Surprisingly, it is not unusual for many chiropractors to lose a substantial amount of income due to medical billing mistakes. Some mistakes are easy to fix, and admittedly, others are much more complex. The reality is that clinics generally consider medical billing one department of their business with no real understanding of what goes into it. Let’s investigate some of the common mistakes that are made as well as a few solutions to get your billing back on track. Some of the most common medical billing mistakes made at chiropractic clinics are:
- Not following up on unpaid claims. Unfortunately, many of the billing mistakes boil down to lack of systematic follow-up and lack of staff who are dedicated to this specific task. With no follow-up those unpaid claims can really hit your bottom line.
- Not resubmitting rejected claims. Rejected claims can be difficult to navigate through, and it isn’t uncommon for a chiropractic clinic to give up rather than fix the issues and resubmit.
- They do not learn the software. If this is true for you or your clinic, you should know that not learning the software is common in all businesses. First, the time and effort to fully learn all features of the software are rarely dedicated in the front end. After the expense of the initial software, clinics often don’t invest in the full training and believe they or their staff will learn as they go. This can then lead to a lack of updates, and lack of using strong tools and protections the software may offer. The result is when you don’t know how to use your software you will mess up your account balances. When you mess up your account balances you don’t know what to follow up on and you cannot properly follow up or bill your patients.
- They don’t watch the bottom line. Most of us are familiar with the phrase, keep your eye on the ball, when it comes to the health of your business someone needs to always have an eye on your fiscal ball. Even with the absolute best intentions, many chiropractors lose focus of their bottom line. (We get it, you’re busy healing people!) But when you drop focus little and big billing errors start to substantially add up. The truth is, by the time many clinics realize that they have dropped the fiscal ball, it is too late.
- Lack of well-trained and dedicated staff. Even if the staff hired to handle chiropractic billing was well-trained, the reality is that unless the clinic is dedicated to on-going education and equally dedicated to staying on top of never-ending insurance changes, the staff is no longer trained. It is also common that not enough staff are hired to really handle all the billing. One or two office staff are often tasked with more than they could possibly keep up with and the complexity of those tasks is often underrated.
- Clerical Errors. While true misspellings or number mix ups are an actual huge issue in holding up insurance claims, it runs deeper than just a typo. Clerical errors can include typos, not updating patient records, not submitting the claim on time, coding errors, or a myriad of other issues.
- Failure to verify insurance coverage. Before providing care to a patient, it’s critical to verify insurance coverage and benefits to avoid denials or delays of payment.
It is critical to the success of any chiropractor or chiropractic clinic to get a full grasp on their billing, and billing errors. Errors in billing cause payment delays and payment denials. They can also cause recoupments, fines, and audits. Most importantly, they can frustrate your client base. Here are a few suggestions on how to navigate through some of these common errors.
- Invest in education. Invest in your staff by offering on-going learning opportunities to keep them up to date with current billing trends, policies and procedures. Learn software by working with the provider online or other training venues to make full use of all the software has to offer.
- Take time to fully understand your financials. It is perfectly understandable that you might not have a firm grasp on your financials, or honestly, even the slightest clue on how to read them. Make sure that you either learn how to understand basic fiscal management of your clinic or hire someone who can (and will) keep their eye on the ball.
- Look for the weak spots. If you watch your financials, you’ll likely start to see weak spots. Focus on those weak spots first. If you notice a lot of unpaid claims, focus on why and then put systems in place to prevent further claim issues. If you notice your staff is struggling to keep up, consider added staff or training. Take the time to do a deep dive into understanding where your weak spots are.
- Outsource your medical billing. Outsourcing your medical billing will improve accuracy and compliance, increase your revenue, supply access to technology and resources, reduce administrative burdens and enhance customer satisfaction.
Money Tree Billing is a chiropractic billing company who removes the distraction of billing from your office so you can focus on changing lives through chiropractic care. Money Tree Billing offers complete billing cycle management through a dedicated and seamless billing process. We empower you and your team with support beyond just billing. Focus on your practice and your passion and we’ll focus on getting you paid. We GUARANTEE our work. Money Tree Billing guarantees if your insurance claim goes unpaid due to our error, that we will credit you the amount you would have been paid on that claim. You won’t find another guarantee like it in the industry. To learn more about Money Tree Billing, and our one-of-a-kind guarantee, visit www.moneytreebilling.com,