Common Challenges in Dermatology Billing and How to Overcome?

Dermatological clinics provide services that are vital to the health of our community, but billing may provide various difficulties. Billing and coding for surgeries and medical treatments can be more complicated for dermatologists, and the extensive record-keeping required consumes valuable time. Collaborating with a dermatology billing expert company can boost your practice’s productivity.

Along with medical billing and credentialing services, you will receive assistance in evaluating and managing your existing billing practices. Creating an improved coding and billing system can help your practice refrain from common issues.

Common Medical Billing Challenges for Dermatologists

Understanding prevalent issues in dermatology billing and coding is essential for enhancing practice preparedness in managing them effectively.

Different Coding Systems

Dermatologists utilize procedure codes to delineate the services and care provided to each patient. The dermatologist’s office then submits claims for insurance billing, with payment determined by various coding systems.

Healthcare practitioners use two key coding systems to interact with insurance companies:

  1. The International Classification of Diseases (ICD)
  2. Current Procedural Terminology (CPT).

Dermatology medical coding frequently requires familiarity with both systems. The ICD codes are used to classify medical problems. Dermatology CPT codes are required for many in-office procedures, including skin biopsy specimens, excisions, and destructions. There are hundreds of codes, here are some of the CPT Codes used in dermatology coding.

11102  Tangential biopsy of skin; single lesion
11107  Incisional biopsy of skin; each separate/additional lesion
40490  Biopsy of lip
69100  Biopsy of the external ear
17311  Mohs micrographic technique on the head, neck, hands, feet; the first stage
11403  Excision, benign lesion including margins; trunk, arms, or legs
96900  Actinotheraphy

In addition, your practice invoices for office visits and inpatient treatments using Evaluation and Management (E/M) codes in the CPT system. Your hospital must comprehend each coding system thoroughly and discern when to apply them appropriately for billing your services and time accurately.

Obsolete Patient Information

Patient data, particularly insurance details, undergoes frequent alterations, annually and sometimes within the year due to changes in employment. Patients may relocate without updating their address, leading to non-receipt of bills. Consequently, your practice may invest time in submitting claims to incorrect entities due to outdated patient information.

This scenario also necessitates additional time from your administrative team to rectify the issue, thereby impeding prompt receipt of payments.

Documentation Requirements and Compliance Challenges

Medical billing documentation functions as a legally binding record, substantiating the medical services rendered and the reasons for patient encounters. It plays a crucial role in billing dermatology services and serves as evidential support in legal proceedings when necessary.

Numerous dermatology practices need help in providing comprehensive and accurate medical documentation. Challenges may arise from insufficient understanding of modifiers, incorrect utilization of post-operative periods, or other compliance-related issues.

Modifiers are critical in defining Evaluation and Management (E/M) medical billing and coding procedures. Inadequate information may lead to excessive use of modifiers such as 25 or 59. Modifier 59, which is expressly specified for specific procedural treatments, may face scrutiny from regulatory agencies such as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid treatments (CMS) and insurance companies. Errors in documentation and compliance can have a major influence on reimbursement rates.

Strategies to Enhance Medical Billing Efficiency

Implementation of tailored office protocols can mitigate prevalent challenges and streamline the billing process within your practice. Access to appropriate medical billing resources fosters precise coding practices and potentially increases reimbursement rates.

Verify and update patient information

Upon patients’ arrival for their appointment, validate their information, encompassing any alterations to their address or insurance details. Contemplate scanning their insurance card for comparison with the existing record and inquire about any changes in their residential status.

Regularly validating patient information during each visit is paramount to maintaining the most current and precise data within your office.

Gathering Copayments Upon Patient Arrival

It is advisable to implement a practice policy that collects any appropriate copayments from patients upon check-in. This proactive strategy reduces the risks associated with late payments or patient reluctance to settle invoices.

Patients usually expect copayment transactions throughout their appointments because it is normal. If possible, accept cash-based copayments to avoid the difficulties connected with personal checks or credit card surcharges.

Timely Submission of Claims

Promptly submitting your billing claims to payers can enhance the likelihood of receiving full reimbursement. Timely submission improves the clean claims ratio, potentially leading to more favorable reimbursements for your practice. 

Super cheat sheet with commonly used codes

Your clinic/hospital can prevent paperwork and billing issues by producing a cheat sheet of the most commonly used dermatological billing codes. This may include codes for skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema contact dermatitis, problems with acne, and warts.

Your hospital may also label common skin cancers, biopsies, and stitch removal. You know your practice best, therefore your cheat sheet should include your most often-used codes for easy reference.

Monitoring Unpaid Claims

Keeping track of all claim submissions allows you to track money received from payers and assess the status of pending claims. If a claim has gone unpaid for an extended period, consider contacting the payer before resubmitting it. Often, a simple phone call might prompt the payer to take necessary actions.

Struggling with dermatology billing challenges? Learn how Legacy AR can transform your practice!

Recover Legacy AR - Medical Billers and Coders

To overcome coding and billing issues, your dermatology clinic can improve its billing strategy by collaborating with reputed service providers like us. Our comprehensive array of medical billing and practice management services is an excellent solution for tackling payment and productivity issues within your clinic.

Our medical billing services conduct a full evaluation of your present coding and billing methods, identifying areas for improvement and efficiency gains. This streamlined strategy reduces the operational stress involved with operating your dermatology office, while also increasing reimbursements and giving you more time to dedicate to patient care.

Reach out today at 888-357-3226 or to enhance your reimbursement process and boost overall practice efficiency.