The Revenue Cycle Management at your Behavioral Health practice is not a singular function. Instead, a number of different things come together to create an ecosystem that can help maximize income and minimize wait times. There are, however, some common mistakes that can make the cycle less efficient.
Weekly claims submissions
Some practices choose to wait until the end of the week to submit claims. The idea is that the staff doing the submission will be able to devote all their attention to just that task. This is not an ideal practice though. First, it creates more opportunities for paperwork to get misplaced, leading to a delayed or incomplete submission. Secondly, it creates its own delay. If services rendered on Monday are not submitted until Friday, a one-week delay in receiving payment has already happened. Instead, using a provider like Nextus allows you to batch your claims and submit them each day and we can take it from there.
Not resubmitting denied claims
All practices will experience denied claims. Some practices, however, lose money by not resubmitting denied claims. While there is an expense incurred with resubmittal, the results are usually worth it. Denials can result from several reasons. Some of the most common are miscoding or clerical errors, incomplete patient information or filing outside of the allotted time frame. These are all areas in which a billing service provider can be an effective partner. Not only can they catch coding and clerical errors before submission, but they also stay on top of those differences between providers that can cause unnecessary denials. This saves you time and money while reducing your level of felt frustration.
Lack of staff training
You take pride in having a staff that is trained to provide great behavioral health services. Educating them on how their role fits into the revenue cycle management of your practice can pay off as well. Every step of a patient’s care plays into the cycle. For example, patient scheduling and patient registration are foundational for good billing practices and accurate submissions to insurance companies. Inaccuracies in choosing a procedure description or code can create a denial. Coding errors can even result in medical errors and every practice wants to avoid those. Making sure that every staff member involved in the cycle at any level knows not only how to perform their role, but the importance it plays can create an ownership mindset where each one takes responsibility for the process.
Not monitoring the entire claims process
Another important aspect of revenue cycle management is monitoring the processes involved at every point. That may seem like a no-brainer, but for busy behavioral health practices, that can be a stretch sometimes. The heavy administrative burden in the practice can cause attention to be diverted to more immediate issues. When errors or denials are addressed as singular events, trends may not become evident as quickly. The longer it takes for administrators to recognize these trends, the more often the error can occur, and more effort will be spent fixing them. Using a billing solution provider allows them to use tools that flag repeated denials of the same codes or procedures. This allows the practice to proactively make adjustments in their processes that prevent denials and improve the short and long-term revenue cycles.
If you would like to discuss how Nextus Billing Solutions can help your behavioral health practice improve your revenue cycle management, schedule a consultation with us. We are ready to help your practice.