Picking the right billing company is critical to maximizing revenue. While there are many anesthesia billing companies out there, not all are created equal.
The first component to consider when selecting the right billing company is their specific expertise with anesthesia billing. Anesthesia cannot be billed like other specialties. Between base units, time units, modifying units, and all the various procedure codes, there is a lot to take into consideration. The best billing company for you will have specific expertise in your specialty and thus be able to appropriately maximize billing for any given procedure.
In a perfect world, anesthesia claims would be submitted and paid in full on the very first try. Unfortunately, this is not the standard for most anesthesia cases.
In order to collect everything you are owed, your anesthesia billing company should be completing a meticulous reconciliation process for every line item of every claim as part of their revenue cycle management service offerings. This entails:
- Collecting anesthesia notes on the services performed.
- Coding clean claims based on the notes for the surgical and/or pain procedure performed.
- Submitting claims to payors for payment.
- Tracking claims to ensure that correct payment is received within contracted time-frames. Each individual line item should be monitored and compared to the database of contracted rates to ensure that payment is received in the correct amount.
- If payment is received but doesn’t match the contracted amount (which happens with stunning frequency), your anesthesia billing company should resubmit the paperwork over and over again until the bill is paid in full.
If your billing company doesn’t follow every step, then you could be leaving your hard-earned money on the table. This is particularly important to remember as you investigate “discount” billers. While your service costs may seem lower as a percent of revenue, your collected revenue might be 5-15 percent lower than what a more expert company would collect—in other words, saving money on service fees will actually lose you money in the long run.
In addition to the reconciliation process, billing and revenue cycle management shouldn’t be completely separate from other aspects of your practice. When looking for anesthesia billing companies, look for ones that also provide comprehensive practice management services. Focus on serving your patients, while the anesthesia billing company handles the administrative work such as:
- Contract negotiation:Improve your insurance, hospital, and stipend contract negotiations with in-depth data that give you a competitive edge at the negotiating table.
- Compliance and quality reporting:Continually monitor all necessary compliance requirements, and develop and implement your quality reporting strategy based on your practice’s unique parameters.
- Accounting, tax, and payroll:Payroll management, tax preparation, and accounting services range from budgeting to benefit plan administration.
- Bookkeeping and bill paying:Let someone else manage all of the financial and paperwork hassles of running an independent practice.
- Credentialing support:Your anesthesia billing company can support and take care of all of that paperwork and verification for you.
- Transparent reports:Have complete visibility and insight into how your practice is doing. Reports should show reimbursement rates, expected cash flow, collected vs. expected amounts, days in accounts receivable, and revenue and provider comparisons.