We all know how challenging it can be to perfect medical billing and coding for a medical practice. It’s a complex field that takes time to understand well and resources are often stretched thin within organizations.
Errors in medical billing and coding can trigger many unwanted effects on medical practices. These mistakes can boost denial rates and damage vital cash flow that an organization needs to keep functioning properly.
Unfortunately, over 80% of all medical bills have errors that increase the odds of claims becoming rejected. To improve reimbursement rates, medical billing and coding errors must be addressed effectively.
In addition to financial problems, billing and coding errors also lead to wasted time, penalties, reputation damage, and dissatisfied patients. As you can see, preventing these errors from occurring in the first place is essential if you want to avoid additional problems down the line.
Getting Expert Assistance
Here at Billing Savi, we pride ourselves on reducing medical billing and coding errors for clients. With our expertise, we’re able to effectively navigate and smoothen out billing issues, leading to more successful and efficiently operating organizations. Working with a reliable billing partner can therefore be a huge win for medical practices.
We wanted to share some tips on reducing errors and improving billing and coding accuracy within your organization. By doing so, you’ll be well on your way to developing a smoother revenue system, reducing denial rates, and improving patient care.
Understand the Latest Billing & Coding Developments
The world of medical billing and coding is continuously in flux and requires people to keep a close watch on it. For this reason, it’s so important to have staff members that are aware of the latest developments for new treatments or diseases.
Regularly training staff also helps keep everyone up to date on the latest rules and regulations within the healthcare industry. Well trained staff will always be more aware of exactly what procedures they need to follow in different areas.
Ensuring staff is aware of ICD-10 coding is also very helpful for healthcare practices. It’s also common to have code set revisions at the start of a new year. Make sure staff is regularly checking for coding updates throughout the year.
Be Aware of the Most Common Errors
Did you know that claiming an uncovered charge is one of the most common billing and coding errors? It can be avoided by verifying coverage before rendering a service. Other common errors include missing or incorrect patient information, duplicate billing, and unintentional upcoding or undercoding.
Unfortunately, the simple mistake of misspelling a patient’s name or missing a digit in their address can cause a denial. To avoid this, it’s best to have a plan or procedure for double-checking information is correct before submission.
Duplicate billing happens when services are billed more than once by staff. It’s more likely to occur when there are multiple people inputting data, so make sure staff members are on the same page and aware of each other’s work to prevent this from happening.
Avoid Upcoding or Undercoding Issues
Unintentional upcoding or undercoding can actually result in fines or criminal prosecution since it is illegal. Upcoding happens when codes for services that were never actually carried out get included in a patient’s bill. When done on purpose (illegally), it helps boost the total compensation owed to providers. On the flip side, undercoding happens when codes that should be included in a bill are left out.
The risk of these errors increases when staff is stretched thin and are less able to focus on important details related to billing and coding. For this reason, it can be very helpful to outsource work to professionals like Billing Savi.
Boost Awareness of Important Deadlines
Many healthcare practices encounter problems meeting claims deadlines. This is unfortunate as it is quite difficult to appeal denials for timing reasons. Increasing awareness of important deadlines is a conscious step healthcare practices cantake to tackle this problem.
Setting up reminders and priority lists can be helpful when trying to hit multiple deadlines with limited staff. Use a calendar that sends out alerts and notifications to a handful of people to improve your chances of avoiding late claims.
In fact, a comprehensive checklist that covers all the common errors possible may be a great idea. Have your staff review this checklist to make sure they’ve reviewed any spelling errors, deadlines, and coding specifics before starting the submission process.
Update Patient Information Regularly
Patients often have changes to their information and data as their phone numbers, addresses, and billing info changes. For this reason, it is vital to check insurance information and other personal information every time a patient comes in for an appointment.
With insurance changes, there are often differences in what may be covered for a patient. This can happen if a patient changes jobs or starts receiving benefits from Medicare. Make sure staff is correctly noting policy information and coverage levels while checking that all addresses and subscriber details are accurate.
In conclusion, there are many steps healthcare practices can take to reduce medical billing and coding errors. Having highly trained staff that is up to date on the latest billing information is key to success. Team members should also be aware of common errors and have systems in place to prevent them from happening on a regular basis.
Partnering with professional billing and coding experts can also be a huge asset to healthcare practices looking to avoid costly mistakes, save internal resources, and improve their revenue operations.