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How to Optimize Pain Management Coding and Billing 2021 September 9, 2021

Pain Management Code

Change is inevitable in healthcare. Providers are seeking ways to streamline medical billing and coding. Therefore, advanced technology is vital to achieving optimum efficiency in coding and billing processes. 

Pain Management Crisis

Chronic pain is a colossal public health issue. It costs billions of dollars in lost productivity and creates major health problems. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 50 million U.S adults suffer from chronic pain or one in five adults. As incidents of long-term arthritis and age-related conditions go up, this number will continue to rise. There will be more demand for pain medicine in the future. Additionally, payer demands are becoming a hassle. Prior authorization requirements put pain management at risk, affect fee schedules, and require patients to shoulder financial responsibility. 

How to Optimize Coding and Billing in Pain Management Practices

Utilizing the latest technology in revenue cycle management allows your practice to get paid for work in a timely and efficient manner. In pain management, coding and billing solutions are readily available to help your practice. We will explore the latest solutions that help optimize pain management medical billing and coding:

Outsourcing 

Medical practices know that medical billing is a vital but demanding task. Revenue cycle tasks such as patient scheduling, insurance verification, claims management, AR follow-ups, and payment collection can be challenging. When revenue is at stake, the quality of patient care goes down. That’s why many healthcare providers in pain management consider medical billing outsourcing. 

Outsourcing billing and coding allows practices to:

  • Achieve a flexible schedule for staff.
  • Maintain continuity and manage risks.
  • Boost growth.
  • Manage the basic tasks efficiently.
  • Ensure operational control.
  • Make sure reimbursements are prompt.
  • Reduce expenditures.
  • Increase productivity.
  • Cut revenue leaks.
  • Balance AR (account receivables)

Outsourcing is an effective way for medical practices to grow and expand while minimizing costs. Indeed, the best pain management billing company will help you ensure profitable revenue.

Automation of coding and billing

Automation is the future of medical billing and coding. Software automation can assist healthcare providers in cutting down unnecessary expenditures. Furthermore, it eliminates time-consuming tasks.. Billing automation can also bring considerable benefits to insurance pre-authorization. Moreover, the process of verifying eligibility and payment limits is simplified.. Thus, patients can get immediate care as soon as they need it.

Accurate pain management coding

Pain management coding always must be accurate. It’s the first step towards optimizing your healthcare revenue cycle management. A correct coding initiative is essential from a compliance standpoint. It is also helpful for reducing rejections, claim denials and ensures optimum reimbursements. Claims must be error-free and precise before they are sent out.

Here are coding initiatives that will increase collection and reduce denials:

  • Hire coding specialists for accuracy and efficiency. Partnering with a certified medical coder that focuses on pain management practices can quickly improve your cash flow.
  • Avoid non-specific diagnoses codes. In comparison with ICD 9, ICD 10 documentation requirements are much more detailed.
  • Avoid incorrect modifier usage.Make sure your coding follows payer-specific guidelines so that you don’t face denials or underpayments.
  • Avoid using a higher-paying code on a claim to receive big reimbursements. This refers to upcoding. This issue can cause more claim denials.
  • Stop upcoding and unbundling, as both are  illegal. Unbundling involves submitting bills piecemeal to maximize the reimbursement for tests and procedures that require billing together.
  • The process of Prior Authorization is necessary.
  • Stay away from under-coding – omitting or exchanging codes for a lower level of codes or less expensive code is leaving money on the table.
  • The medical necessity needs more documentation.

Switching to Telehealth 

The concept of a virtual visit is an interaction between patient and provider that doesn’t take place in the same room. It is also becoming more common in health care. For medical practitioners, virtual visits affect medical billing. The new CPT codes reflected the billing and procedures changes, so insurers had to update their policies right away. COVID-19 prompted many new treatments and protocols, which resulted in modifications to coding and billing. Health care providers lost a lot of money in the transition period due to denied claims. That’s why pain management billing software for your practice helps incorporate these changes. In addition, it prevents revenue leaks and ensures maximum future compatibility. 

New Software for Revenue Cycle Management (RCM)

What is Revenue Cycle Management software? It helps physicians and healthcare providers track and manage revenue from a patient’s lifecycle. Revenue cycle management solutions augment medical billing software functionality. It includes:

Seamless integration with EHR/EMR software – an easier way for exchanging data with the billing system.

Insurance eligibility and pre-authorization tools ensure the revenue collection process starts on the right path.

Advanced A/R management enables you to assist your facility’s staff and patients with the payment process.

Clearinghousean in-house intermediary service reduces  the time spent on the remittance process.

