An ambulance is a part of Emergency Medical Services (EMS), which is a billable event and most of the insurance companies such as Medicaid and Medicare compensate for it. Billing and coding for ambulance services may be complex owing to different modes of transportation like air, water, and ground. Apart from this, reimbursement of ambulance transportation rates could vary with a large margin depends on the types of services offered to each patient. However, errors in any kind of medical billing could impact negatively the relationship with your patients. As per the article published in the WALL STREET JOURNAL anticipated that approximately 30% to 40% of bills have errors.
There are some common errors in ambulance transportation billing are as follows:
- Coding Errors
- Procedural Errors
- Fee schedule errors
Without wasting much time let’s jump on to the discussion of errors one by one.
1. Coding Errors
Billers are trained in such a way that they are able to understand the run sheets and select the desired codes, which identifies the condition of the patient properly in order to make proper reimbursement.
Experienced medical coders are comfortable with their workflow. As a result of which they do not spend more time observing new codes in order to make sure that they are utilizing the most appropriate codes. Additionally, they do not undergo the process of crosschecking after entering codes. Nevertheless, with thousands of Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes, it is normal to select false procedural code when finishing claims, specifically with the addition of new codes that could result in coding errors.
2. Procedural Errors
Medical billers are assigned with keeping healthcare service providers on the strong financial ground via satisfying patients with proper and consistent processing of their claims. In order to lower claim denials, a team of expert medical coders, which can keep an eye on diagnoses, outpatient procedures, and thousands of codes for medical procedures will definitely help you. Moreover, the familiarity of this team with Medicare as well as ambulance transport services’ insurance guidelines will minimize or nullify the procedural errors.
3. Fee Schedule Errors
There are about four methods of billing enabled by carriers presently as follows:
- Suppliers are compensated at a comprehensive base rate showing all mileage, services, and supplies.
- Suppliers are paid at a base rate with different charges for not only mileage but also for supplies
- Suppliers are compensated at a base rate in order to add supplies with a designated charge for mileage
- Suppliers are compensated at a base rate in order to add services mileage but designated charges for supplies.
In order to avoid fee schedule errors, ambulance transportation billing services must aware of the above methods. Moreover, the analysis should be done to avoid errors in fee scheduling and find out the requirement for itemized billing or one, which allows mileage and base rate only.
Operational errors are considered common errors in every industry. As far as Medicare is concerned, optimizing billing and coding errors could impact positively the revenue cycle.