We’ve all seen it, the image of the iceberg where the tip of the iceberg shows above ground, but it isn’t until you see the entire iceberg that you realize the true size and scope is massive. Many chiropractors and clinics have been sold a similarly deceiving concept by medical billing software companies. “If you buy our software your medical billing is as simple as pressing this button.” For professional medical billing employees and businesses, that assertion is simply so far from the reality of medical billing that they welcome the opportunity to show you the rest of the process, just like the iceberg, the part you can’t see unless you look below the surface. Speaking of below the surface, let us introduce you to the back end of chiropractic billing.
Before any “button can be pushed” to submit your billing, there is a lot of information you need to have available and understand. You do need a clear and documented plan on how to not only stay on top of medical billing, but also to keep your team educated in constant insurance industry changes, technology or software changes, evaluation code changes, etc. You need to understand the time your staff will need to truly be an effective medical biller and allow for that time. If you outsource your billing to a billing company, you need to make sure they have highly professional and dedicated staff that are invested in and understand these concepts as well. And you must have a firm grasp on the financial health of your clinic. Remember, being able to simply pay your bills is not a good measure of business success.
A few examples of the back end of medical billing are things such as arrears; are you rotating through them and confirming that you were not having any sort of electronic issues? Are the claims erroring out or rejecting? Who is watching at the end of the period? Are you aware of when electronic payments are coming through and What you are getting by paper? Did you get paid for the things you should, and is follow-up needed for anything that didn’t process right? What type of follow-up? Not only do you need to know all of this in general, but you need to know it per insurance company, and per state you work in. How about missing claims? Missing claims simply can’t be avoided. It isn’t your billing person or billing company, it isn’t a software glitch, it is just a reality in billing. What is the process for evaluating aged claims, claims that are 20-30 days or older? Not a big deal? Timely filing limits are a thing, and those time restraints are important to your bottom line. Whom do you have available to answer customer claim questions, manage patient statements, payments, and reviewing the account for accuracy? Who is being invested in to continuously go through education to keep up with all the changes?
A common reality for a lot of billing staff, especially in small and medium-sized chiropractic clinics, is that billing is just a part of the job. They are not given the time or space they need to do effective billing. They may be trying to help a customer, answer the phone, and watch the lobby. With all these duties there is never a moment of quiet where serious focus can be given to what is arguably the second most important part of a successful chiropractic clinic.
Being able to pay your bills is great news for you and your clinic, especially in those early years. Whether you are a new clinic or a seasoned expert, your measure of financial success should never be about just paying your bills. Were you able to invest in the clinic, yourself or your staff? What is your patient experience like? Can you do raises or bonuses? Are you growing? Every clinic has its own measure of success, but don’t forget the importance of evaluating what that means for you on a regular basis, and then acting on your findings.
Pushing the submit button truly is the very tip of the iceberg. Understanding and investing in your medical billing system, whether outsourcing or investing in staff, should be considered an integral part of your clinic’s success. We understand that there is a lot to know when it comes to medical billing, and it can feel overwhelming. Sincerely investing in understanding the financial health of your clinic and the role medical billing plays in that financial health means you’ll avoid that hidden back end of billing that lurks below the surface, and you won’t sink your practice.
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,