7 Tips to Avoid Medical Billing and Coding Mistakes
Mistakes happen all the time. They happen in small companies as well as big organizations. Anyone can make them. However, the difference lies in the consequences of those mistakes. Mistakes in medical billing, for instance, can be quite damaging for healthcare providers. They not only lead to denials and rejections that affect payment collections for medical practices, but they also have far more serious consequences.
Continuous mistakes by healthcare practitioners can even lead to fraud charges, start investigations and audits that ultimately further hurts the finances and reputation of a medical practice. Therefore, it’s extremely important for hospitals and other healthcare organizations to avoid medical billing mistakes, and we’ve got just the tips to help them.
1. Double Check All Information at Every Step
The best way to avoid medical billing mistakes is to be extremely thorough during the medical billing and coding process. This means double-checking all the information, codes, diagnosis, etc., at each and every step of the medical billing process.
Healthcare practitioners usually have a lot on their plate already, so they might be forced at times to rush the medical billing and coding process. However, this is precisely what leads to mistakes and errors in the first place. Therefore, thorough checking from the very beginning can help catch mistakes early on and reduce the chances for any major mishaps.
2. Recheck Information on Regular Patients
Besides being super busy with the treatment of patients and other healthcare services, doctors can also forget to thoroughly check everything when dealing with regular patients. They might assume that since the patient is a regular, their information, medical coverage, and insurance policy would still be the same.
However, this is not always the case. Insurance policies change all the time, and a certain medical service that was covered before might not come under coverage now. This could lead to the wrong claims being filed, their subsequent denial or rejection, and ultimately, a delay in the payment collection time for the hospital. So, even if it’s a regular patient, it’s important to go over their details and insurance policy again to verify everything.
3. Highlight all Bilateral Services
It’s also important for everyone to play their part fully to avoid medical billing mistakes. This means medical billers, coders, and doctors must carry out their end of the process properly to avoid any errors. One example of this is when a healthcare provider doesn’t mention all the bilateral services and procedures performed in the diagnosis. If the coder happens to operate separately from the provider, they won’t be able to catch this mistake and enter the wrong codes, which could become a hassle for the hospital as well as the patients.
4. Use Latest Coding Manuals
Coding manuals often go through revisions and updates, and if medical coders don’t stay on top of these changes, they will continue making coding mistakes, which cost the company heavy losses. Coders who have been doing their job for years might feel confident in their knowledge of codes. However, coding manuals change all the time, such as the recent change from ICD-9 to ICD-10. Only when they stay updated regarding all these changes will they be able to account for it when filling out medical billing forms.
5. Switch to Electronic Health Records
Switching to using electronic health records is also another way to streamline the entire medical billing process and reduce the chances of any errors and mistakes. Using advanced medical billing software and electronic records can cut down the number of processes that need to be done manually.
This will not only save time but also reduce errors. Plus, everything will be handled by the software. Any cost incurred to set up this software can be covered by the reduced number of denied and rejected claims and faster payment collection. Other than that, the staff using the software will have to be properly trained for it to be successful.
6. Ensure Clear Communication
There should always also be clear and fast communication between different people involved in the medical billing process. If a medical coder doesn’t understand a diagnosis sent over by the doctor, perhaps due to illegible handwriting, and isn’t able to clear it through communication, they could enter the wrong codes and send it to the medical billers. This is also another problem that can be solved by adopting some medical billing software.
7. The Ultimate Solution to Avoid Medical Billing Mistakes
The best and ultimate solution to avoid medical billing mistakes is to hire a medical billing company and outsource the whole process entirely. Professionals excel at medical billing as it is their entire job, and they will be able to devote their whole time and attention to the process.
Since they won’t be rushed or distracted, they will naturally be more thorough in their work, which will greatly reduce the chances of any errors. Additionally, healthcare providers will also be able to focus on their own job, which will help them make fewer errors in diagnosis or recording at their own end. As a result, no errors will be carried forward in the medical billing process.
Furthermore, since they don’t have other duties besides medical billing, these medical billing companies can stay up to date regarding changes in coding manuals, insurance policies, medical coverage for patients, and other important details. All this will ensure higher accuracy of medical billing and coding, reducing the number of errors and subsequent denials.
While there’s a lot that healthcare providers can do on their own end to improve the medical billing process and minimize chances of mistakes, their best chances of success lie in hiring a medical billing company.
They are much more experienced and skilled at handling medical billing, which automatically reduces the chances of error. Other than that, they offer loads of benefits, such as better efficiency and higher payment collection.
PCS Revenue Cycle Management is here for all your medical billing needs. Please call or email us if you’d like a free consultation and/or quote for our outsourced billing services in all 50 states! www.pcsrcm.com 281-937-4089 firstname.lastname@example.org
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