Here are the most common mistakes I see made in physician medical practices that result in insurance payment denials; are these common in your office?
Registration Errors Denials often occur because of an error in the patient registration process; usually from outdated demographic or insurance information. When a patient calls for an appointment, verify insurance coverage and benefits eligibility over the phone. If front office staff can’t gather that information before the appointment, ask for it as soon as the patient arrives and obtain any necessary referrals or authorizations as soon as possible. After verifying eligibility and benefits, a waiver form may be needed so patients understand their financial responsibility if a claim isn’t completely covered. Billing staff should regularly communicate registration errors with the front-office staff, as well as provide reports containing denied claims patterns.
Diagnosis not coded to the highest level of specificity Your claim may be denied because your providers diagnosis needed to be more specific. Set up electronic prompts into your charge capture system that alert the user when there is a more detailed code available.
Patient’s subscriber number is incorrect or missing This is caused by staff not entering complete registration information into your practice management system, or not confirming information with the patient. To prevent this denial, set up an alert or flag in your practice management system to ensure that information is filled out before the patient leaves the practice.