Five Ideas for Fixing Common Billing Errors

Medical billing errors not only waste a lot of time, but will delay payments and raise red flags. While that’s the bad news, the good news is that many of these billing errors can be avoided. Here are five ideas for fixing common billing errors.

Confirm patient information.

Incorrect patient information is one of the most common billing errors and the most easily remedied. Minor errors in a patient’s name or birthdate can have a huge impact and will result in a claim being denied. Every patient visit should include patient information verification to avoid wasted time and denied claims.

Verify benefits.

With a returning patient it can be easy to input old benefit information and assume it’s still valid. So much can change between visits so it’s crucial to check with each patient every visit and confirm coverage, co-payments and other important insurance data.

Keep up on coding.

Coding diagnoses changes every year. To avoid confusion and claim rejection, keep up on these changes and make sure your staff is using the most recent coding book. While it’s important that your entire billing staff is properly trained, have a staff member specifically assigned to coding and checking for potential errors. To help aid this process, ensure all of the physician’s documentation supports the coding as well.

Understand the insurance policy requirements.

Each insurance policy is different and specifies the process for billing medical services for reimbursement. Failing to comply with the required procedure is a red flag that greatly increases the possibility of rejection. Since each policy is unique, it is essential that submission details are thoroughly reviewed before making a claim. It is also a good idea to have a specific team member serve as the claims person with obligation of staying informed of billing issues.

Don’t miss deadlines.

Most insurance companies require that claims are submitted within a certain number of days after the service. These limits vary, but in every case the deadline is officially reached when the insurance carrier receives a claim. If you submit a claim with incorrect information, the claim will be denied. It’s possible to fix the error and resubmit with the correct information, but there is now a risk it will be denied for late filing. For obvious reasons, it’s crucial to file in a timely manner.

Medical billing errors are expensive mistakes that result in lost revenue and profit. The key to fixing these issues is understanding each insurance policy, keeping up to date with changes, being extra cautious with data entry, and properly training your staff. Take the time to organize quality-control policies and make sure your staff recognizes the steps they need to take to keep your practice’s billing as seamless and as accurate as possible. If you have any ideas for fixing billing errors, let us know on our Facebook page.

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