For any typical medical practice, the process of billing is a time-consuming and frustrating process with plenty of margin for errors. The paperwork required to run a practice requires practice and training, thus, it can quickly become overwhelming without professional help.
Medical practitioners nowadays, build themselves a separate team to handle the billing concerns or they also have the option of outsourcing the work to medical billing companies. These issues are there for both standard medical practices and mental health practices.
What Is Mental Health Billing?
The healthcare industry is quite vast and different mental health professionals treat their patients in different ways. Psychiatrists do whatever they can to help their clients recover, during the therapy sessions. This situation is different from going for a routine dental check or cleaning.
In another case a hearing test for fitting hearing aids to a patient. Nowadays, with so many people turning towards insurance, Insurance companies have the power to indicate how long each session should be. The insurance industry also sets how many treatments should occur daily or throughout the week.
All these requirements make the billing process complicated for mental health firms, who need to make sure that they keep their income levels, and profitability high, also ensuring that every patient who visits them gets the best possible care.
The different office budgets set by the insurance companies determine the complications that make the billing process time-consuming. Private practitioners handle their billing instead of outsourcing as it keeps operating costs low, which is a basic need for all kinds of businesses.
What people need to take care of when carrying out billing is that they need to follow all formats that the insurance company provides, make sure all files are completed on time, and also the right code is entered.
How Is It Different From Regular Billing?
In most cases, insurance companies dictate how mental health services are to be provided and how often. They set a limit on therapy sessions which creates a financial barrier for mental health professionals or psychiatrists, on the other hand, normal doctors that perform ear exams or x-rays don’t experience this, which severely limits the quality of the mental practice.
According to data found some years ago, pediatricians were able to bill up to 10 different billing codes for medical visits, but when it came to mental health visits only 1 code could be entered.
Mental health practitioners also operate with fewer staff members, which leaves quite a bit more money on the table due to the inability to properly manage all of the billing needs. Some estimates suggest that as much as 80% of the money owed by insurance companies to mental health practitioners goes uncollected.
Judging by those numbers, you get to understand why mental health billing and behavioral billing are being outsourced more often than others these days.
Billing Concerns For Mental Health Providers
Mental health and behavioral claims are only approved around 85% of the time. This is caused due to several reasons, but the majority are:
Changing Methods And Rules
Insurance policies are always under constant change which eventually lapses. If practitioners don’t make an effort to be active in checking up on these trends and issues, they quickly find themselves trying to handle a lot of paperwork.
This is because mental health practitioners are often notified last of these changes in billing methods. Compliance rules, coding changes, and others need to be followed consistently.
Not keeping up with the changes quickly adds up to the problems when they arise. What mental health providers need to ensure is that you double or triple-check all of your patient’s insurance info before their visit.
Cost is one of the most talked-about issues for mental or behavioral health providers. Higher cost leads to understaffing, which usually takes place in the administrative department.
If you try to cut costs it can cause an overload of work for your staff which can lead to a decreased morale, which makes them less effective. Outsourcing billing to a specialist like Med-Miles drastically reduces the chances of rejected claims and improper coding issues, giving you a feeling of relief and confidence.
Concerns Of Staff
Outsourcing medical billing for behavioral health doesn’t only allow providers to gain access to coding experts who file their claims correctly and professionally for the first time but also opens a window to an entire denial management process that improves payments. With tools like claims scrubbing and real-time tracking, the chances of denied claims are stopped and corrected ASAP.
Tools For Behavioral Medical Billing
With the right and updated software, mental health providers can simplify their billing process. Nowadays there is special software specifically designed for primary care providers which strengthen their mental health practice.
Behavioral health billing involves specialty-specific medical billing codes. Mental health specialists do not use normal codes designated for PCPs and are not bothered by them in the billing process.
Many systems slow specialists down, because of crowding in their billing process with irrelevant information and codes which are never used.
Special software designed specifically for behavioral health specialists offers a ready-made list of the most used codes which leaves out codes your practice will never use.
Other than the most used medical billing codes in your specific specialty, software designed with medical billing software for behavioral health offers a special or custom dashboard. Tailored reports reflect the progress of your billing efforts and what the practice needs to work on to improve overall performance.
Claim Enhancing Tools
The quickest way to compensation is a clean and clear claim. Payers nowadays cover more mental health diagnoses for patients than before, leading to behavioral health experts pushing for more providers to accept insurance for their practice.
Quality software for medical billing contains claim-enhancing tools for behavioral health which keep your claims clean, verify the coverage before providing the services, and enable the practice to receive undelayed payments from payers.
Get Help For Your Mental Health Billing Process
The dynamics of medical billing for behavioral health are always at a state of change with each passing year. This has increased the need for mental health providers to have the right software and resources to be successful.
Here at Med-Miles LLC, we keep up to date with the trends of mental health billing. Combining this knowledge with our IT experts we make sure our collection of bills is consistent and contains fewer errors.