Pharmacy Billing Services is one of the most crucial aspects of healthcare. Akin to other disciplines of healthcare billing, there are certain billing challenges that are integral to pharmaceutical companies. What adds to the complex nature of pharmacy billing is that there are some drugs and injections that are excluded from insurance coverage. Therefore, thorough knowledge of experts is a mandate to understand the efficacy of either including or excluding the drugs during the pharmacy billing process. Pharmacy billing services therefore play a key role in effective patient care.
Billing for pharmacy services also requires multiple levels of data handling and follow ups to ensure smooth and uninterrupted billing. It may be a separate set of medical service provided from a distinct facility. Yet, hospitals and healthcare service providers submit the claims as it is often integrated to the care services. These complexities lead to difficulties in data handling which may result in denied claims. The joint claim preparation is also sometimes inefficient in helping hospitals achieve the desired results. It is therefore important to understand that pharmacy claims are distinct from hospital claims. However, they may be subject to the same HIPAA rules.
The existing U.S. health care pharmacy billing services for patient care services is a complex system and oftentimes gives pharmacists a difficult time to manage revenue cycle for the varied patient care services. Since inherently, pharmacy claims are distinct from hospital claims with some common features like HIPAA compliance, the inherent challenges require a robust admin and data related protocol that can add value to the pharmacy billing process. A streamlined process ensures that the inadequacies in data handling can be effectively managed with a trained team of professionals.
Healthcare billing is challenging for many reasons that may include erroneous data handling, variation in state laws and legislative processes with frequent updates and amendments. Besides, medical billing and pharmacy billing have their own distinct languages. Lack of clear understanding may impede billing discussions and create delays in claims reimbursements. It is also important to note that healthcare billing has moved away from the free-for-service to value-based payment models that pave the way for a makeover of the current system if not completely, certainly to an extent to facilitate hassle-free billing process.
The Different Aspects of Pharmacy Billing Services
Pharmacy management is best understood when the different processes are handled professionally. With a thorough and customized pharmacy billing service, pharmaceutical industries may focus better on their core business competencies.
Before choosing a robust pharmacy billing service it is important to understand that pharmacy billing may be categorized into the following:
Home Care pharmaceutical billing: The healthcare system in the USA has a significant number of home-bound patients and this client-base requires data handling and modernization to maintain the billing details. Healthcare billing experts may have to travel to the homes and collect bills but when a professional pharmaceutical billing service is in charge, there is no room for error in data handling and pharmacy billing. The robust and extensive network of home care services ensures that billing is handled with perfection.
Managed care: Did you know that managed care is often operated from big hospitals and care centers wherein the bills are reimbursed through the bundled payment model? This emphasizes the need to maintain non-clinical paperwork and report management to ensure that data is handled with precision. Billing for pharmacy services ensures that pharmaceutical companies focus more on drug dispensing while allowing non-clinical paperwork to be handled by a professional team. The end to end medical coding and billing services provide accurate pharmacy billing services.
Radio: Radio drug service is one of the most prominent ancillary therapy service that will require billing and coding assistance to ensure maximum deliverables. Pharmaceutical services through radio will benefit hugely when they avail the pharmacy billing services from a reliable provider.
Factors That Have Changed the Pharmacy Billing Landscape Over The Years
The Affordable Care Act has led to a rise in the number of people with health insurance making it all the more challenging to handle data. The rising use of the healthcare services and the huge demand for prescription drugs in the U.S. which is higher than any other part of the world and the lack of a universal health plan have impacted healthcare data management.
Healthcare industry is changing at a fast pace and for general practitioners looking at dispensing medications directly from the practice, it is worthwhile to offer convenience to patients. Pharmacists play a vital role across healthcare clinics and help physicians deliver healthcare services to patients. There are some factors that impact pharmacy billing and to achieve success in pharmacy billing there are a few factors the one must consider.
Transitional Care Billing: The transitional care management is a type of service for billing care along with the physicians and care providers once the patients are discharged from a skilled nursing facility. Sometimes the patients may be released from an inpatient hospital or observation setting and often pharmacists who are non-physician providers are offered this service.
Thorough knowledge of state laws: Every state has its own law and, in many states, pharmacists are allowed to provide medical services to patients in collaboration with physicians. Pharmacists are allowed to give prescription schedules and dosages, change prescriptions if required and provide a host of other services like monitoring medication. Lack of collaboration with physicians may limit their services and impact pharmacy billing services.
Knowledge of the drug prices: Pharmaceutical industry is subject to market forces and the prices of drug vary with the products and brands. Sometimes hospitals end up buying drugs at higher prices and cost-effective alternatives are often ignored. Regular price research will help pharmacist to update the optimal price. Pharmacy billing and the art of balancing revenue and expenses are vital for sustainable pharmacy billing process. A monitored way of procurement of inventory, followed by storage and dispensing and the closing of the revenue cycle needs to be controlled and monitored. The data should be entered precisely to avoid errors that may impact billing.
Changing rules and regulation: The compliance rules keep changing in the healthcare field. More so, when it involves medication, the challenges are all the more, relating to legality and standards. In order to achieve successful pharmacy billing, it is important to stay abreast with the every-changing CMS regulations. Failing which, the practise may be deemed as non-compliant and the cash flow may be impacted. Pharmacies should adhere to the Current Procedural Terminology or the CPT codes. In addition to that, it is important that pharmacies include the NPI including the prescriber’s NPI on all the claims.
