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ClinicTracker EMR

Friday, 01 December 2017

How Much Is Your Mental Health Agency Leaking Money?


If you live in a part of the world that experiences cold weather, it’s time to winterize your home. Close all the windows tightly, wrap pipes with insulation, add weather-stripping or caulk to doors. As our frugal elders would say, “There’s no sense spending good money to heat the outdoors.”

A similar concern applies to behavioral healthcare agencies; if you work hard to run an effective and efficient practice, you don’t want to lose profits by leaking money. The complex billing requirements of mental health and substance abuse agencies create many opportunities for even the best-intentioned practices to spring leaks that cost you productivity and profits.

The best way to prevent leaks is to create a system that tracks metrics and constantly assesses your agency’s financial health. This process is also aided by tightening your procedures from before a client sets foot in your office until you receive every penny you’re due. Here are some things to watch for in order to track and streamline revenue:

  • Did you verify insurance eligibility before the appointment? That confirms the patient has coverage and allows you to know and collect his or her deductible.
  • Did you use the correct CPT code for the service provided, appointment duration, and payor?
  • Can you set automated overrides that include payor-specific requirements, such as requiring diagnosis or date of birth?
  • How many intakes, admissions, and discharges occur over a given time period?
  • How many appointments do your clients keep vs. miss? Can you analyze the missed appointments to find patterns?
  • Do you track staff credentials? Because credentialing takes six to eight weeks, avoid claim denials by diverting clients to another clinician if necessary.
  • How many open claims exist? What’s the total open balance?
  • How many claims are rejected? And for what reasons?
  • Can you track fee schedules? If you know the standard fee schedule across all services, you will understand the amount that won’t be covered so your billing staff knows the amount to pursue.
  • Did you apply all the necessary modifiers to ensure correct payment?

If your current EHR doesn’t help you keep track of your agency’s financial health, consider ClinicTracker’s Billing Service. We can train your in-house staff to use BillingTracker or consider our Billing Services team to manage your revenue. We created ClinicTracker with mental health and substance abuse agencies in mind, so it can automate billing overrides specific to mental health claims or process institutional claims (paper UB-04 or electronic 837I). Our Billing Service integrates your clinical and billing workflows, creates and submits claims, reworks rejections, resubmits claims, and more.

Our newest feature–Performance Measurement Reports–can prevent money leaks automatically. These reports operate as an alert system: An administrator tells ClinicTracker what metrics to follow and the “safe ranges” for each. The system will send an email to the administrator–at an interval the user specifies–with a report that shows which metrics are in range and which are too high or low.

Performance Measurement Reports ensure a steady flow of intakes, admissions, and discharges. You can keep an eye on operations and use the data to be proactive about business decisions. Your specific reports improve financial control because you’ll always be on top of the number of unbilled appointments, patient and insurer credit balances, and the status of applied payments and adjustments.

As with every ClinicTracker feature, you can customize Performance Measurement Reports to fit the unique needs of your practice, and you can change the reports’ parameters as your needs change. These individualized reports provide the bottom line on your bottom line. It’s one more way ClinicTracker stops the money leaks to keep your practice financially healthy.

ClinicTracker is a robust, future-proof mental health and substance abuse EHR. Michael Gordon, a respected clinical psychologist, and Joshua Gordon, an award-winning software engineer, founded the company in 2000. ClinicTracker EHRs powerful software empowers your agency to succeed. ClinicTracker will automate many of your clinic routines, boost staff productivity, increase billing efficiency, and provide the tools you need to manage your clinic effectively. While mental health and substance abuse agencies are our main focus, our software is compatible with foster care agencies, social services, equine assisted therapy, university clinics, academic counseling, family counseling services, and eating disorder clinics.

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