Top 10 Tips That Can Help You Improve Your Chiropractic Billing Practices in 2022
When it comes to chiropractic billing, efficiency is the name of the game. To help you improve your billing process, so you can focus on what matters most, here are our top 10 tips that can help you out.
- Enter once. Check twice. No matter the technology, nothing works better than a double-check system. You will save hours of time in your billing department by avoiding data entry errors. Depending on the size and set-up of your practice, data entry should ideally be checked at the end of each shift, or at least at the end of each business day.
- Complete your treatment notes. Just like you want your patients to follow through on care, your billing department really wishes you would follow through on treatment notes. Ideally, your treatment note should be finished as part of your time scheduled with each patient. A secondary goal is 24 hours. If for a reason that will never make sense to a biller you choose not to complete your notes within 24 hours you should complete them no later than the next date of claims billing.
- Bill your claims on a regularly scheduled basis. Claims should be billed at least once per week, on a scheduled basis. Knowing what day/s your claims billing will be done allows for procedures to be built around double-check systems & treatment note completion in conjunction with when the claims will be billed. Some will argue that claims should be billed daily. Unless the provider enters charges and submits each individual charge at the time of treatment, I would argue otherwise. Redundant processes that do not garner a significant change in result take time away from something else that could. Billing every day will not collect you more money in an average month than billing weekly. However, it will take you more time – time you could have spent doing something else that would actually increase your collections.
- Work with a reputable clearinghouse. As technology continues to advance, your clearinghouse has become a vital part of your billing process. More and more rejections/denials no longer print to a paper EOB, but happen electronically at the clearinghouse level. Be sure to work with a reputable clearinghouse, take advantage of their training & support, and set aside dedicated time to review and follow up on your rejections & errors weekly.
- Sign up for EFT/ACH payments when possible. Many insurance carriers require you to sign up for direct deposit (EFT/ACH). The industry is going to continue to move in this direction until it’s a requirement for all companies. Not only are you delaying the inevitable, but you are also creating roadblocks for your billing department. EFT/ACH pays faster, is easier to post, and is easier to track & follow up on. Side note: for those of you who are excited about the virtual pay credit card payments from insurance carriers, don’t be. They may seem like a workaround but as with all credit card processing, there are fees attached. In many cases, not only are you charged a % processing fee but you are also charged a flat fee for choosing this option vs. choosing EFT/ACH.
- Know your websites. I would estimate that at least 70% of insurance companies have some form of a website/provider portal for you to set up & access. In most cases, websites will give you access to eligibility, benefits & claims information. Though in the end a website can not always replace having to pick up the phone, a website is faster than a phone call so it should be utilized as often as possible.
- Keep a Flip chart. A flip chart is a collection of important information that you can ‘flip’ through and reference in your billing department. It should list your clinic demographics, provider names, Tax ID, group & individual NPIs, networks you are in-network for, major networks you are out-of-network for, which insurances pay via direct deposit, and which websites you have access to, etc. It’s a mini-manual on the most important information to have on hand in your billing department.
- Designate time. Billing & claims follow-up is not something that can be done successfully between patients and/or at the front desk while answering phones. Follow-up requires time; time to research and time to make phone calls. Not just any kind of time, but focused uninterrupted time. Just like billing your claims, your claims follow-up time should be a scheduled recurring block(s) of uninterrupted time every week.
- Get into the groove. This one piggybacks on #8. It’s common knowledge that when scheduling patients most practices have uptime and downtime. Existing patients are scheduled during certain blocks of time, exams during certain blocks of time, and paperwork during downtime. Why? Because you get into a groove – a rhythm that makes you more productive and focused on your patient care during the times when you should be. This concept works exactly the same in billing. Designating specific blocks of time for specific tasks allows you to get into a rhythm, which makes you more productive. You will accomplish more in 4-hours of focus time than you will in 2 days of ‘fitting it in between patients’.
- Know your Numbers. Micro-managing is not an effective tool for managing your billing department. Neither is ignorance. Instead, you should determine Key Point Indicators (KPIs) that you track on a weekly and/or monthly basis to give you averages over time. Doing this consistently will naturally help point to areas that need improvements AND areas that should be celebrated. For example, if one of your KPI’s is the payer payment ratio (write-offs not included), you would track your services, and payer payments each month to determine your ratio. If this number is lower than you expect, you know to raise it, you have to make changes that directly affect an insurance company paying you more (ie: unnecessary write-offs like no authorization, evaluating fee schedules, treatment note denials, etc.).
Now that you know what our top 10 tips in 2022 are, which one of these will you be applying in your practice?
It is also important to note if you’re trying to improve efficiency in your chiropractic billing and ensure you get paid on time, it’s a good idea to have a specialist who can make sure that billing is done correctly.
MTB offers many great resources to help you improve your chiropractic billing practices. Visit our complete billing management service page to find out more about our dedicated team and our seamless billing management process.