Procurement and inventory costs: During the procurement and inventory maintenance stage, data is entered manually to avoid errors in data handling. The numbers that are uploaded from the distributor to the pharmacy`s system is checked manually to ensure that it does not impact the revenue cycle management.
Pharmacy charge description master: It is one of the major components of the pharmacy billing cycle and a starting point for billing patients and payers. It comprises a list of billable items and need appropriate attention to ensure there is no revenue loss. The key to achieving that is to convert pharmaceutical quantities of the purchased medicines to the patient administered quantities. A reliable pharmacy billing service should ensure that costly errors are avoided and time is saved during the transfer of information.
Accurate Coding: The pharmaceuticals purchased should have accurate HCPCS coding that may be represented accurately in the charge master to avoid erroneous data. Any discrepancy in this aspect may lead to the pharmacy not receiving the reimbursement.
Link Between Expenditure and Charge Master: Hospitals and healthcare clinics have their own protocol for ordering and administering the drugs. Therefore, it is important to have a good strategy and a system in place that can simplify the entire process to avoid improper reimbursements which may lead to loss. By choosing the best and more viable pharmacy billing and reimbursement practices you can enhance the revenue cycle management and reap more profits.
In addition to the above factors, it is also important to protect and safeguard your medical practise from complexities. Streamlined billing and adequate verification will help healthcare service providers steer clear of erroneous data handling and delayed reimbursements.
The Major Challenges in Pharmacy Billing
The pharmaceutical industry is one of the highly competitive and dynamic domains of the healthcare sector. In order to maintain the competitive edge and to thrive amidst stiff competition, transparency and optimization are key. They help augment the medical billing and pharmacy billing process to reduce erroneous data which cam impact the revenue cycle management.
Regulatory Changes: Challenges like regular updates and changes in the healthcare industry may require regular training for the medical billing and coding staff. The healthcare staff should be aware of the maximum dosage requirements of the drugs and the software used for billing ought to be updated on a regular basis. The most recent government rules, state laws and codes for drugs should be adhered to.
Pharmacy Vigilance: Patient satisfaction is of huge importance in healthcare sector. Pharmacy vigilance is important to stay up-to-date about the side effects, like allergies caused by specific drugs, to ensure that patient satisfaction is not hindered at any level. Low quality patient satisfaction may lead to huge losses in terms of revenue and the loss of practice.
Claim Denials: The pharmacy billing system is not a very flexible one as medical billing may not process vaccine claims that are covered under medical benefits. Moreover, erroneous information leading to claim denials may impact the entire process of billing for pharmacy services globally. This could also lead to major loss of revenue in billing.
Erroneous payment posting: Payment posting is vital for successful medical billing process and when there are errors in payment posting there may be errors in A/R calculation owing to ineffective submission of data. This may adversely affect the revenue and budget planning.
Insurance coverage: The team that is in charge of billing for pharmacy may not be fully aware with the set of covered drugs, injections and therapies. Therefore, there it is important for experts to assess if they should be excluded or included in medical billing. Insurance coverage and patient eligibility step are therefore important in the medical billing and pharmacy billing process.
The various challenges in pharmacy billing services are bound to affect the pharmacy revenue flow. In addition to the above, there have been rapid changes in the healthcare system with increased demands in healthcare and multiple barriers that impact the smooth cash flow. Adequate and regular training of the billing staff, adhering to the regulations and compliance and relying on outsourced pharmacy billing services to avail a professional service that can add value to the revenue cycle will help pharmacies get the desired revenue. It is important to plan ahead on order to maintain optimal revenue cycle.
Adequate Planning in Medical and Pharmacy Billing for Assured Success
Healthcare service providers today invest more time and money to excel in providing services and maintain optimal revenue through transparency and optimization. A robust practise management is thus the need of the hour as it allows consistent recovery of accounts while stabilizing the cash flow.
The assistance of an experienced pharmacy medical billing team is important to maintain a robust revenue cycle. It is ideal to opt for a thoroughly managed pharmacy billing service to complete all the authorizations. Outsourced pharmaceutical billing services can help you achieve the desired business results.
Why Choose to Outsource Pharmacy Billing Services to An Expert Pharmacy Billing Company like MedBillingExperts
At MedBilling Experts, a trained and experienced team of pharmacy billing experts capture the minutest of details and provide comprehensive pharmacy billing services to help healthcare practises manage revenue with greater accuracy. The team has experienced pharmacy billing specialists, with over 10 years of pharmacy background to handle an entire gamut of pharmacy billing that includes verification, submission and follow ups.
The dedicated team ensures that data is filled without any errors, from patient authentication to payments, the entire pharmacy billing cycle is monitored from start to finish. MedBilling Experts offer well-structured billing solutions to assist pharmaceutical firms, healthcare service providers and leading pharmacists globally ensuring quick turnaround time and assured cash flow.
MedBilling provides end-to-end pharmacy billing outsourcing services which promise seamless workflow, guaranteed cash flow and reduced claims rejections. When you choose to outsource pharmacy billing services to MedBillingExperts, our team of experts go the extra mile to ensure that there are no errors or delayed submissions. Data handling is done with precision to ensure that pharmacies are able to enhance the revenue cycle through precision-driven pharmacy billing services.