Keeping the different revenue streams your practice depends on can be difficult. However, telling the difference between medical billing and mental health billing can be even more complicated. This is even more of a concern when your physician’s assistants can prescribe medicines to help with a patient’s mental health.
Mental Health Billing
The healthcare industry is vast and complex. Mental health professionals will treat their patients in different ways than physicians and general practitioners. Psychiatrists and counselors will do whatever they can to help their clients during therapy sessions. This is different than completing a routine dental cleaning or a hearing test for fitting a patient with hearing aids. Insurance carriers will indicate how long each session should be. The insurance industry also sets how many treatments can occur in a single day and in some cases throughout the week.
This makes the billing process complicated for mental health professionals. They need to make sure that they can keep their income levels high while ensuring that every patient who visits them receives the best quality care. The different office budgets determine the complications that make the billing process even more time-consuming. Private practices handle their own billing instead of outsourcing this duty. This can help keep operating costs low, which is also important. There needs to be someone on staff who understands how to process the different billing codes that change as the years pass. Regulations and practices implemented by the different insurance companies and how to deal with rejections and denials also make the entire process take even more time. Follow all formats that the insurance company dictates. Make sure all filings are timely and ensure the right code is entered. Policy numbers, pre-approvals, and claims are all essential parts of getting all the billing done on time and avoiding issues with payees, insurance companies and legal entities.
Insurance matters. Although sometimes the payees will choose to pay out of pocket, most of the time they will be covered by an insurance carrier. Insurance policies will eventually change and sometimes the coverages will end. You need to confirm with the payees what has happened with their insurance since their last visit. Also, filing done through paper and faxing is slowly going away. Now it is almost impossible to file your bills this way.
Email and digital filing through websites are two forward-looking methods that you will have to adjust to in the coming years. Finally, you should not be reluctant to accept cash payments if that is all that your patients can manage to do when they need to pay for services rendered.
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