It may seem obvious, but the key to getting your invoices paid in full and on time, is to make sure they are submitted accurately.
If we look at the findings of one of the billing software packages available to practitioners, Healthcode; on average, there are 1200 invoices a month submitted incorrectly*. Multiply that figure by the number of other packages on the market, as well as invoices not submitted electronically and you start to get an idea of how this issue could affect your cash flow.
Healthcode have analysed their data and provided an insight into the most common reasons that invoices fail validation**.
- Incorrect patient insurance details (40%)
- Incorrect procedure code (15%)
- Incorrect diagnosis code (11.5%)
- Incorrect service code (6%)
- Problem with the date of service (3%)
Analysis of our own data agrees with the Healthcode findings; the number one reason for cancelling and re-raising an invoice, is down to incorrect patient membership policy information. However, at Simply Billing we pride ourselves on knowing the different insurance policy number formats, hence we are more likely to pick up an incorrect policy number before an invoice is submitted.
The implications of not submitting invoices correctly could, not only affect your cash flow through rejected claims, but have more far-reaching consequences. Your patients could be incorrectly invoiced for short falls; repeated errors could bring you to the attention of the insurance companies and put your provider recognition status at risk. More generally you could be viewed, by patients and insurers alike, as not being in control of your own practice.
In order to avoid the pitfalls of incorrect billing, the major insurers recommend the following information, as a minimum, is included on each invoice (and therefore your billing/clinic lists):
- Patient information:
- Full name
- Date of Birth
- Address (inc. Postcode)
- Insurance details:
- Insurer company name
- Policy number
- Treatment details:
- Treatment site/location
- CCSD/treatment code & description
- Date of service
- Fee charged
- Invoice details:
- Consultant’s name, speciality & GMC number or provider code
- Billing Address
- Payment details
- Invoice number & date
If you want to know if your billing is being done accurately, please get in touch for an informal conversation.
*Healthcode: ‘Do your bills pass the test?’ – 09/02/2015