More important than ever, these features support financial operations throughout the life cycle of a medical facility.

Tap Into Our Expertise

It’s crucial to rely on current medical coding and billing solutions in light of these changes. These processes can further enhance your— billing processes, revenue cycle, and pain management practice.

At 5 Star Billing Billing Services Inc, we offer the highest level of performance for high-quality medical billing and coding. Save your money by outsourcing to a professional billing service.

Schedule a call with our experts today!


Pain Management: Signs You Need to Outsource Your Billing and Coding September 9, 2021

Medical billing and coding

Medical billing and coding are a great challenge for healthcare providers. Veteran surgeons and seasoned healthcare professionals see it as a struggle.  Regardless of the resources and assets, hindrances still occur.  It’s a parade of medical codes, insufficient time, and failure to follow-up for collections. How do you make more time for your patients? 

Medical practices are now finding ways to find the appropriate solution. In particular, pain management practices continue to deal with complex billing and coding. If your pain management practice seems to face many issues, you can always ask for our assistance. At 5 Star Billing Services, we offer comprehensive pain management billing services and collections. We can help your pain management practice grow.  So what are the signs that you need to outsource your billing and coding?

Late Payments

Following up on payments causes frustration. The increased reliance on patient payments requires an increased collection budget. Hiring a pain management billing service makes billing collections and claims easier. Our pain management billing experts track late payments quicker, so the in-house staff can focus on other tasks. About 54% of insured patients have trouble understanding their medical bills. We can also help patients clarify their confusion with their claims and other processes. 

The Decline of Patient Care

Spending more time on billing and coding than patient care is a big problem. Medical exams may get delayed when your nurses are busy with billing processes. In the end, your patients may end up walking out and never return to your practice.  Your staff is probably finding it hard juggling multiple tasks. That’s why outsourcing your billing and coding is the best option. Our pain management billing experts are always available to handle all the complex billing tasks on your behalf.

Pressure on staff

The administrative staff also faces difficulties with in-house medical billing. It’s time-consuming and frustrating. Training is necessary for up-to-date changes in rules and codes. However, it also takes significant time away from dealing with other admin tasks. In that case, you may need to assign tasks to other departments. Many practices are still hesitant to outsource their billing and coding. They fear that the cost will be prohibitive, but you can save a lot of money by outsourcing medical billing. It will help your practice become more efficient and help your staff maintain a work-life balance.

Loss of Workforce

High staff turnover is always a problem. When a staff member leaves, the remaining work might get divided among your team members. Often, these members lack medical billing and coding expertise, and new hires may leave before they complete their training. These issues reduce revenues, increase billing and coding errors, and erodes the quality of care. That’s why healthcare providers want the best for their pain management practices. Your patients can benefit from the services, and your pain management practice will be stable. In contrast, if staff resignations are piling up, it may be time to look for pain management billing services. Let the experts handle the tough job.

Struggle to find Staff Replacement

Finding qualified staff for your pain management practice can be hard. Both urban and rural areas are experiencing a shortage of skilled workers. Coding experts, medical billers, and administrative staff are especially hard to find. Other physician offices have high turnover rates due to problems with managers or office politics. According to the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), practice costs have risen by 50%. 

Increase in Insurance Denials

To maintain compliance with insurance coverage requirements, AR and billing staff must continually handle insurance denials. A high rate of insurance denials could indicate a poor denial resolution process. Experts can help you expedite your transactions. Our AR management and electronic claims in pain management reduce delays. Also, we provide an initial evaluation of your practice before we move forward. 

Account Receivables are Too High

In a short time, account receivables (AR) can mount up. That might be because of faulty software or an inexperienced biller. You may need to restructure your entire patient-to-pay revenue cycle. Likewise, you may not have enough staff to handle claims errors and denials right away. AR levels can rapidly rise due to any of these reasons or a combination of them. The American Medical Association (AMA) stated that the average is now 24%, with half of that percentage collected at the point-of-service—thereby adding to the overall A/R increase. Further, an unclear collections success rate results in administrative waste, unnecessary write-offs, and a loss of bottom-line profit.

Tap Into Our Expertise

Pain management coding and billing are indeed strenuous. That is why we provide you with several reasons to consider medical outsourcing. With the help of an outsourcing billing company, your pain management practice will grow.

At 5 Star Billing Billing Services Inc, we offer the highest level of performance for high-quality medical billing and coding. Save your money by outsourcing to a professional billing service.

Schedule a call with our experts today!


