October 2014

October 2014

A common misconception is that you have to submit insurance claims electronically. Yet even Medicare doesn't require practices with fewer than ten employees to submit claims electronically. Some carriers actually require paper billing--especially personal injury and worker's compensation claims.

Here's how to file the old-fashioned way:

  • Send weekly paper claims. Because both PI and Workers Compensation claims need copies of office notes attached, it needn't be done on a daily basis. Plus, your practice probably doesn't have a high enough volume to require it.
  • Even if you want to bill every day, it won't do much good. Adjusters tend to process these claims monthly or bi-monthly. Daily billing merely costs more in postage. Worse, it suggests that you do a high volume of these types of claims raising a red flag.
  • Submit a clean claim. That means all the blanks are filled in, the patient's ID number and group claim number are in the right field, any secondary payer information is included, the DC's PIN and NPI numbers are listed correctly, using the proper modifiers, and that box 14 indicates you initiated treatment within the recommended period of time.
  • Use 10-, 11- or 12-point standard dot matrix or laser print fonts on letter-quality paper; no italics, bold, special characters, or mixing fonts; align all information within the designated field; submit only six line items per claim; and no rubber bands, staples, highlighter, red ink, hand stamps or onion skin.
  • The claim form must measure 8 ½ x 11 inches, and will scan better if left unfolded—so send it flat in a 9 x 12-inch envelope. And naturally, no smudges, tears or illegible entries. Correction fluid makes the paperwork almost impossible to scan. Use correction tape instead.

Sadly, sometimes claims processors get in the way of saving a tree. But if you submit paper claims correctly, you'll save time and get paid more quickly.

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