As specialists in medical billing, we’re well aware of just how tricky it can be to process a high number of invoices and ensure they’re paid on time. Of course, the process isn’t made easier if errors cause delays. If you want to keep your cash flowing, take a look at these common ambulance billing mistakes and find out how to fix them:
1. Taking too long to invoice
There should be a quick turnaround between a patient receiving a service and their invoice being sent. Known in the industry as ‘days to bill’, you should have a clear workflow that enables you to deliver invoices quickly. Streamlining your processes, either manually or with automation, will enable you to reduce your ‘days to bill’ and get invoices out more efficiently.
Remember – most medical bills have 30 days payment terms. If your ‘days to bill’ process takes too long, you’ll simply increase the amount of time you’re waiting for the funds to come in. ambulance billing mistakes
2. Incorrect coding
With hundreds of codes to differentiate between services, medical billing is known for its complexities. When it comes to ambulance billing, there are a significant number of codes that must be applied, depending on the service received by the patient. Using the incorrect billing code is one of the most common reasons for disrupted cash flows in the healthcare sector.
Often, the use of incorrect codes is due to simple human error. Unfortunately, this common issue can cost companies millions over the course of a year. By outsourcing to a reputable medical billing provider, you can ensure that experienced staff reduce the rate of error and speed up the invoicing process. With secure, specialist software, dedicated medical billing firms can provide the accuracy and efficiency you need to streamline your business.
3. Not dealing with denials
It’s not unusual for invoice recipients to deny that they’re responsible for making payment, which means that you’ll need to have a workable strategy to address these issues. Denials can occur for a variety of reasons, such as the payor misunderstanding their liability or insurance companies trying to minimize their responsibility.
If you don’t have an effective strategy in place, repeated denials will result in your cash flow coming to a standstill and may mean you never receive payment at all. With recourse to documentation confirming liability, however, you can ensure that invoice recipients are left in no doubt that they are liable for the costs they’ve incurred.
4. Forgetting to follow up
Many healthcare organizations make the mistake of waiting until an invoice is overdue before they begin trying to contact the person or company responsible for making the payment. By this point, your cash flow has already been disrupted. By taking action more swiftly, you can prompt them to make payments more quickly and resolve ambulance billing delays without the need for further activity.
Some companies issue follow-ups via a call from a member of staff. Although this can be effective, it is time and resource-intensive. With the use of automated tools, you can schedule follow-ups to occur within a set timeframe via email, SMS or automated voice messages. This minimizes the time and resources used to chase payments without reducing your success rate.
5. Stalling collections activity
As soon as an invoice is overdue, collections activity should be triggered. Companies who wait too long to issue collections activity for ambulance billing could suffer serious financial disadvantages as a result, and may struggle to be paid in a timely manner. Although collections activity should commence immediately, you needn’t rely on aggressive tactics to prompt payments.
Instead, professional reminders may be used at the outset, in case your invoice has simply been overlooked. If no response is forthcoming, more insistent correspondence may be required. Again, this aspect of ambulance billing can easily be automated, providing you have access to the right tools.
Outsourcing Ambulance Billing
If you want to avoid making common ambulance billing mistakes, outsourcing this aspect of your business to a reputable billing provider could be your best bet. At NEMB, we pride ourselves on our professionalism, accuracy, and efficiency. With proven workflows and specialist staff, we create, process, and collect medical bills in accordance with our clients’ needs.