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Monthly Archives: January 2016

Increase Your Revenue in 2016 with Professional Billing Services

billing services for medical practicesMedical billing is a crucial part of running any healthcare practice. Providers depend on accurate and efficient billing practices in order to receive reimbursements from payers in a timely manner.

With numerous PQRS and meaningful use requirements, running an efficient practice is becoming more difficult. Staff members and healthcare professionals are required to stay up to date with PQRS, meaningful use, and a new ICD-10 code. It can be easy to become overwhelmed and frustrated with billing tasks when your top priority is giving your patients the time and attention they need.

Reimbursements from payers aren’t always clear or timely, and it can become burdensome to keep up with the costs of running a practice. Roughly $125 billion dollars misses the hands of physicians due to billing errors each year. Outsourcing billing services can solve numerous administrative difficulties and can help your practice dramatically increase revenue.

Reduce billing errors to ensure claims payment

Insurance companies are sticklers when it comes to correctly reporting medical codes and adhering to billing regulations. A missed code or billing error will result in a rejected payment. If this happens, physicians then have to enter into a long process of interaction with the insurance company in order to fix the mistake and apply for the payment a second time.

Medical billing professionals are thoroughly trained and experienced in medical billing to ensure accurate reporting so that providers get paid the first time a claim is sent. Accurately submitting claims results in increased reimbursements for the practice and quicker receipt of these payments.

Comply with medical billing rules and regulations

Billing regulations change frequently and cause frustration for physicians who are busy keeping up-to-date with changes regarding PQRS and meaningful use regulations, as well as learning an entirely new ICD-10 code. In addition, continuing education and training courses can be costly and time-consuming.

Lack of medical necessity is a common billing error that occurs when sufficient information for a patient’s diagnosis is not given to the medical coder. This could then lead to submitting a bill with the wrong code, and a denied claim by the insurance company.  Medical billing professionals stay current on all medical billing regulations, medical procedures, and ICD codes, ensuring compliance and lower cost for the practice.

Save money to allocate office expenses elsewhere

Smaller healthcare practices tend to place billing responsibilities on administrative staff, giving them too much responsibility and spreading them too thin. Overwhelmed by office tasks and ensuring a comfortable patient experience may not allow office staff the time to ensure maximum return on claims. In addition, too much work and office responsibility do not allow them the time to resubmit denied claims or to fight for delayed payments.

For hospitals and large clinics requiring their own billing department, office space needed for a billing department and the costs of retaining employees also present a financial burden. Using a medical billing service also helps ease the stress of retaining employees needed to staff a billing department. By outsourcing billing, practices can cut costs on office expenses, costly software updates, and can allow administrative staff to focus on their primary responsibilities.

Make operations more efficient

Administrative tasks are becoming more convoluted with PQRS and meaningful use requirements. A lot of time is used to educate staff members on the regulations that change frequently. Outsourcing billing services help ease the administrative workload in the office, so staff members can focus on running an efficient practice. With less burden of responsibility in the office and more efficiency, the practice may even be able to accept new patients and take more appointments throughout the day, whereas before this may have seemed impossible.

Retain existing patients and entice new ones

Physicians may easily become distracted by billing compliance and reimbursement disputes from payers. Delayed or denied payments can cause frustration and can significantly decrease the quality of the practice and may even affect the retention of patients.

Spending less time on admin work means that healthcare professionals can then focus more on patient relationships and care. This type of environment will help any practice retain current patients and attract new patients. 

For more information on medical billing services, contact us online or call us at 480-821-1371.

Tips for Documenting Patient Visits for Mental Health Professionals Using Mental Health EMR Software & Patient Portal

mental health 1st providers choiceMental health professionals diagnose a wide range of emotional, cognitive and behavioral disorders. In addition to diagnosing these disorders, mental health professionals must also evaluate the impact and severity of the condition on the individual’s ability to care for one’s self, to conduct daily activities, and to work.

With such a wide range of responsibilities, how can mental health professionals efficiently document patient encounters while fulfilling compliance regulations?

Consider using CRM (Customer Relationship Management) Software

First used for marketing purposes, CRM has now found its way into medical practices to improve the relationship between the physician and the patient by targeting patients who may benefit from appointment reminders or new services and products offered by the practice.

CRM software may also be used to manage the customer database. This software can be used to track how long a patient has been with the practice, dates of any transactions or exams, and any key conversation notes.

Mental Health Patient Portal

Self-assessment forms can serve as a powerful tool for collecting subjective data from patients. This method of documentation allows individuals to answer questions regarding their emotional and physical history in a timeline that best fits their needs, alleviating any stress that may come with recalling and discussing this history in person. This can all be done from a mental health specific patient portal. 1st Providers Choice currently offers a mental health specific patient portal with over 20 different self-assessment forms.

These forms will help the individual recognize potentially troublesome symptoms and can help the physician identify possible traumatic events that occurred in the patient’s life that may attribute to their condition. By using these self-assessment forms in a patient portal it can save the mental health provider significant time on initial intake and diagnosis. Data entered in the patient portal automatically flows into the initial exam notes, providing the physician with the patient’s main reason for their visit, the patient’s medical history and any current medications being taken.

Refer to the DSM-5 for Documenting Newly Implemented ICD-10 Codes

The DSM-5 is a guide for mental health professionals with a depth of criteria which helps providers arrive at the correct diagnosis for their patients. This manual also contains all corresponding ICD-10 codes for each diagnosis, which allows physicians to document more specifically the patient’s condition.

Organize Notes With IMS and Voice Recognition Software

IMS software for mental health offers unique templates for running a mental health practice as well as tools that analyze meaningful use requirements. In addition to IMS software, Mental Health  EMR software with voice recognition makes note-taking for mental health professionals efficient by eliminating the need for transcription services. The software also offers secure features to keep confidential audio files safely stored.

At 1st Providers Choice, we are dedicated to helping healthcare providers efficiently run their practice and meet compliance regulations in order to strengthen the relationship and care of the patient. For more information on 1st Providers’ Choice Mental Health EMR software with voice recognition technologies, contact us online or call 480-782-1116.