In the world of medical billing, the most efficient way of doing something is to do right first time.
You don’t get paid.
MHM recently completed a project for a private hospital. The project was to investigate why invoices were not being paid.
One insurance company was proving particularly troublesome. An analysis of a month’s invoices soon identified why. This particular insurance company required invoices to be submitted electronically.
Except for the data on which the invoice was raised was incomplete. So the invoice could not be submitted.
For example, the patient’s date of birth or policy number or pre-authorisation was incorrect. This caused the invoice to fail at the point of logging electronically with the insurance company. Thus the invoice was not passed to the insurance company for payment. Instead, it was put in a “holding” pile.
In other words, the invoices were not being done right the first time.
To resolve the problem, it was imperative to make sure ALL the details were correct. That way invoices could be correctly processed and not placed in a “holding” pile. That was, or so it appeared to be, the root cause of the issue. But why was this proving so troublesome?
It transpired medical secretaries thought the hospital receptionist was responsible for getting it right.
The hospital receptionist said the medical secretaries were responsible.
Then they both claimed the person who actually raised the invoice was responsible.
The reality was that nobody was making sure the data was right.
The spat had caused, over the previous six months, the hospital to be short of tens of thousands of pounds. Indeed the holding pile was greater than the value of an average daily outpatient appointment. And it was STILL growing.
Skip forward a few months. The receptionist obtains the details and checks them. The medical secretary ensures all the details are recorded on patient records and checks them again. The person responsible for medical invoicing highlights on a daily basis ANY invoices which can’t be processed. The holding pile is now less than 0.5% of a MONTH’S worth of invoices.
Is this overkill?
Cash input into the hospital from this ONE insurance company has increased by around 160%. It’s not overkill at all.