The effective management of a good ambulance billing company ensures that the eligibility and patient customer service process is complete from start to finish. On top of this it’s also about keeping patient complaints to a minimum, ensuring litigation of any kind are minimal, and getting reimbursement money back in the fastest time possible.
This takes a lot of i’s dotted and t’s crossed to make this happen. It starts with ensuring that missing or incomplete information from patients doesn’t go unnoticed. There are some procedures which need to be followed to minimize this from happening.
Understanding the root of the issue
Getting the right patient information at the time of the emergency call is difficult. It can be hard to get accurate information, particularly if a patient is unconscious at the time they are attended by paramedics. How is an emergency medical technician (EMT) meant to capture the simple things, like name or date of birth? It’s almost impossible. The number one thing they are focused on is saving the patient’s life and getting them to hospital as quickly as possible.
So when it comes time to submit a claim for ambulance services, a number of municipalities will learn that they don’t have enough information, or even the right information to get started.
If demographic errors are present, or missing information, it’s likely that the insurance company is going to deny the claim.
So how do you ensure that the right patient information is obtained?
You follow a multi-step process.
It starts with collaboration
A good ambulance billing company will have established relationships with local hospitals through information technology (IT) integrations so that the health information held by the hospital is able to be obtained to complete the initial information received.
By doing this, it ensures that no information gaps are left unfilled and patients can be billed directly as a last resort.
Building these relationships takes time and effort, but once established, it becomes a lot easier to collect the correct and complete information to allow for correct ambulance billing procedures to be actioned.
Through these types of relationships, a good ambulance billing company is able to obtain information such as the patient’s full name, date of birth, address, phone number, and insurance identification number.
Using the correct documentation
Paramedics and EMTs need to document the medical condition of a patient at the time of transport. This is important for two reasons:
- So that the hospital is prepared upon arrival
- To determine who pays for the transportation
Medicare pays for emergency and non-emergency medical services when the patient’s condition would be endangered if other means of transport were taken.
“Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) covers ground ambulance transportation when you need to be transported to a hospital, critical access hospital, or skilled nursing facility for medically necessary services, and transportation in any other vehicle could endanger your health.” Source: Medicare.gov
Other ways to obtain missing patient information
If you’re still unable to find the information needed, there are other ways to obtain any patient information gaps.
1. Ask at time of transportation
If possible, paramedics and EMTs might be able to obtain demographic information at the time of transport, depending on the nature of the emergency.
Where possible, asking a loved one for further information before or during the transportation.
If a good relationship exists with the hospital, the EMT and paramedic may be able to ask for additional information at the time of transport.
If the emergency call is a repeat transportation situation, simply verifying the existing demographics can help.
2. Assign a staff member to follow up
While not an ideal use of resources, assigning a staff member to add this type of task to their weekly rotation might be the difference in obtaining all the patient information for accurate ambulance billing or not.
Is there a staff member who has great people skills and has a knack for researching? They are your best option.
3. Double check information with the hospital
While a good ambulance billing company is likely to have easy access to hospital information, it pays to follow up and double check that information wasn’t inadvertently missed during the initial transportation process.
Some information may have been collected later and accidentally not passed through, so having this double-check procedure in place can ensure that you have access to accurate patient information when billing is processed.
A good ambulance billing company knows how to find and collect accurate patient information because they have systems and procedures in place to make this a non-issue.
If you want to make sure that you don’t miss out on ambulance billing monies due to incorrect or missing patient information, 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.
To find out more or to discuss ambulance billing in more detail, why not get in touch with us today? Simply call NEMB at 888 – 771 – 6115 or 508 – 297 – 2068 and talk to our team today.