The medical billing process is typically long and complicated. It can be difficult to keep track of all the details and make sure that you are following the right steps. There are many mistakes that can happen during this process, which can lead to a patient’s account being sent to collections.
In this article, we will go over the most common medical billing mistakes and how you can avoid them so that your patients don’t end up with a bad credit score or a debt collector knocking on their door.
What Are Common Medical Billing Mistakes?
Medical billing mistakes can have disastrous consequences. Whether the mistake is with your patient’s personal data or the insurance code, a medical billing mistake can result in some very harsh consequences.
The 4 most common medical billing mistakes are:
It can sometimes be hard to tell when certain services should be billed together and other times it is not, often resulting in a higher total claim. Avoid this by always bundling services done at the same appointment.
- Incorrect Billing
Incorrect billing is when a medical practice charges a patient for incorrect services or for services that they never received. Incorrect billing can also happen when a member of the staff inputs incorrect patient or provider information.
- Duplicate Billing
Duplicate bills often happen when someone accidentally sends the same bill twice. It could be that they failed to notice they already sent the claim and sent another, or it might mean there are duplicate procedures in a patient’s records.
- Upcoding and Undercoding
If you don’t include a medical billing code for less expensive procedures, it can happen for a few different reasons. What matters most is that under coding always appears suspicious and your office can get into trouble – same with upcoding.
Many medical facilities are faking the severity of procedures they offer in order to receive higher payments. This is the definition of upcoding and it’s a form of fraud that can lead to significant financial losses.
Hiring a medical billing company can prevent many of these common medical billing errors. Medical billing companies use billing software that effectively minimizes the chances of medical billing mistakes. These billing mistakes can ultimately have a negative effect on your office and your patients.
How Billing Mistakes Negatively Impact Your Office
If you think making medical billing mistakes won’t impact your office, think again. This is what can happen when you consistently make billing mistakes:
- Hiring Extra Staff = Extra Expenses
When a mistake is made in the medical billing process for your office, you’ll have to hire additional staff in order to fix the mistakes and current workload. This means extra expenses that wouldn’t have needed to be spent if the mistakes were avoided in the first place.
- Delayed Payments
The delayed billing caused by your remittance process makes it more difficult to project cash flow, as you can’t reliably know when revenue and expenses are expected to come in. This means that while the delays may be reasonable, this only complicates things when you need to explain why your rent is late or tell the insurance company that you are behind in processing payments.
- Stressed and Confused Patients
Explaining medical billing to a patient can be tricky, especially when it comes to medical billing errors. Someone who is sick or unable to work (because of an injury) may be worried about having to pay for their doctor’s visits and treatment. An unhappy patient is more likely to share their grief with family and friends. Negative word of mouth is the last thing you want for your office.
- Unsatisfactory Revenue Cycle Management
The revenue cycle typically starts when an appointment is booked and concludes with the bill being paid in full. A short cycle is best while long cycles may indicate problems in your office’s revenue cycle.
All of these mistakes can be avoided when you take the proper precautions and you have a professional medical billing company working for your office.
How to Prevent Medical Billing Mistakes with Our Medical Billing Company
Medical billing is a tedious process for medical providers, but with the help of AMS Solutions, it doesn’t have to be. Our comprehensive medical billing company provides a wide array of billing services for all medical providers. No matter what you need from us, we’re ready to tackle it!
We even offer a free practice audit!
Contact us today to get yours. You can also call us at (214) 522-0210.