I’ve been asked to revisit why coding is such a big part of medical invoicing.
It is integral because without the correct code the chances of getting paid decrease dramatically. It is extremely unlikely if you wish to invoice electronically you will be able to invoice without a code anyway.
Insurance companies use medical coding to identify and detail a medical procedure. For example: if you are an Orthopaedic surgeon you will understand precisely what a Multiple arthroscopic operation on the knee is.
But that is a lot to put on an invoice. Plus there may be variations on such an episode.
Instead, put the code W8500 on the invoice. That will specifically identify the surgery you have undertaken.
As mentioned earlier if you are planning to invoice electronically you won’t be able to input the whole description anyway.
So where do you find the code?
Most codes can be located on the CCSD website: www.ccsd.org.uk
The Clinical Coding and Schedule Development Group (CCSD) consists of representatives from the five major healthcare insurers – Aviva, AXA-PPP, BUPA, Simply Health and Vitality Health.
Its main purpose is to maintain a common standard of procedure codes. Such codes reflect current medical practice within the private healthcare sector. They are published as the CCSD Schedule of codes.
The various insurance companies will, therefore, recognise the majority of codes.
However, a word of caution.
Whilst the example above of W8500 will be recognised, a CCSD code does not come with a suggested fee rate.
The fee rate for each code is up to the individual insurance company concerned. To find the correct fee for the code, you will need to check with that insurance company.
For example, the W8500 mentioned earlier carries a fee of £615 for one insurance company. For a different insurance company, the fee may be £550. If you charge £550 instead of £615 by mistake, you will NOT have your fee increased.
If however, you charge £615 when it should be £550, your fee will be reduced.
Whilst not so important for consultations, a CCSD code is imperative IF a surgical episode is required. The patient must quote the code to his or her insurance company when pre-authorisation is being requested.
When an invoice is sent to the insurance company, the code should appear on the invoice, This will reconcile to that expected by the insurance company.
If alternatively, you do NOT use CCSD codes payment will be substantially delayed if made at all!