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What to Look For in a Behavioral Health Billing Partner

March 21, 2023

Whether your goal is to maximize productivity, reduce operational costs, or streamline your billing department, finding the right billing partner can help you succeed. But when choosing an outsourced billing partner, there are important things to consider. 

The Benefits of Working with a Behavioral Health Billing Partner

There are several advantages to outsourcing your behavioral health billing services:

  • Access to a team of billing experts – your billing partner has an entire team of highly trained and experienced billers dedicated to your billing process. These experts have a thorough grasp of payer requirements, the correct behavioral health billing codes and guidelines, and the best practices for optimizing your bottom line. 
  • Reduced administrative burden – when you hand over the billing tasks to the experts, you gain essential time back previously spent on filing claims, resubmitting denied claims, and chasing down payments. With a billing partner, those tasks are taken off your plate, reducing the chances of staff burnout. Your staff can spend more time on what they do best – patient care.
  • Improved behavioral health collections – your billing partner works diligently to ensure claims are error-free and submitted correctly the first time. They understand that producing clean claims is the fastest way to timely and full payments. 
  • Lower costs and increased cash flow – you eliminate the need to constantly train your staff and update your systems when you outsource. With your partner’s billing team handling the claims process more efficiently, you can expect a boost in your bottom line. 

The Importance of a Billing Partner That Understands Behavioral Health Services

If you choose a billing partner with little experience in behavioral health services, you will likely have to spend more for them to learn the right process.

Companies who specialize in behavioral health billing know the ins and outs of the specialty. They are also aware of the common challenges that behavioral health clinicians face when dealing with insurance companies. Chances are, they’ve already endured and dealt with issues you are currently experiencing and have the best solutions to addressing them.

A billing partner that understands behavioral health services is aware of your facility’s specific needs. That means providing behavioral health billing-specific tools and services instead of a one-size-fits-all approach to keep your facility efficient and productive. The right billing partner works hand in hand with your specialty to help keep you on track to success.

coronis health behavioral health workers discussing medical billing

Questions to Ask a Potential Behavioral Health Billing Partner

When choosing a billing partner, there are important aspects to check off your list before making a final decision. Here are the top questions to ask when choosing between behavioral health billing companies:

  • Does the company specialize in behavioral health billing? – behavioral health billing is more complex than medical billing, and you need a partner with substantial experience in your field. Knowledge of codes, compliance requirements, and behavioral health trends ensures accuracy and efficiency in your billing process.
  • Are their billers certified and trained? – your potential billing partner must have a team of certified coders who have completed training. This shows they value skill and only hire qualified professionals. Also, consider a company that is committed to ongoing education and training.
  • Does the company provide more than billing services? – always look for a company that supports you in every step of the revenue cycle, e.g. Credentialing. When they cover every step of RCM, you can expect a smoother operation and higher claim acceptance rates.
  • How reliable is the company? – you need reliable support. Your partner must be accessible when problems occur.  
  • How does the company ensure HIPAA compliance? – their billing software must be HIPAA compliant. Ask what their record policies are, how they handle records during emergencies, and if they share in the legal burden of compliance violations.
  • Are they cost-effective? – ask about billing terms and conditions. You have to understand how they get paid. Is it based on a percentage of the amount billed or collected? Ideally, your partner should pay for themselves by optimizing your cash flow and decreasing the time and effort you put into the billing process.
  • How are financial reports presented? – you need reports that are clear, concise, and accessible. Ask for sample reports to see if they complement your current business systems.

What to Expect From Your Partnership

With a billing partner on board, you can expect the following RCM components to be covered:

  • Facility credentialing or re-verification if an existing business 
  • Live Verification of benefits
  • Census coding 
  • Charge capture
  • Claims submission
  • Resubmission of any denied claims
  • Utilization review
  • Remittance and payment posting
coronis health behavioral health medical billers using tablet for medical billing

In addition, you can expect your partner to focus on key performance indicators (KPIs), such as:

  • Aging accounts receivable
  • Denial rate tracking
  • Lag times between services and billed charges
  • Clean claim rate
  • DSO

Your partnership covers more than billing, coding, and reimbursement. It is a collaboration to help your facility cultivate long-term success. Your partner should be able to provide you with the tools and data you need to analyze where you can make improvements to increase accuracy with coding, billing, and the entire RCM process.

How to Find the Best Behavioral Health Billing Partner for Your Needs

Consider the following factors to determine if a potential billing company is a right fit for your behavioral health facility:

  • Expertise in behavioral health – a good billing partner must understand the specific needs of your specialty and practice. They must have a thorough understanding of the requirements for behavioral health billing and coding. This ensures accuracy in filing claims and compliance with rules and regulations.
  • Years of experience – experience is just as important as education. Years of experience means having the wisdom and understanding necessary to do a great job while knowing what to do to maintain a competitive edge.
  • Advanced technology – having the most cutting-edge tools enables your facility to be efficient and productive. Updated behavioral health billing software (EHR) helps your facility bill more accurately in less time.
  • Reliable customer support – you must be able to rest assured that you get timely support whenever you need it.  
  • Guidance and support during a routine or SIU audit.

Coronis Health has a team of certified and trained billing experts ready to help you gain the most out of your behavioral health claims. If you want accuracy, efficiency, and a positive bottom line, contact Coronis Health today to request a free financial checkup. Let us give you back the time you need to focus on what matters most – your patients.

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