Between 40 and 50 million significant procedures are performed annually in the United States. Many people who have these surgeries are given anesthesia before any treatment, so they do not experience any pain. As a result, almost every healthcare facility has an anesthesia section specializing in providing anesthesia. Not only this, but this department is also usually in charge of Medical Billing for Anesthesiologists.
Being part of the anesthesia department of a healthcare facility, you must be familiar with the medical billing procedure. By taking the appropriate approach to billing, you can boost revenue each revenue cycle. Let’s have a deep understanding of the dos and don’ts of medical billing for anesthesiology practice:
Dos of Medical Billing for Anesthesiologists:
- Use the Correct Anesthesia Codes
When filing claims with health insurance companies, you must include several codes used in the medical billing field. You must educate yourself on the exact anesthesia codes sent to these firms.
The following are some of the most popular anesthesia codes:
- AA, which stands for any anesthesia services offered by an anesthesiologist.
- AD refers to anesthesia treatment provided under the supervision of a physician.
- QX stands for non-physician anesthesia services.
If you submit claims to insurance companies with incorrect anesthesia codes, they may be refused or denied. That is why you must ensure that you are using the correct codes for the claims you file and your own records.
- Set Up a System for Billing Patients for Anesthesia Directly
Your anesthesia department may administer anesthesia to people who do not have health insurance coverage in some cases. In this instance, you’ll need a different system to bill these patients for your services.
When it comes to sending invoices to patients, you’ll want to respond quickly, much like when it comes to submitting claims to insurance providers. You should also be prepared to issue payment reminders to these patients to maximize the likelihood that they will settle their debts with you.
Don’ts of Medical Billing for Anesthesiologists:
- Don’t Forget to Report Time Correctly
Calculating time units and base units is part of anesthesia medical billing. Base units are the quantitative values CMS assigns to anesthesia CPT codes for anesthesia services. The total time in minutes spent completing the procedure is used to calculate time units. One time unit equals fifteen minutes. Billing requires accurate documentation of start and stop times.
The start time is when the anesthesia practitioner begins physically preparing the patient for anesthesia services in the operating room or an analogous area. Whereas the end time is when the surgeon is no longer in constant attendance, and the patient can be safely placed under postoperative observation. Time units are calculated according to criteria established by CMS and commercial insurance providers.
According to CMS rules, UnitedHealthcare, for example, requires time-based anesthesia services to be recorded with actual anesthesia Time in one-minute increments – if the anesthesia Time is one hour, then 60 minutes should be provided. Specialists providing anesthesiology billing services understand the calculation of base units and the application of conversion rates for total anesthesia time.
- Don’t Forget to Know your Industry
Due to the relationship differences and complexity of anesthesia billing, it is critical that you understand every detail of your business. As each state processes claims differently, billing for anesthesia treatments demands more than just familiarity with current requirements. You should be well-versed in anesthesia billing, industry trends, and processes. Even excellent billing software can have quirks and/or shortcuts that reduce working time. Learning your software allows you to use it to its full potential and make accurate claims.
Compared to other medical specialties, anesthesia billing has become increasingly more complicated. Maximizing revenue for anesthesiology billing services is only possible if all members involved in handling the medical report, from the physician to the biller and coders, work efficiently while keeping the nuances of anesthesia billing in mind.
Even a minor lapse in following standard work procedures can result in significant income loss. A streamlined workflow protocol aids in conforming qualitative anesthesia billing to maximize revenue flow to a greater degree. The dos and don’ts listed above will help you effectively optimize medical billing for anesthesiologists to increase your profits. Or you can also contact the 24/7 Medical Billing Services team to avoid unnecessary mistakes or errors eroding your organization’s revenue.