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Claims Handling – Physician Office WSMA Spring Seminar March 2, 2013 Presented by: Rosalia Sabelko, RHIT, CCS-P.

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Presentation on theme: "Claims Handling – Physician Office WSMA Spring Seminar March 2, 2013 Presented by: Rosalia Sabelko, RHIT, CCS-P."— Presentation transcript:

1 Claims Handling – Physician Office WSMA Spring Seminar March 2, 2013 Presented by: Rosalia Sabelko, RHIT, CCS-P

2 What is Claims Management? The claims management process in the physician office is the internal workflow for preparing, submitting, and collecting claims.

3 Who is involved in the process? All members of the physician office team have a role in the claims management process. Registration Clinical Staff Physicians Coding Billing Collections

4 Benefits of Claims Management ● Increased staff efficiency ● Streamlined claims billing processes ● Increased number of clean claims submitted ● Reduced number of claims denied ● Timely and accurate payment from the health insurer

5 Elements of Claims Management Pre-Registration – Accurate collection of patient demograhics and health information – Verification of insurance and applicable deductibles/copays/co-insurance Patient Check-In – Copying patient’s health insurance card – Verification of insurance information

6 Elements of Claims Management Documentation of Services Provided – Patient's history, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment plan including labs or x-rays ordered “If it isn’t documented, it wasn’t done”

7 Elements of Claims Management Assignment of Diagnosis and Procedure Codes – Use of “encounter” or “charge master” – Is the content of the current office visit consistent with the diagnosis and plan? – Was a complete physical performed at the subsequent office visit?

8 Elements of Claims Management Patient Check-Out – Schedule follow-up – Collect co-payment or deductible – Special payment arrangements

9 Elements of Claims Management Code Verification and Review – Use the encounter form to create claim for patient – Billing specialists and coders must be familiar with Medicare guidelines and commercial insurance carrier guidelines

10 Elements of Claims Management Example of Differences between Medicare and Commercial Payer Extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy (ESWL) is performed for a kidney stone in the right kidney and a kidney stone in the left kidney – For Medicare, the removal of both of these stones would be entered as on the claim – A commercial payer may require that this be entered as 2 lines on the claim with codes RT and LT

11 Resources for Coding Guidelines

12 Elements of Claims Management Claim Generation – Codes and fees are entered accurately and a claim is generated Claim Review – Billing specialists review the claims for accuracy, correct as needed, and submit to insurers

13 Elements of Claims Management Claims Processing, Adjudication, Payment – Health insurer should review the claim, approve, and route payment and a copy of the EOB to the physician office. Original EOB is routed to patient. Collections/Claim Follow-up – If insurer not processing claim in timely manner, collections staff follows up with insurer

14 Elements of Claims Management Posting Payment – Collections staff should verify payment according to contract and post in accounts receivable Claim Appeal – If collections staff deem payment inappropriate, investigate and appeal the denial

15 Documentation for Clean Claims The patient's chart must have documentation that will support the level of service or procedure provided. Proper documentation allows coders to translate medical documentation (words) into numbers.

16 Documentation for Clean Claims CPT and diagnosis codes must accurately reflect documentation for visit – Global fee periods for surgery – Modifiers – Medical necessity

17 Examples of Issues with Medical Necessity Edit CategoryExplanation Procedure to ProcedurePrevents payment for procedures that are contrary to the NCCI or procedures billed within a global period of another procedure. Procedure to ProviderLooks for procedures performed by specialty; ie., Urology billing for cardiac catheterization, or OB/GYN billing for kidney stone removal. Procedure to Sex, Age, or DiagnosisEnsures that sex-specific services are not paid inadvertently; ie., prostate surgery for a female. Diagnosis to ProcedurePrevents payment of an unwarranted procedure for a given condition; ie., tonsillectomy for foot pain. Procedure for Place of ServicePrevents payment for a procedure in an obviously wrong place of service; ie., hip replacement surgery in an office setting.

18 Documentation for Clean Claims The goal of this process is to pay the right amount to the right provider for the right service to the right beneficiary.

19 Denials and Appeals Denials = revenue delay, revenue loss Medicare, as well as most commercial insurance carriers, have tools you can access via websites to assist with the claims appeals process.

20 Denials and Appeals Reasons for Denials – Medical necessity – Missing or invalid CPT or HCPCS code submitted – Incorrect patient identifier information submitted ● Spelling of name, date of birth, subscriber number missing or invalid, insured group number missing or invalid – Procedure/surgery requires prior authorization or precertification – Place of service does not match surgery/procedure performed – Claim submitted for non-covered service

21 Denials and Appeals Why is an Advance Beneficiary Notice (ABN) Needed? – If Medicare deems a service “not reasonable and medically necessary”, and the patient decides to proceed with the service, the ABN is used to bill the patient for the services provided

22 Denials and Appeals Documentation Mistakes – Physician “short-cuts” in documenting medical necessity ● Clear to physician; not clear to insurance claims reviewer ● Claims reviewers look for – Specific terminology – Descriptions that match insurance policies

23 Claims Reviews In the health care industry, regulators are employed to ensure providers are documenting and billing according to law – Office of Inspector General (OIG), – Auditors from governmental payers, – Auditors from commercial payers, – Attorneys

24 Purpose of Chart Reviews – Adherence to clinical protocols – Patient adherence with medication regimens – Provider compliance with coding and documentation

25 Claims Reviews External Chart Reviews – Medicare Risk Adjustment (MRA) Audit – Health insurer audits Internal Chart Reviews – 6-10 charts per physician per year – Audit for over coding and under coding

26 Claims Reviews Goals for Claims Reviews – Quality improvement – Identify trends/top procedure codes ● Used for negotiating contracts with insurance carriers – Ensure the office is being paid according to contract

27 Summary Professional and diligent efforts of the entire physician office staff help to ensure a successful claims management process.

28 Questions?


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