Billing can be one of the most complicated, and sometimes one of the most frustrating tasks, involved in managing an ABA practice. If you can relate to this, you are not alone. There are some common mistakes that behavioral health providers often make when it comes to handling the billing of their clinical services. Let’s review some of the challenges related to billing for services that might arise in an ABA practice as well as strategies that can help you handle or even avoid these common ABA billing mistakes.
Errors in ABA billing can lead to many problems for ABA practices. For instance, the practice’s revenue stream can get disrupted specifically when billing errors occur that create a delay in receiving payments. Also, sometimes the organization might not even receive payment for services rendered at all particularly when billing errors are significant enough that funders deny the claims altogether.
To prevent a lot of stress and hardship in your ABA practice, consider the following common ABA billing mistakes and recommendations for avoiding these mistakes or addressing these mistakes when they do come up.
1. Not Knowing What The Client’s Insurance Covers
It is extremely important to know what coverage your clients have for their ABA services before providing the services. If you are aware of exactly what services your client’s funding source covers including knowing what billing codes are covered and understanding the way the funding source defines these ABA billing codes, you will be able to prevent many issues that could arise. For instance, you can avoid providing services for something that actually isn’t covered by the client’s insurance. You can also avoid going over the limit of the number of service units the client is allowed per their insurance coverage.
2. Errors in Reporting
Another common ABA billing mistake is when there are errors in the reports submitted to the client’s insurance company. Some errors that commonly occur include mistakes in the spelling of the client’s first and/or last name, mistakes in the billing codes used, missing signatures on documentation, illegible handwriting, and missing information.
When you are submitting billing claims, it is very important to make sure that ALL information is correct and that the report is free from errors. To address this and prevent the hassles that come with having errors in your billing claims and related reports that are submitted to insurance companies, be sure to have a process for double-checking the documentation. You might also utilize a system of documentation that reduces the likelihood of error. For instance, you could use software that inputs the correct data for you (or one that gives you easy access to this information) which can reduce mistakes in your billing claims.
3. Not Submitting Claims on Time
Another common billing mistake for ABA practices is not submitting billing claims on time. Submitting claims on time, according to the deadlines of the funding source, is essential in receiving all of the revenue that your practice has earned through the services you’ve provided. Be sure to have a system in place that helps you to meet these deadlines and which keeps you on track with your billing obligations.
4. Misunderstanding Billing Codes
This common billing mistake for ABA providers relates to having errors in billing claims specifically as it relates to the billing codes that are being claimed. When ABA providers don’t thoroughly understand the billing codes that have been authorized by the client’s insurance or funding source, it can lead to stress and challenges in the billing process.
Be sure that you understand which billing codes your clients are authorized to receive. Then, assess what the billing codes actually mean. And, then, be sure to understand how the specific funding source interprets the billing code. This includes knowing what is expected of you in terms of what information needs to be included in any billing claims that you submit.
5. Neglecting to Identify Referral Sources
Many funders require a referral in order for someone to receive ABA (applied behavior analysis) services. It is important to be aware of whether your clients have been referred to you for services and, if so, who is the referral source. Then, when submitting billing claims, be sure that you identify the referral source when it’s required.
Billing Mistakes Common in ABA Practice
As a review, some of the most common mistakes that occur within ABA billing include:
- Not knowing what the client’s insurance covers
- Errors in reporting
- Not submitting claims on time
- Misunderstanding billing codes
- Neglecting to identify referral sources
WebABA can help with all of these areas. WebABA offers an organized documentation management system, streamlines your billing claims, provides easy access to client information, and allows you to effectively monitor authorized and utilized services.
Avoid ABA Billing Mistakes with WebABA
WebABA is an excellent option for helping you to avoid many ABA billing mistakes. WebABA will also help your organization’s practice management in many other ways, as well. From supporting your reporting processes to helping to make scheduling easier to improving your billing systems, WebABA can help your ABA practice thrive.
In addition to helping you streamline and reduce mistakes in your ABA billing processes, WebABA also offers the following features and services:
- Payroll & HR
- Authorization Management
- Customer Support
- User-Friendly Mobile App
- Provider Portal
- Document Management
Learn more and consider a demo with WebABA here.