The modern healthcare industry is sprawling, complicated, and complex. No area of healthcare is this more evident than in billing. There are many issues in behavioral health billing, and the issues in mental health billing can cause payment delays and directly impact patient care and their experience trying to get better. Contact Sunwave Health today online or by calling us at 561.576.6037 to learn about how our EMR software for behavioral health treatment centers can help your team better manage the billing process and focus more of their energy on caring for patients.
Issues in Substance Abuse Billing
The sheer variety of substance abuse services, treatments, therapies, plans, and programs means there are bound to be issues in substance abuse billing. The time, scope, and restraints put on mental health treatments make the billing process demanding and complex. A patient visiting their general practice doctor will likely receive tests and services, such as measuring height and weight, checking blood pressure, and perhaps drawing blood. These are standardized procedures, differing only slightly among patients, and as a result, billing is also repetitive, standardized, and generally devoid of problems. The issues in mental health billing, however, are many because the services provided by mental health and behavioral facilities and clinicians vary wildly and are more extensive in scope. For example, the issues in substance abuse billing can be that the treatment differences from one patient to the next involve:
- The length of the sessions
- Various approaches to therapy
- Willingness of the patient to partake in their treatments
This makes it far more difficult to standardize treatment and billing. Additionally, how different insurance companies consider mental health treatments is different from the way they cover standard medical services. EMR software for behavioral health treatment centers can help your organization manage the complexities and avoid issues in behavioral health billing.
Avoiding Issues in Behavioral Health Billing
It is critical for mental health clinicians and organizations like yours to be paid for the services they provide to patients without any of the delays commonly caused by issues in behavioral health billing. Unfortunately, due to the frequency of insurance claim denials today, payment for your services is not always guaranteed.
Let’s look at ways to avoid issues in mental health billing.
Billing Too Many Patients
Billing a larger number of patients than you could possibly see during a typical workday and using the same code for these patient visits is one of the issues in substance abuse billing you can easily avoid.
Patients Seeing Multiple Therapists
Another one of the issues in mental health billing happens when a patient sees multiple therapists. This can occur if a patient must also see a therapist in the same facility as their doctor but they are also meeting a private therapist or counselor for personal reasons. An insurance payor will not want to pay for two different therapists for a single patient.
Using the Same ICD-10 Code
Using the same ICD-10 code too often is another one of the issues in mental health billing your organization may be facing. The key to behavioral health billing is not using the same code but rather making efficient use of a variety of codes to avoid the risk of an audit. When you bill the same diagnosis code for all of your patients, such as anxiety disorder, this may send up a red flag to your payor source.
Learn More at Sunwave Health
Billing issues for mental health providers like yours can lead to reduced revenue, unproductive time, and unnecessary stress on your organization. Sunwave Health’s EMR software for behavioral health treatment centers can make your facility run smoother and help you get paid faster by reducing issues in mental health billing. Learn how more by calling us at 561.576.6037 or reaching out to us online today.