May 18, 2016
Patient satisfaction can be enhanced by ensuring a smooth workflow.
Patient satisfaction is a priority and ideally must be one for all the medical set ups. Delivering care and ensuring administrative demands do not come in way of providing care. Here are a few tips on streamlining ambulance billing that leads to better patient satisfaction.
One of the most commonly committed mistakes by billing companies is saying OK to any insurance payment without giving a second thought to the payor. What actually happens is that after the payment is posted with a portion remaining unpaid. This portion, by oversight is often sent to the patient. What’s worse is the provider has got an amount which is actually less than what was rightfully due. Billing companies need to remember that 911 service providers are entitled for 100% of the charges, except for copays and deductibles. Whether it is Medicare, Medicaid, any other insurance company or the patient, the focus should be on getting the correct amount due.
High on the priority list of billing companies is managing denials efficiently because they can happen for a plethora of reasons, with each payor having its own reasons. Medicare and Medicaid, of course, are very particular when it comes to shooting out denials, and one can’t afford to violate any of their rules. As far as a 911 provider is concerned denials can happen due to sloppy processing by the billing company, incorrect coding often leads to denial. Even incorrect spelling of the name of a patient, wrongly entered date or birth or any other such personal information can lead to denial. These are all preventable mistakes, hence double checking can prevent unnecessary delays in reimbursement.
It should be clearly understood that billing companies are not always eager to cut your check as they have other important things to attend to. It is up to the billing company to follow up religiously on claims to ensure that reimbursements are made on time. It is important to establish that the claim was received and is under process and that the payment is pending, provided it doesn’t end up as a denial. Constant review of outstanding claims in addition to handling the flow of fresh claims helps in keeping track of payments and helps prevent denials at the last minute.
A prompt Accounts Receivable report helps in keeping track of the performance of a billing company. A neatly tabled report would essentially have the current accounts receivable amounts list with the number of days they are old clearly mentioned. This is a ready reckoner of your entire claims activity for whatever period (30, 60 or 90 days) the longer it takes to realize a payment, the less the chances of recovery. An efficiently managed billing company would have this information at the finger tips so that a speedy resolution is at sight.
Have set goals
There should be a fixed budget for ambulance collections for each year. If required, you may have to increase your collections budget by a couple of percentage points just the way Medicare does. Your ambulance collections should always match the increase in base rate and mileage every year. It is better to include the company in a budgeting process to arrive at the correct figures for each year. It would do well for the emergency medical service providers to compare the projected cash collections and the actual cash collections made during the month.
Best Billing and Coding Practices