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Exploring the Relationship Between Mental Health Practices and Medical Billing Services

Modern mental health practices may comprise several different providers with different specialties. Billing can become complicated when psychiatrists, pediatric therapists, marriage and family therapists, and more work under one umbrella. It’s not something service providers can always handle alone.

Constant changes in billing regulations and payment processing requirements make it even more difficult, but billing mistakes are not an option. Mental healthcare organizations have realized it takes specialized training for in-house team members to code correctly. Outsourced billing streamlines the process and ensures each provider is getting the reimbursements they are entitled to.

Better Billing Means Better Mental Health in California

Every moment spent trying to understand the complicated and ever-changing coding regulations for mental health services is time not spent helping clients. Working with a medical billing service that has experience with mental health billing supports efficiency and helps providers grow their businesses.

A billing service can help providers by:

· Running patient eligibility

· Cleaning up accounts receivable

· Preparing and sending client statements

· Coding

· Insurance credentialing

· Submitting claims

· Offering provider training

Tight margins and even tighter schedules leave no room for billing errors. Organizations with locations in multiple states face a greater degree of difficulty as they navigate numerous regulations. All of this stress can be eliminated when mental health practices partner with a reputable billing service.

The Importance of Clean Codes and Timely Claims

Psychiatrists and therapists don’t train to be medical coders, and they shouldn’t have to. In-house billing can end up costing a practice thousands of dollars in missed billable minutes or wrong code usage. Providers don’t always understand how much of their time is eligible for reimbursement. Assessment and management time should be included in billable minutes. Likewise, using the right codes can significantly increase rates of reimbursement. Incorrect coding may also lead to an audit or slow payment. Slow payment may cause providers to reduce services or limit their hours, which is detrimental to their practice and the clients who depend on them for care related to mental health in California.

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