Behavioral Health

how to network for mental health insurance billing

So I think the biggest lessons that we took away from them are that we should avoid manual, time-intensive, and non-value adding billing workflows. So, when I mention this, some examples of what we saw were that some of our peers were recording patient activity and paper registries or third-party tools. They were manually adding up the time spent on care at the end of the month, and selecting charges based on mental health billing what they were able to add up using a calculator. So currently what we see in a lot of primary care practices is that the primary care provider is delivering behavioral health interventions to the patient directly. Collaborative care adds two care team members to supplement the existing PCP-patient relationship, and those two care team members are the behavioral care manager and the consulting psychiatrist.

For example, we offer an Out-of-Network Reimbursement Calculator that allows clients to estimate how much they will end up paying for therapy after maximizing their insurance coverage. This allows patients to fully know how much they will have to pay out of pocket before they begin therapy. It also gives therapists the option to establish a sliding scale rate method to help the financial needs of potential clients. Psychiatrists, psychologists and therapists can improve their collection rate by hiring trained staff who understand billing for mental health services and the ins and outs of the insurance industry. The extra cost of hiring someone will be offset by the increase in revenue from seeing more patients and building your practice.

Choosing a Mental Health Diagnosis

To help illustrate that point, I’ll give you another example of what this industry is like within the state of Ohio. The EHR you’re using probably isn’t the same one that a pediatrician’s private practice utilizes. Both EHRs serve different niche’s within the healthcare industry so they probably also have different features.

  • Find the rate that Medicare pays per mental health CPT code in 2022 below.
  • Anthony Centore, PhD, is Founder and Chair at Thriveworks — a counseling practice focused on premium client care, with 340+ locations across the US.
  • Using insurance to help pay for mental healthcare can seem like a complicated and convoluted process.
  • Since a clearinghouse acts as a middleman between you and insurance organizations, they’re an essential piece of the mental health billing puzzle.
  • ANSI 837P is the accepted electronic format for practices that have to submit under the CMS1500 form.
  • This creates a lot of variety in how much a therapist or client can expect to be reimbursed for a session.
  • CPT codes communicate services and tasks performed by mental health professionals during sessions.

During the PHE, some of these have been waived so that they can be reported for established or new patients. That’s a temporary one, but there have been some waivers made there. And in this case, again, because the E/M section is designed for physicians and qualified health care professionals to report, in this case, we have two parallel sets of codes. And not every code is available in a telemedicine setting, but there are some, and I did highlight of the ones we went over here. Those that are in red are listed in one of the appendices in the CPT book, and that’s that appendix is designed to specifically talk about codes that have been approved by the panel for use in a telemedicine setting.

Submit Claims Properly

And there are lots of guidelines in terms of what’s determined to be separately identifiable, and what have you. Until recently, many health insurance plans in the United States excluded coverage of mental health care. Even if someone had health insurance, their plan might exclude therapy services.

how to network for mental health insurance billing

Diagnosis coding allows mental health professionals to identify different treatments, diagnoses or actions given to the patient. Diagnosis coding is documented to make it easier to categorize different mental disorders or diagnostic evaluations during therapy. These codes are essential for the billing process concerning insurance.

Depression in Older Adults Recognizing and Addressing Mental Health

They should have features included within it that I also included within the terms section from earlier as well such as; rejections, claim scrubbing and denial management. Your clearinghouse should also keep a record of your denials and place them within work queues to kick off the appeal process. The claims that come back to you with a denied status are particularly important. That way, you can easily tell the status of that piece of mail and whether or not the paper claim got to the payer’s address.

However you end up doing them, you need to transcribe this information onto a CMS1500 form and send it electronically or physically to the insurance company. You now have all the necessary information to file claims, you know what to charge the patient in person, and you know where to file the claims. Insurance companies regularly update their formularies to classify drugs under certain payment categories. It’s best to ask your doctor to help you find out what payment category your drug is in before you go to the pharmacy to avoid an unpleasant surprise when the bill arrives. In this case, you have to try and get payment from the client directly. With some perseverance, and a strong working knowledge of billing, you can expect to collect 96%, to as high as 99% of your claims.

Someone had a question about the vaping, whether or seven could be used for vaping. I know we did have some items, particularly around smoking cessation, and we actually have a service where individuals can actually send queries, particular coding queries to us. Oftentimes, we’ll get a lot of the questions, just like what you’ve posed here, and what we typically will refer people to is what’s called our CPT network and our knowledge base. And it’s a group of coding experts that I actually managed here at the AMA to handle specific coding queries, because as we all know, sometimes the nuances come in the documentation and the details. Integration of the electronic health record billed to support both clinical and administrative functions was essential to adding value.

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