While it is common to make a few mistakes with medical billing, the last thing you want for your medical practice is to receive numerous complaints from patients about your billing procedures. To avoid making these mistakes, try these four tips to tighten up your billing approach and lower the number of denials. By identifying which of these tips work best for your practice, you can keep patients happy while significantly improving your cash flow.
A primary reason that most medical billing claims get denied is because the staff doesn’t verify the correct insurance information. This is an easy fix, but it is essential to speak to your team about paying close attention to detail when signing in new and returning patients. They should contact the insurance provider to confirm effective dates and coverage period then calculate deductibles and copayments.
Double Check Patient Information
A study from the University of Minnesota states that 30 to 40 percent of medical bills contain errors. These errors often happen from one simple patient error and can cause a frustrating billing denial for your staff. To minimize these mistakes, train your front billing staff to familiarize themselves with the patient chart and to double-check the basics. The patient name and policy number are often skimmed over, but should always be checked twice for errors or misspellings. Also, your team should make sure the diagnosis code corresponds to the procedure performed. Denials caused as a result of these mistakes are allowed to be resubmitted, but often include a delay period of 30 to 45 days.
In an effort to reduce human error, your practice may want to consider a practice management system to automate most of the billing process. While the system can be beneficial, remember that your staff shouldn’t rely on it entirely, as it won’t post charge and printing reports. Practice management systems are particularly useful to independent and budget-conscious practices, as they have to perform more work with fewer resources.
Errors in coding and not entering the diagnosis code to the highest level of specificity is another common mistake in medical billing. With many diseases, such as diabetes, it is important to specify the coding to the fifth digit to specify the variation. For example, 250.00 is for diabetes mellitus type two, while 250.01 is for diabetes mellitus type one. The best denial prevention technique is to maintain strong communication between your billers and coders to ensure that both know when a code is wrong or not specific enough.
Grow Your Medical Business With Hyperion Consulting Group!
Interested in growing a medical practice? Contact Hyperion Consulting Group today! With over 25 years of experience and knowledge in the medical and business worlds, Hyperion Consulting Group provides medical facilities the unique opportunity to assess how they are doing currently and preparing them with tools to grow. Contact us today! You can reach us at 443-752-2524, or visit our website for more information. If you are interested in reading more about medical consulting check us out our Facebook page and follow us on LinkedIn.