5 Bad Medical Coding and Billing Habits you need to Break – Right Now!

Medical organizations and practitioners sometimes may not be aware that they might be losing money due to bad medical coding and billing habits. Those bad habits must be ditched to get your practice the profits it deserves.

Here are top 5 bad habits and tips to maximize the profit.

Ignoring Assessment and Management Time

Do you know that your service time can be split in three parts:

  1. Pre- time - Patient assessment and preparation
  2. Intra-time - Performing the procedure
  3. Post time - Documentation and discharge

You usually consider the time it took to perform the procedure only i.e. intra time. This basically eliminates the assessment and documentation done before and after the procedure respectively.

Miscalculating the Intra-Time

Some therapists can also wrongly assess their intra-time, which leads to losses in practice. Don’t forget that intra-time includes all your one-on-one assessment and management time, from the moment when you ask the patient how they have been since their last visit.

Intra time also includes the time you spend over phone with other patients while another patient is sitting before you.

The time you spend in documentation while still with the patient is also unbillable intra time. Intra time can be maximizing by making your notes during appointment.

Including In and Out Time

Documenting “In and Out” time is no longer a requirement nowadays. Only a few non Medicare payers will still ask for this. Only requirement is the start time of appointment, so don’t mention “In & Out” time for every patient and visit unless necessary. If you still do so, it will attract auditors to scrutinize this against your scheduling program.

Using Therapeutic Exercise for All Exercise Interventions

Some physical therapists use the classification TherEx (Therapeutic Exercise) for all interventions, which involves exercise while in fact these interventions can fall in some other classification. For example, using large body movements or using exercise equipment actually classifies as TherAct (Therapeutic Activity) and not exercise. Movement instruction, guided movement interventions or just giving patient feedback during movement activities can be more correctly classified as Neuro Re-ed. Using same code for all type of interventions may cause loss for you since some interventions like TherAct have a higher payment and can be a red flag to payers.

Counting Time for Each Intervention

Documentation of time spent on each intervention may help you in several ways-

  1. Automatically system will count them as TherEX instead of treating them otherwise.
  2. It will give an idea of total assessment and management minutes which directly indicates loss or profit.
  3. Counting exact number of minutes spent on every intervention will open you up again to more scrutiny during an audit.

As they say it’s never too late. Stop practicing bad medical billing habits and wrong codes. In case you are still having issues, don’t hesitate to contact us. Being an expert medical billing outsourcing company with years of experience in the industry, we can help you in knowing your inexact practices and eliminate them with correct one. Our past experience and knowledge of the industry will surely help you in overcoming your flaws and leverage correct medical billing and coding process.

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