No one wants to see a pile of unpaid invoices — that’s literal money left sitting on the table.
But at busy anesthesia practices, a backlog of invoices can become reality.
That’s why anesthesia billing software is one of the best investments your practice will ever make. Anesthesia RCM (revenue cycle management) software streamlines processing and accounts receivable turnaround.
Billing in anesthesia shouldn’t be one of those jobs you have to worry about. It should be a process that just happens quickly and is repeatable. With the right planning, your billing process and revenue cycle become effortlessly manageable and predictable.
Billing for Anesthesia Services: Setting the Stage for Efficiency
The level of efficiency anesthesia billing apps bring to your practice is only as good as the work you do ahead of time.
To hit the ground running with anesthesia billing:
- Get credentialed with insurers
- Develop and enforce internal billing procedures
- Create digital templates and forms
- Review medical and billing codes
1. Get Credentialed With Insurance Providers
Insurance credentialing is how health insurance companies not only screen your practice for legitimacy, but also add it to their network of providers.
Without credentials specific to an insurer, you’re guaranteed that any claim submitted will be rejected.
Credentialing is not a fast process. It takes up to 200 days to complete. That means that in addition to the time it takes for an insurer to reject your claim, you can add another almost 7 months before getting compensation.
2. Create Billing Procedures and Stick to Them
No matter the size, every anesthesia practice needs a set of billing procedures.
Having internal billing guidelines ensures a backlog of unpaid invoices doesn’t build up. Remember: The longer invoices sit in your office, the longer you’ll wait for payment.
At minimum, your billing procedures should clearly establish:
- Tasks to complete
- Staff member responsibilities
- Deadlines — a good rule of thumb is to have invoices processed within 48 hours of treatment
- The process for quickly resolving disputed claims
Your patients can also play a role in meeting your billing protocols. Patients should:
- Verify all personal information — name, address, insurance information, etc.
- Provide current contact information
- Review and sign off on any responsibilities they have in paying for your services, such as co-pays
By involving your patients in your billing procedures, you’ll head off sending insurers erroneous information and save patients from any surprises after invoices are sent out.
3. Create Digital Templates and Forms
Digital templates and forms in anesthesia RCM are a lifesaver.
Properly constructed templates and forms prevent your practice from submitting an incomplete or error-laden invoice to an insurer — one they’ll quickly reject. If your practice outsources its billing, digital templates and forms save you from countless back-and-forth phone calls to verify or provide information to complete the billing process.
Digital templates and forms serve as the first layer of review. If a field is missed or filled out incorrectly, your anesthesia billing software lets you know long before completion. Consider it a real-time auditor review of each and every invoice before it’s sent out.
Review Medical and Billing Codes
CPT medical codes are the foundation of anesthesia billing invoices. They’re also what billing codes are derived from.
Set by the American Medical Association (AMA), CPT codes are five-digit shorthand for services and treatments.
As patient care is logged on digital anesthesia record sheets, CPT codes are immediately translated into billing codes for invoices. Often, the codes are identical.
The AMA reviews and updates medical codes annually. That means the billing code for a procedure you’ve used thousands of times before could be completely different from one year to the next.
Simple coding errors, such as mixed up numbers or wrong codes assigned to a procedure, quickly create delays in reimbursement. If a code is wrong for any reason, insurers are likely to deny the claim. This forces you to spend time investigating the claim and restart the reimbursement process.
If a wrong code does make it through, there’s a good chance your practice won’t receive compensation for actual services provided. There’s also the chance you may overcharge, which will likely lead to disputes.
When AMA code changes are released, anesthesia billing software can be quickly updated to reflect the changes immediately.
Anesthesia RCM Software = Fast Billing and Reimbursement
Your operation’s billing practices shouldn’t be burdensome. When a service is delivered, a workflow should naturally start to receive compensation quickly.
With the right preparations coupled with anesthesia billing software, your practice’s revenue cycle becomes consistent and reliable.