Friday, January 8, 2016

New Year’s Resolutions for a Happy EMS Billing Office

It’s 2016!
Wow! It’s 2016!

It’s hard to believe we’ve entered a New Year. Wasn’t the 4th of July like yesterday?

Ready or not, here we are. It’s January and time to make those famous New Year’s resolutions. Of course, in the spirit of all things EMS billing here is the billing office’s wish list for you to adopt as your New Year’s resolutions.

New Year’s Resolutions for a Happy EMS Billing Office
Time is money…
Recite this with me (quietly…unless you want to scare the crap out of your partner…)
“I solemnly swear to write my Patient Care Report immediately after every run so help me God.”
There’s nothing more frustrating for your billing office than when you complete a Patient Care Report two week, three weeks, a month, longer… (grrrr…)

Folks; time is definitely money in the EMS business. The farther from the date of service that a claim is billed for one of your EMS incidents, the harder it is for your billing company to achieve its 100% payment goal.

It’s just that simple.

A Signature from Every Patient
Important resolution #2… obtain a signature for every patient, every time. Well at least that’s the goal that we should shoot for.

Signatures are more important than ever. Turning in a Patient Care Report minus a patient signature ties the hands of your billing office in a big way. A patient signature or a signature obtained from a representative of a patient not only provides the billing office with the authority to bill, but in many cases it also covers permission to appeal claims, collects, in writing, the patient’s pledge to resolve any billing issues and also acts as proof that the service was actually provided.

Signatures are a big deal (and by the way…make sure you sign your PCR too…even you are on the hook for a signature!)

The Best Darn Documenter in the Land!
Resolve today to be the Best Darn Documenter in the Land!

Own your documentation. After writing each PCR ask yourself the question; “Is this the best representation, in writing, of my EMS incident? Does your documentation in the PCR spell out the patient’s medical necessity (or lack thereof, depending on the scenario) and need for ambulance treatment and transport? Does your documentation clearly represent that the patient transport was reasonable?

Your billing office will so appreciate your taking the time to capture every detail. Remember…if you didn’t write it, you didn’t do it. Allow no detail to be omitted. Include all parts of your EMS incident by providing clear clinical documentation.

The times, numbers, values, assessment findings, statements made by the patient, mechanism, location, relation, duration…every single element paints a picture in words about your EMS scenario.

Your EMS billing office should easily be able to determine the source to bill to, adequately apply both a procedure and diagnosis code and send the claim for payment on its way with little stress.

You make that happen. Resolve in 2016 to nail your documentation and you and your billing office will contribute to the overall financial success of your organization in record numbers!

The Ambulance Billing Services blog is brought to you as an educational tool by Enhanced Management Services, Inc. Enhanced Management Services, Inc. is an all-EMS third-party billing contractor serving Fire/EMS agencies across the United States. To learn more about who we are and what we do, please visit our website at www.enhancedms.com and click on the “Get Started” button on any landing page.

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