Since the start of the pandemic, which caused a huge shift in our society’s norms, mental health needs have drastically increased. As a result, mental health clinics have been forced to quickly adapt and try to help their communities as they have seen an influx in patients with stress, anxiety, and depression. If the clinics were not prepared for this demand in all areas of their standard procedures, they might have struggled a lot in 2020—especially because authorization for their services is complex and Employee Assistance Programs and insurances do not always cover testing and mental health services. So how can mental health clinics make sure they’re prepared for this long-term?
Evaluate Billing Procedures
With potentially more patients visiting the clinic, did that result in more revenue or an increase in denied claims? Evaluate your front end process to collect copays in advance. Know what your patient deductibles are and have a payment plan ready for larger balances. Setup accurate billing from the moment someone sets up an appointment to the confirmed payment. Does your staff collect all relevant data? Are they aware of any outstanding payments when a returning patient calls to set up an appointment? Do your billers know how to track and manage authorization units for all of your services? Does the clinic offer an online payment option? Is there a system in place to follow-up on unpaid bills? All of these questions are an important part of maintaining a well-oiled billing system that helps your clinic get the revenue it needs to continue serving patients and paying your employees.
Evaluate Telehealth Services
The increased need for telehealth services also means that billing codes and clinics have had to reformat their processes according to COVID-19 safety regulations. Rules loosened during COVID-19 however payers are beginning to transition to more restrictive models for telehealth. Providers need to also be aware of updates and compliancy rule changes and whether or not they’re accurately following them. Even as COVID restrictions start to lessen due to the vaccine, experts predict the telehealth demand will now be the new normal. For some patients who have social anxiety, this can even be a huge advantage for your clinic to offer. Ensure your staff knows how to schedule telehealth appointments, how a patient can connect with their provider, and how it should be recorded for billers to accurately fill out claims.
Outsource Receivables Inc. proudly works with a variety of specialty clinics across the nation. If you’re in need of expert billing services, contact us to learn more.