If you provide mental health services, your psychology billing practices can have a profound effect on your business. Keeping the revenue stream flowing is necessary for keeping your doors open and the lights on.

Unfortunately, as you are probably well aware, insurance coding and billing issues can present a challenge, even on the best days. If you’re spending too much time worrying about verification of benefits and mental health billing, that’s time you aren’t spending with clients.

The experienced professionals from Threshold Billing Systems have put together a list of the top three psychology billing practices that can cost you money, cause you frustration and throw a wrench into your revenue stream.

No. 1: Not Getting Pre-Authorization

An increasing number of payers require pre-authorization before providing mental health services. If you have a client whose plan requires this step, you might have a hard time getting paid if you don’t comply. Getting prior authorization for mental health services can be difficult and time consuming, but it’s a step you simply can’t skip.

Even if a pre-auth isn’t required, verification of benefits is critical for every client, to ensure you’re going to get paid for the services provided.

No. 2: Coding Errors

Coding errors are one of the biggest problems in the realm of billing for mental health services. Whether you’re working with DSM, CPT or ICD codes, make sure you aren’t using outdated codes. Take the time to choose the most accurate diagnosis code, and don’t use the same code for every client. As for services codes, avoid using overly general codes, be super careful about using modifiers, and don’t get caught in the upcoding trap – it will come back to haunt you.

No. 3: Simple Oversite

Unless you have full-time coding and billing support, the chances are good that whoever is doing the billing is also juggling other priorities. This can lead to silly mistakes that lead to delays and claim denials. Misspelling the client’s name or getting their date of birth wrong, for example, are mistakes that you can easily avoid.

No. 4: Multiple Billings

It’s not uncommon for behavioral health billings to be submitted twice (or even more). Although this might not sound like a big deal, the payers definitely do. Whether it’s a delay in processing payment or an outright denial of the claim, sending duplicate billings can create big problems.

No. 5: Getting Behind on Psychology Billing

You know that billing for your services is the only way to keep cash flowing. But, if you’re like many other mental health service providers, you’re always running behind on billings. This lends itself to a variety of billing mistakes that could be easily avoided.

The best way to ensure that your billing goes smoothly is to use a mental health billing service. Threshold Billing Solutions provides a comprehensive and affordable suite of services for behavioral health treatment providers. Connect today to learn more.