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  • Writer's pictureWendi

Mental Health Billing: Should You Outsource?

Common Questions for Out of Network Professionals and Should You Outsource? While working as a mental health professional is rewarding in many ways, it can also be stressful.

Administrative duties such as billing can take time and energy away from your patients, and falling behind on these duties can be a nightmare. In many cases, working with a mental health billing company may be the best way to remove this stress from your practice. Here are a few of the most common questions about both out of network billing and using a billing company.

Questions about billing Is “private pay only’ or insurance reimbursement better?

While some mental health professionals in certain areas may find more success using a private pay only approach to their practice, in many case most patients have out of network coverage. While reimbursement is significantly lower than your actual fees, providing courtesy insurance claims to your patients has become a necessity.

Keep in mind that some commercial plans pay higher reimbursement for out of network providers than others. On the other hand, Medicare and Medicaid tend to not cover out of network providers at all.

How long do you have to submit an insurance claim?

The answer here will vary based on the insurance company, so it is always good to verify coverage so patient is aware of timely filing and how much they can expect to be reimbursed. Some companies may give you as little as 90 days, while others may give over a year to file the claim.

Again, verification of benefits for out of network coverage is of most importance.

How long does insurance reimbursement take? Insurance reimbursement can take time. In many cases, most plans can take up to 30 days from the date the insurance company receives the claim. Others may pay as quickly as 7-14 days.

Questions about using medical health billing companies Why are mental health billing companies important for mental health professionals? Mental health professionals have different needs than other medical professionals, especially when it

comes to billing. While many medical practices have entire department dedicated to billing, many mental health professionals work with a very small if any office staff. This puts the responsibility of insurance billing on their shoulders, which can lead to being stretched thin very quickly.

Outsourcing this responsibility to a professional mental health billing company can save time, reduce stress, and increase the success for your patients and your practice.

Is the additional reimbursement worth the cost?

Even though many out of network mental health professionals know they are losing out on

reimbursements from filing claims on their own, many still wonder if the cost of a billing service is worth it.

To put it simply, many practices are leaving up to 15 to 20 percent of their patients reimbursements on the table without using a mental health billing company, where having a dedicated mental health billing company can lead to successful collections for their patients.

Will using a mental health billing company reduce the red tape?

Unfortunately, mental health billing is notorious for being difficult to navigate. Each insurance provider has a different set of hoops for billers to jump through in order to get their claim paid.

The real issue for mental healthcare providers here is the time investment for each individual

company. It can become nearly impossible to both see patients and successfully assist patient file claims.

Sometimes it can seem as if the system is designed to make your claims get rejected. The billing process is extremely detailed and intricate, and practices change with each and every insurance provider. As a result, many smaller practices choose to use ‘private pay “ only methods.

So while you may not have the time to tackle the red tape and get your patients claims successfully paid, a dedicated mental health billing company does.

Final thoughts

While this article can help you tackle some of the most basic questions when it comes mental health billing, many mental healthcare professionals find that outsourcing their billing frees up much more of their time; allowing them to both see more patients and have more free time. For many practices, letting a dedicated mental health billing company handle their billing is the best way to ensure their long-term success.

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