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Medical Billing and Coding Collection Tips

medical billing and codingOnce you’ve completed your medical billing and coding training and are working in your new career, there are some things you’ll need to know in order to keep everything rolling along smoothly. One aspect of medical billing and coding you may not have considered is the fact that you’ll have to deal with collections. In this article we are going to lay out a medical billing and coding collection strategy that will keep the physician’s office you work with on the right path.

Medical Billing and Coding Collection Tips

The main point to keep in mind when working in your new medical billing and coding career is to NOT TAKE SHORTCUTS! By implementing good business practices and collection procedures in the first place, you can avoid headaches and maintain a steady cash flow.

Proactive medical billing and coding collection procedures include the following:

  • Always acquire complete insurance and demographic information from the patient.
  • Obtain an original copy of the patient’s social security card information and keep a copy in your files. Just because they provide you with a number does not mean the information you receive is correct.
  • Always ask your patient if new insurance information is available or if changes have been made to their existing policy.
  • Check insurance eligibility of existing patients often and never enter a new patient into the system without verifying insurance coverage.
  • Be sure to collect your copayments and deductibles at the time of service whenever possible. Many medical billing and coding specialists don’t stop to consider the fact that if a copayment of $5.00 is not collected at time of service and a statement needs to be mailed out in order to receive payment, your office has just lost money. Take a no-nonsense approach to collections.

Okay, that’s the first part of streamlining the medical billing and coding process. What we just gave up above are tips to do on the front end in order to avoid the collection process whenever possible. Next are the tips you’ll need to put in place for the actual collections.

Proper Medical Billing and Coding Collection Practices

  • Process your claims daily and whenever possible use electronic billing for your insurance carriers. Keeping up with your claims is the best way to insure timely payments and maximum cash flow.
  • Conduct insurance follow-ups in a timely manner. Many physician’s offices and medical practices fail in this area. Delays in your follow-ups can result in loss of payment just because the claim will end up falling through the cracks. Sometimes errors take place through no fault of the insurance carrier. What if you sent the claim over to the wrong insurance company? If they don’t make a courtesy call to you to let you know, you won’t be paid by the correct carrier and they have no idea they owe you money.
  • Instead of sending a re-bill to the carrier, which is more time consuming, pick up the phone and give them a call.
  • If you have exhausted all other resources and are still having a hard time collecting from a carrier, involving the patient is the best way to handle the situation. When the provider does not pay, the patient is ultimately responsible.

These tips will help you to prosper in your medical billing and coding business!

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