How to Bill More and Worry Less
One question that we are asked consistently is how practices can bill more claims and reduce the amount of anxiety that taking insurance causes on clinicians and patients. This is a great question and the answer that successful practices have come up with over the years goes against what one would think in terms of business growth. However, what we have observed from successful practices over the years makes sense and can be applied to a variety of situations and practices. In this blog we want to take you through the keys to billing claims more and reducing the anxiety on your staff and your practice.
Identify Your ideal Client
The first key to billing more claims and worrying less is to identify your ideal client. When you identify your ideal client you are creating a niche for yourself that you can market en masse. Once you know your ideal client you can develop treatment modalities and marketing strategies that apply to this person specifically. You can then start to build a practice based on a particular person or persona and that helps people to identify you as the subject matter expert for those issues.
When people have clarity around who the subject matter expert is they assume that person has solutions for those issues. You were able to carve out a piece of the market for your practice and to establish yourself as the center of solutions for a particular set of problems. This is something that we have seen practices do successfully time and time again. Successful practices will identify themselves as eating disorder practices, or psychological testing practices, or practices built for anxiety or depression. These practices tend to do well over time because the market has clarity around where they should go for a certain set of problems. Friends and family know where to refer their friends and family to. This creates momentum and clarity that general garden-variety therapists can’t match.
Additionally practices that niche themselves have clarity around hiring clinicians that are good fits. Practices that niche themselves know where to go for training and specialization. There are a lot of benefits to identifying your ideal client that lead to decisions that allow you to bill more and worry less.
Finding your ideal client helps you to limit the diagnosis codes that you use and the treatment codes that you use. This reduces the amount of questions and clerical complexity that comes with a practice that can take any and all clientele. If you know what diagnosis that you are billing then you can ask the insurance to clarify the eligibility check around that diagnosis. This reduces the amount of billing mistakes that can be available.By reducing the amount of available billing mistakes you set yourself up for rapid growth and sustainable business processes at scale.
Credential With Insurance Companies That are a Good Fit
The next strategy to bill more claims and to worry less is to credential with insurance companies that are a good fit for your ideal client. Not all insurance companies are a good fit for your practice. For example, let’s say you live in an area where a particular insurance holds most of the market share. Maybe that company is the insurance company for a large manufacturing company or they offer the cheapest plans for companies in your area, that might be a good insurance company to consider credentialing with.
Another example is if an insurance company caters to a particular market segment. Some insurance companies offer plans only to veterans. Some insurance companies offer plans only to people in a lower income bracket. Some insurance companies offer plans only to elderly people. Some insurance companies offer plans for all of those market segments. If your ideal client fits into any of those specific market segments it might make sense for you to credential with those insurance companies.
Another way to look at which insurance companies to credential with is to see which insurance companies are the easiest to work with. Some insurance companies have very complex administrative procedures. Some insurance companies don’t. We recommend that you ask your colleagues which insurance companies they enjoy working with and which ones they don’t. By understanding which insurance companies are a good fit for your practice and are the easiest to work with, you set yourself up to develop relationships with those companies that can grease the wheels on growth . You’ll run into less issues with those insurance companies when you submit claims and therefore can increase your claim volume with less hassle than you were with other insurance companies.
Hire Clinicians That Have Clarity Around Insurance
The next strategy to employ in order to bill more claims and to worry less is to hire clinicians who have a baseline knowledge around insurance. It is a shame that masters programs across the country don’t offer a seminar or class around third-party payment. Most therapists acquire knowledge of insurance by working in a practice or a community health center. However, that knowledge is invaluable to your practice because they understand how to interact with insurance and how to avoid any pitfalls with insurance.
You can obviously train the knowledge into new therapists but it will delay their efficacy within your practice. Therapists that have a baseline knowledge of insurance will know what questions to ask clients, what questions to ask insurance, and how to collaborate with an in-house or outsourced biller when it comes to claims issues. You will want to hire clinicians that make taking insurance simple and easy versus complicated. If you find a clinician that is a good fit but doesn’t understand much about insurance, it would be worth training them or paying for time for them to be trained.
Outsource Processes That are Time-Consuming
The next strategy that we would recommend in order to submit more claims and worry less is to outsource processes that are time consuming and reduce a return on investment on your time. The billing and administrative procedures of a private practice can eat up a lot of your week. We recommend outsourcing your billing processes or hiring an in-house person that you trust in order to maximize the areas in the practice that you are most needed in.
By finding a competent biller you are buying your time back to scale your practice. You can focus on projects that will bring in more revenue, you can focus on your team and developing their skills, you can focus on writing, you can focus on family time, you can focus on a wide range of areas that will ultimately help your practice. Your time is invaluable and by paying for someone to run processes you are buying time back to scale.
Find Strategies to Bill For Time That You Have Not Billed For
With the advent of new measurement based technology you can now bill for brief assessments that you may not have known you can bill for in the past. If your practice is administering any brief assessments then you are able to bill for those assessments and get paid by the insurance company. We recommend that you reach out and ask what those codes would be and what services you could offer in order to get paid for those. We would be happy to walk you through that process and connect you with resources that would help make this process faster.
Ultimately, we exist to empower providers to focus on patient care by removing the burden of billing and educating around best revenue cycle management practices. We believe that you can help as many people as possible if your time is freed up to focus on your clients and your business. Reach out to see how we can help you scale your practice and we would be happy to talk to you about any questions that you have.