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 and start investigations and audits that further hurt the finances and reputation of medical practices. Therefore, hospitals and other healthcare organizations need to avoid medical billing mistakes, and we’ve 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 medical billing and coding. This means double-checking all the information, codes, diagnosis, etc., at each and every step of the medical billing process.
Healthcare practitioners have a lot on their plate already, so they might sometimes be forced 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 of any major mishaps.
2. RECHECK INFORMATION ON REGULAR PATIENTS
Besides being super busy treating patients and other healthcare services, doctors can also forget to 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 constantly, 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 review their details and insurance policy 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 is when a healthcare provider doesn’t mention all the bilateral services and procedures 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 THE LATEST CODING MANUALS
Coding manuals often go through revisions and updates. 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 constantly, such as 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 another way to streamline the medical billing process and reduce the chances of any errors and mistakes. Using advanced medical billing software and electronic records can reduce 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 also be clear and fast communication between 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 cannot 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 entire process. Professionals excel at medical billing as it is their entire job, and they can 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 job, which will help them make fewer errors in diagnosis or recording at their 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 to improve the medical billing process and minimize the 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, automatically reducing 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 for a free consultation and/or quote for our outsourced billing services in all 50 states!
Content created by Cohn Media, LLC. Passionate and creative writing and broadcasting, covering addiction rehab, health care, entertainment, technology and restaurants. Advocate of clear communication, positivity and humanity. www.cohn.media