Helpful tips and tricks to reduce denials

Photo by Jason Coudriet on Unsplash

I did my first virtual webinar this week with my local AAPC chapter on a non-traditional medical coding topic. Although I have my medical coding certification, I have been working in Medical billing and appeals over the past 5 years. I really enjoy the troubleshooting aspect of it. Stuff gets submitted to the payer broken, error message ensues, then you try and “fix” it. This has been my new norm for the past 4+ years. I did it on the physician side for 2 years, now I am doing it on the hospital side…and even with the current state of healthcare, there are no signs of this process stopping any time soon. Although medical coding is prior to the health insurance claim being submitted to the insurance company, the point I made in my presentation was that it is helpful to have medical coders in different aspects of the healthcare business cycle. Think about it, Medical Coding professionals have to understand how and why codes are assigned to the claim for billing. With this information, your medical coding professionals, especially newer students, and might be able to help getting those “error messages” overturned. This can result in reimbursement for services for the facility or healthcare providers practice.

Why Denials continue to be a problem?

You can think of an insurance denial as an “error message” preventing payment to your providers office or healthcare facility. Knowing and understanding how to resolve a denial requires a deep understanding of medical coding and the codes that insurance companies use to communicate denied claims. These are often known as Reason and Remark codes and can be found here.

Your Medicare Administrative Contractors can be huge resources in this process. They often have free webinars that can provide you invaluable information on medicare guidelines for reimbursement, along with common denials that occur within their jurisdiction that might help in understanding claim resolution processes. The more you see and understand different types of denials you encounter, the more comfortable you will become with the process needed to obtain appropriate reimbursement for the services provided by your facility or physician.

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