The medical claims industry is only a small part of the trillion dollar healthcare field. However, it is arguably one of the most important aspects for providers, as the medical claims process allows physicians and practitioners to maintain their clinics and businesses by receiving payment for their services. Let’s take a look at how medical claims actually work.
The first step is for a patient to request services from a healthcare provider. The healthcare provider then grants services to the patient, be it in the form of a physical exam, diagnostic procedure, or any other billable service.
Each service is recognized in the medical industry with a unique code specific to that service. When the physician completes the patient report, the report will be submitted to medical claims with the appropriate medical codes for the services rendered.
Processing The Claims
The next step is to process the claims. This can be completed via traditional methods, such as fax or postal service. However, many practices are now implementing electronic claims processing, as it is significantly more cost effective, efficient, and secure than traditional methods.
The claims preparer examines the physician’s report on the patient. The preparer verifies that the claims codes are correct for the services that were rendered. The preparer creates the claim that will be sent to the insurance provider for that specific patient. The preparer might use a software such as Apex EDI for secure and efficient transfer of documents to the insurance company.
The claim is then processed by the insurance company.
Payment, Denial, and Appeals
Once a claim is processed, it is either approved or denied. A claim can be denied for a variety of reasons. The reason for denial could be as simple as the insurance company requesting more information before approval, or it could be that the service rendered is not an eligible service under the patient’s insurance coverage.
When a claim is approved, the insurance provider issues payment to the clinic or physician that submitted the medical claim. When a claim is denied, it may be resubmitted by the preparer, or the patient can appeal the denied claim to their insurance company. Typically a denied claim will require out of pocket payment from the insured patient in order to cover the cost of services rendered. However, a few exceptions have been made through lengthy appeals processes.
While medical claims billing might seem like a fairly straightforward process on the surface, there is a bit more to it than this article can provide. If you would like to know more about the medical claims billing process and how this aspect of your business can be streamlined with an EDI software, be sure to reach out to us by filling out the contact us form here. The professionals at Apex EDI will be happy to assist you with any questions you may have about improving your medical claims process.