OB/GYN and other medical practices are under more pressure than ever to see more patients while still having to remain compliant with what has proven to be a dynamic regulatory environment. This leaves little time for accurate, compliant and timely medical billing and coding even though the ability to maintain adequate cash flow for the practice depends on it.
The appropriate application of medical billing codes to accurately charge insurers is essential to maintaining the medical practice’s financial condition. Depending on the practices, physicians may rely on office staff or outsource billing services to process their medical bills without reviewing bills prior to submission which can be a costly mistake.
Although the physician’s primary responsibility is patient care, they should remain connected enough to the business side of things to be able to understand when things are working properly and when things are burdening the practice.
MEDbts has worked with OB/GYN and internal medicine practices where the vast majority of the accounts receivable exceeds 180 days and in some instances, exceeding 1 year. This was not due to lack of payment on the patient’s part but rather dirty unprocessed claims. This is unacceptable under any circumstances and the physicians should have recognized the problem and identified the solution much sooner than they did.
OB/GYN physicians work hard for their money yet some may not be receiving the payment they deserve when they fail to actively manage the office billing patterns. Whether your office handles its billing in house or outsources its billing to companies like MEDbts, here are some best practices that you should follow. If you would like assistance with your billing process review, an accounts receivable health check or no obligation quote, please contact MEDbts and one of our account managers will immediately contact you.
Billing & Coding “Office” Best Practices
- Strive to create an open environment for communication.
- Develop a code of professional conduct for all office personnel. This may include an office mission statement and submission to a code of ethics.
- Establish and document standard operating procedures (SOP’s) for billing functions. Whether you bill in house or you utilize outsource billing companies it is important to define your process and do it the same way every time.
- Conduct initial training and implement processes for maintaining coding proficiency.
- Conduct routine audits and process reviews. This can be done once a year by the physician or a consultant auditor.
- Identify and correct deficiencies in your admin and billing processes.
- Enforce consequences for non performing personnel when appropriate. This is never fun but but if an employee is not working under the code of ethics set for your practice, address the issue immediately and decisively. Not only do these employees cost your office money, they are putting your physicians at potential risk for a compliance violation.
MEDbts is located in Scottsdale Arizona and provides medical billing and coding services to medical practices within Arizona and Maricopa County as well as other parts of the United States.