
  • Balance billing mistakes, when an insurance company negotiates a price with a medical billing company, it is important that the practice and the patient are aware of the exact costs covered. This is an area that should be as transparent as possible.
  • Incorrect patient information. This happens very easily when there are several people involved in a patient’s care. Even misspelling the name of a patient can be sufficient for an insurance company to withhold on a claim.
  • Matching treatment to costs. Sounds a bit obvious but, this error is surprisingly common. A patient may have had changes to their medical treatment but these changes, have not been listed on forms. This can again cause delays before insurance companies will settle.

 

Errors in medical billing costs practices across America a staggering $125 billion a year. Even a small mistake will cause an insurance company to refuse to pay and as a result, this means having to resubmit forms and this is costly in both time and money.

 

This can be avoided to a certain extent if health care workers who operate within the admin side of the business are kept up-to-date with the latest company procedures. This is also true of the legislation that is constantly being brought in through a series of changes. It is very important for staff to be aware of them.

These are just extra headaches which pile pressures onto medical health practices. This alone is the reason why many practices swap over to an outsourced company to handle their medical billing. By doing this they, of course, take off the pressure and the costs are often paid for by an increase in profits and staff being able to do what they do best which is, of course, treating more patients. This results in higher confidence levels which are reflected right through the company. There are of course many arguments for and against outsourcing and so, it’s important that you consider what is right for your medical practice. In the main, most people see outsourcing medical billing as the way forward now

Why Using a Medical Billing Company Will Produce Additional Profit?

Using a Medical Billing Company

Using a reliable and proven medical billing company can quickly and efficiently turn a medical practice into a profitable business. At the same time, the benefits can extend to the patients’ too increasing confidence and provide reassurance. With technology improving considerably, this is now being considered a must-do operation by many US medical practices.

 

What exactly is medical billing?

 

Medical billing is an interaction between the healthcare provider and the insurance company. This can be a time consuming and complex procedure. It’s easy to make mistakes as many medical practices have experienced first-hand. Any small changes that have not been noted or any tiny errors can be costly and hold up a claim. This can result in frustrated patients and lead to long delays trying to solve these issues which will impact other areas of service. The reputation of the healthcare service is at stake and this is why so many healthcare providers look to outsource medical billing these days.

Eliminate mistakes

 

By using a trusted medical billing company, you take the pressure off the practice. A good medical billing company will know exactly what they are doing as this is their sole business. This is a complex industry, and these are professionals in their field of expertise. Mistakes can be expensive, and by ensuring you have professional systems in place and backed by professional, well-trained people, this eliminates the stress on a day to day basis.

 

A medical billing company will also be on top of any legislative changes in a way that a medical practice might not. Again, this is an area that can be very expensive if any new changes are not adhered to. By eliminating these potential risks, you allow the practice to concentrate on what it does best which is patient care. Improved cash flow and reduced overheads allow growth and higher profits.

 

A proven medical billing company will already have a good understanding as to the long-term medical benefits achievable by any medical practice and will know how to implement them in a very efficient manner. This long-term plan will encompass growth and a fine-tuned approach to where it matters the most. A good medical billing company can accelerate productivity and increase profits which benefits the whole practice. It does this by reducing overall running costs and creates a tight efficient business blueprint which the practice can come to rely on. There will be customized options instead of generic data which can save in-house medical staff a great deal of time searching other resources. You gain easy system API, Regular updates and fast turnaround times and all this leads to an efficient service.

 

What should a medical center look for in a medical billing company and what are the advantages?

 

  • Ways to increase patient confidence
  • Ways in which to reduce overall running costs
  • To be able to detect where cash flow can be increased
  • To improve overall efficiency
  • To accelerate productivity
  • To have a vision of the long-term benefits to the company

 

A serious advantage to any business is an increase in cash flow as this can absorb unexpected shortfall problems and act as a buffer when sudden demands are called for. By outsourcing to a reliable medical billing company, you eliminate training needs but gain valuable expertise, speed, and efficiency at a whole new level.