June 15, 2016
3 Benefits to Outsourcing your Behavioral Health Billing

3 Benefits to Outsourcing your Behavioral Health Billing

The ultimate goal of a behavioral health center is to provide effective treatment that helps patients recover. There’s so much that that goes into making that happen, from finding a bed to providing treatment and other related services. At the same time as these organizations focus on patient treatment, they need to have a significant focus on billing and revenue cycle management, to help ensure they get paid for all the good work they do.

Due to the abundance of complex regulations and continually changing codes and coding requirements, the administrative processes for behavioral health billing can be highly taxing for all involved. As a result, staff use incorrect codes and miss steps, and payments are delayed or denied. The outcome? The facility’s revenue, and sometimes their reputation, suffers.

Does this sound like your organization? Perhaps you could be a candidate for outsourcing your behavioral health billing. Using a qualified, outsourced billing company can help you provide better service as you experience fewer disruptions, your profitability improves and your workload decreases.

Experience less disruption from billing and coding rule changes

Simply keeping up with the planning, training and transitions required for each change that comes across in the behavioral health billing landscape is a full-time task. Meaningful Use, ICD-10, payer policy updates and numerous other changes can hinder successful claims processing, if the process isn’t properly managed; not only are the changes difficult to navigate, but your revenue cycle suffers.

With outsourcing, you’re better able to focus on building and enhancing your core competencies. No longer does your staff need to spend time looking up information, tracking payer updates or sitting in refresher courses for topics like changes in billing regulations or trends in utilization management. Outsourced behavioral health billing experts track and make you aware of upcoming changes to codes and requirements, to ensure you’re using the most current and correct information.

See your profitability improve

With outsourced billing for behavioral health services, centers lose less revenue due to inadequate, incomplete or incorrect claims. The best reason for this is that these outsourced behavioral health billing experts are just that, experts, more highly versed than your staff in the intricacies of the claims process.

Denials are one area where these experts can provide significant improvement, specifically around improving your process, decreasing the time you spend dealing with denials and appropriately and time effectively reacting to them when they do happen. They can also help you decrease the sheer number of denials you experience by quickly identifying potential issues that can cause claims to be denied.

Their strategies better engage patients, their families, referring physicians and others, to collect information more effectively, while they’re also just better at handling appeals and reversing unfounded denials. They possess the insight and expertise to pinpoint specific areas of vulnerability, preventing repetitive mistakes in claims and ensuring more claims are paid on the first attempt.

See your administrative workload decrease

Some billing duties are purely administrative, like claims tracking and envelope stuffing and mailing. Or they could be more complex and time consuming and include activities like payment posting, accounts receivable management and utilization management.

Why is your staff spending time doing this? Outsourcing these tasks frees them for more appropriate activities, such as enhancing your quality of service, maintaining compliance with industry and managed care standards and just providing superior customer service.

Outsourcing Is a Healthy Choice for Behavioral Health Billing

In addition to the direct financial benefit of higher returns and lower costs through hard items like salaries, technology and other overhead, you’ll save more in those areas that are more difficult to quantify, like your time and stress. And, because these companies distribute their expenses across their entire client base, you’ll save with their economy of scale. They operate at lower costs than a single center, and those savings are passed through to their clients.

As the legal and administrative requirements for behavioral health providers continue to grow in complexity, and as claims processing becomes more difficult, working with a trained, experienced billing company specializing in behavioral health can provide great relief. As a result, you may even see improvement in the management of your revenue cycle.

Of course, even with all of these benefits, Behavioral health providers need to understand that outsourcing their billing needs to be done with careful consideration and evaluation. (Read one of our earlier posts on the questions to ask potential behavioral health billing companies.)

INFINITY Behavioral Health Services is dedicated to using our experience and focus on billing for behavioral health to provide your program with better financial results and reduced administrative burden. Call us today at 866-677-5264 for more information on the advantages of outsourcing medical billing for behavioral health treatment.

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