Mental health professionals have a lot on their plate; being able to find time for administrative tasks can be hard enough before you even account for time spent with patients. One of the most common complaints that we hear from mental health professionals is the excess amount of time that is spent on tasks related to their in-house billing team. How are you supposed to balance time spent on administrative duties as well as time spent with patients (and all the subsequent paperwork)?
More and more practices are switching to remote billing services for their mental health practices. The rules of the insurance billing game constantly change and it can be difficult to keep up with the trends if you have a billing team that isn’t experienced or well-connected.
Mental Health Billing Tips
If you are looking to boost your reimbursement for your private mental health practice, there are a few things you can do to avoid denied claims. Don’t live in fear of bankruptcy while trying to care for your patients; employing an experienced mental health biller can pay for itself many times over. Under-coding even one visit per day can cost an average of $8,000 per year.
- Know your Current Procedural Terminology (CPT Codes) like the back of your hand. These codes are used by mental health professionals – such as psychologists – in order to bill Medicaid or insurance companies.
- Know the most common codes. For example, most individual psychotherapy sessions are billed for 90834 (individual psychotherapy, 45 minutes). The clinician in charge of the office must ensure that they are using the right code for the biller to accurately process a billing claim.
- Make sure that to evaluate a client’s insurance every time they step into the office. Some patients may be unaware of changes to their insurance policy and it is your job to always check.
- Always make sure to keep up to date with the ICD-10 and CPT codes. There are hundreds of coding changes each year that influence mental health billing. Make sure to check the areas that deal with substance abuse, as this is a growing and ever-changing area of mental health billing.
- Make sure your mental health billing software is up-to-date. Research the latest technology and trends in the industry and have the proper hardware to back it up. Slow computers or internet connections can mean less money for the biller and the practitioner.
- Analyze denied claims. How you deal with the frustration of denied claims is what separates a good biller from a great one. Approximately 15% of claims are never paid due to errors in billing. Almost 50% of re-submitted claims are never paid either. Knowing common errors and patterns of error can help you decrease your denial rate.
Mental Health Billing Specialist
The Psych Biller gives your mental health practice individualized attention from experienced billers that will promptly return all phone calls, emails, and client contacts. Our full-time billing office is cost-effective, HIPAA compliant, and keeps records of all client billings and interactions. In-house billing is old news, and with over 90% of small practices thinking about the switch to outsourced billing, the choice is a no-brainer. Having a more experienced team at the Psych Biller allows for steadier cash flow, decreased errors, reduced record management, storage of paper, less billing headaches, and quicker fulfilled claims. Put 18 years of medical billing experience to work for you and your practice. The results will speak for themselves.
If you are in need of mental health billing services for psychiatric offices, contact The Psych Biller today!