As a behavioral health practitioner, your primary goal is to provide quality and reliable mental healthcare to your clients. However, to maintain cash flow, keep your practice afloat and stand a chance to grow, prompt and adequate compensation for the services you provide is key. And in claiming compensation, no step is more important than the billing process.
Truth be told, mastering billing process can be a tedious and time-consuming endeavor. Even so, it ensures easy, accurate, and timely payments, manages cash flow, and helps keep track of records of payments.
But whether you have been in the mental health space for 20 years or two days, it is very easy to make mistakes when billing. These billing flaws will reduce the likelihood of accurate and timely payment and make it difficult for you to meet your billing quotas.
Let’s look at the most common billing mistakes you should avoid at all costs.
1. Filling Invoices Incorrectly
Invoicing is the single most important stage of billing. However, during invoice preparation, you might overlook some crucial aspects. As a result, the claim may be rejected. That’s not all. Some clients often dictate the billing guidelines that you should follow. If your billing methods and policies depart from the client’s requirements, the client may refuse to pay. Make a point of familiarizing yourself with the client’s billing policies (often contained in the client’s retention or engagement letter.)
The most common mistakes when drafting invoices include:
- Using the wrong name or details
- Not indicating the due date
- Failing to mention the payment options and restate the terms
- Leaving off a required field
- Misspelling a name or transposing numbers
- Using impolite language
As a mental health practitioner, it is your responsibility to ensure that your invoices are accurate and well-drafted, in adherence to the client’s guidelines. Whether you’re writing a paper invoice or sending an electronic invoice, the billing description should be a fundamental component of your invoice. Mention the specific details, let the client know what you are charging them for, and demonstrate value. Furthermore, cross-check the invoice to ensure you provide accurate and fair entries.
To avoid audit risk and avoid being red-flagged by insurers, use different ICD-10 codes when billing different clients.
On top of that, maintain an even tone, show courtesy, and be polite. For example, use the words “please” and “thank you” regularly in your billing communications to prompt the client to make a timely payment.
2. Late Invoicing
Late invoicing might get you paid late or not paid at all. So, sending a late invoice might compromise the cash flow and choke off any growth opportunities.
Always send an invoice as soon as you’re done attending to the client. Timely invoicing gives the clients time to review the entries and seek inquiries if need be, before settling their dues.
3. Failing to Follow Up
Has this ever happened to you? You have sent an invoice, and then after following up a week later, you receive an apology and payment that same day?
Well, due to busy schedules, some clients forget to pay. Others will wait until the due date to pay, while a good bunch of customers will wait for a reminder to pay. Do not hesitate to give a courtesy call or a second invoice and remind a client of an unpaid bill.
If you dislike badgering and chasing after clients, feel free to schedule a demo of Logik. The software will help keep track of unpaid payments and let you send late payment reminders automatically and electronically.
4. Having a Complicated Payment Process
We can’t tell you how often we have abandoned purchases online due to cumbersome payment procedures. Some payment processes can be frustrating; you have to create accounts with passwords, fill out long forms, and dig out physical credit cards.
Strive to make payments to your entity to be one click away. More than that, offer multiple common payment options like credit cards and health insurance cards to make it convenient for clients and speed up the payment process.
5. Including Surprise Charges
Let’s face it, no one likes surprise fees. While other clients will not mind settling the extra charges, most cost-sensitive clients (and most clients are) will frown upon extra levies imposed on them by a mental health practitioner.
So, surprising your client with additional charges may harm the relationship with your client. Make your client aware of any extra service prior to administering it and indicate the financial implication. Also, discuss any extra charges with the client before invoicing them. Even more, certain expenses should not be billed to the client and are part of the practitioner’s overhead.
Not just that, be on the lookout for clients who may be seeing multiple therapists in the same facility. Most payers and insurers will be reluctant to pay two different mental health clinicians for a single patient.
Logik Brings You the Solution!
The aforementioned billing mistakes can significantly undermine the confidence that you and your clients have in your behavioral health practice and ability. But at Logik, we aim to contribute to the bottom line of mental health clinics by providing an easy-to-use billing platform that streamlines billing and cash flow, eliminates errors and inaccuracies, and provides reports and summaries.
The software takes on much of the work by making the billing process in mental health facilities easier and more precise, reducing the chances of insurance claim denial.
The best part, integrating the software with Electronic Health Records (EHRs), laboratories and pharmacies is quick and easy. So, this program will impact productivity and growth and boost the revenue of any behavioral health clinician. Get a free demo and find solutions to your mental health billing concerns.
To learn more about behavioral health billing software that can make a difference to your claims process schedule a consultation now to learn more about how your facility can maximize reimbursements.
To learn more about claims processing workflows, revenue cycle management, and more download our free white paper below.