Medical billing is already complicated. Medical billing becomes even more complex when it is being done for mental health services. The facilities that offer mental health billing services are usually put at a disadvantage relative to other areas of the industry because of the specific services that are offered, concerns with unbundling, and the staff’s availability.
By learning about mental health billing and all its processes, providers will be able to spend more time working with their patients instead of dealing with paperwork.
So, what can mental health providers do to triumph over all the challenges that medical billing places in front of them? Here are suggestions we have on how mental health billing practices can be more efficient and effective at billing their services, which will result in fewer denials, more time working with patients, and more money in the business.
Double-Check the Insurance and Coverage for All Patients
Prior to each patient visiting, you should know all their benefits and insurance plans. While this can be a time-consuming task, you will make great returns on your time investment. To figure out what coverage all your patients have, we advise you to conduct what is known as a verification of benefits before providing services or treatments to any patient.
A verification of benefits (VOB) reviews a patient’s policy regarding what services they will be receiving for their visit, and it also gives providers information that will not be found on patients’ insurance cards. Getting a VOB performed is critical because the service that you give your patient might not be covered, even if they have insurance that is currently active, so you want to clarify that everything is covered beforehand.
Know CPT Codes
CPT codes, also known as common procedural technology codes, are used by insurance providers to figure out how much reimbursement healthcare facilities will receive. When handling mental health billing, or any other kind of medical billing, knowing what services are offered by your practice is a must, and you must also understand the CPT codes. Some providers might try using the same CPT codes for all their patients, but you should avoid doing this because it’s not legal.
There are two CPT code types that you are likely to use. First, there are E/M codes, which are used when looking at a medical issue that is brand new. The other type is psychiatric evaluation codes, which are supposed to be used for diagnostic assessments.
You can lower the likelihood of running into claim rejections if you understand which CPT code you should use in each situation.
Know How to Submit Your Claims Properly
If you want your claim to be reimbursed, you have to file the proper code to the right insurer. On top of that, you must also submit the claim using the right billing format, and the format you use can change with each insurance company. Get to know the filing methods that each insurance company uses, and make sure to file within the allotted time the insurance plan allows.
For specialized health centers, big insurance companies will often use the UB-04 form, so it is best to get acquainted with it. You can fill out this claim either digitally or with paper. By guaranteeing that your claim gets filled out the right way, you will not have to spend as much time on it.
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