5 Signs You Need to Call a Medical Billing Specialist July 1, 2021

Medical Billing Specialist

There are still doctors who think outsourcing their medical billing process would deprive them of a healthy cash flow. However, most doctors swear by their outsourced billing services and wouldn’t consider bringing it in-house ever again. No matter where you fall on the spectrum, there might still be leaks in your revenue cycle. Here are five signs that you need to tap into the expertise of an experienced medical billing specialist.

1. Revenue Stream Slowing

You might not notice your revenue stream reducing when you’re focused on the day-to-day duties of patient care. First and foremost, assess how well your in-house billing department is operating, how much it costs, and if you’re paid on time. Then, start adding up what you spend on phone bills, internet, information systems, physical space, support staff salary, and billing supplies to get a handle on your billing expenses. When comparing the cost of a third-party medical billing specialist, this figure will come in handy.

2. Recruiting and staffing challenges

Because the process of filing claims and following up on them can be time-consuming, independent practices often find it difficult to maintain staff while being cost-effective. Any practice will suffer from high personnel turnover, leaving the billing department particularly vulnerable. The revenue cycle, on the other hand, will not run properly without up-to-date and constant staffing. If you’re having trouble finding and keeping the right billing employees, outsourcing might be the way to go.

3. Services rendered without payment and late payments

Payment problems can cause the revenue cycle to wind down quickly. Medical billing has evolved into a complex science, and most practices deal with multiple payers regularly, making it easier for unpaid bills to slip through the cracks. An outsourced billing system can help by taking care of the time-consuming and inconvenient task of following up on outstanding claims and notifying patients about their costs.

4. A high number of rejected claims 

A rejected claim must be reviewed, altered, and sent again immediately by your billing or office staff. The procedure can take up a considerable amount of their time and decrease the insurer’s productivity, not to mention making a new claim submission a second time. As a result, your billing process is not as efficient as possible if you notice an increase in rejected claims. With the help of a medical billing specialist, you will get fewer rejections and better service.

5. The billing and coding process is not up-to-date.

You may be overlooking inefficiencies in your practice if your billing staff cannot keep up with changing rules and trends. Errors in medical billing are costly and all-too-common. A third-party medical billing specialist will retain a high level of competence while also providing you with efficiency reports, which will give you vital, real-time feedback.

Benefits of Outsourcing your Billing Process

Working with experienced medical billing specialists has many benefits. Here the top 3 benefits of outsourcing your medical billing process:

  • Healthy Revenue Cycle

Medical billing companies are experts in the field. Entrusting your revenue cycle management to renowned specialists will be the best choice you can make for your practice.

  • Committed and licensed professionals

You’ll need the assistance of a devoted and licensed staff, and you won’t necessarily need to go through the training and hiring process. The experts will advise you to keep track of all of your claims. Their primary focus will most likely be on maintaining and improving the status of one’s practice.

  • Maintaining regulatory compliance

Medical billing companies are always up-to-date in changes in regulatory compliance and coding procedures. 

  • Save money

You can save a ton by outsourcing because you won’t have to spend as much money on overhead costs, hardware, and software. Management software can cost up to $200 per month per physician, and it isn’t inexpensive. Those concerns do not present once you have decided to outsource maintenance, and the cost of the equipment appears to be around $500.

  • More time with patients

Who doesn’t want more time and energy to devote to their patients? When you outsource medical billing services, you free up time and resources to focus on your key strengths, such as healthcare. Once your medical billing professionals take care of your billing and insurance processing, you’ll have hours on your hands.

Tap Into Our Expertise

At 5 Star Billing Billing Services Inc, we offer the highest level of performance for high-quality medical billing and coding services. 

Schedule a consultation with our experts today!


Measuring Pain Practice Accounts Receivable For Better Billing Performance March 19, 2021

pain practice accounts

How to Measure Accounts Receivable

You can use the following methods in measuring the quality of the accounts receivables of your Pain Management Practice:

1. Day’s Sales Outstanding (DSO)

The day’s sales outstanding (DSO) ratio is a simple way to assess the quality of accounts receivables. It’s determined by dividing average accounts receivables by revenue and multiplying by 365. The DSO ratio indicates how long it takes practice to turn its receivables into cash on average. It is often easier to use than the accounts receivable-to-sales ratio and the accounts receivable turnover ratio because it is in an intuitive unit of calculation (days).

2. Accounts Receivable Turnover Ratio

Analyzing a practice’s accounts receivables turnover ratio is another way to assess the quality of its receivables. It’s calculated by dividing a period’s sales by the average accounts receivables balance during that period.

The accounts receivable turnover ratio is a metric that measures how quickly a company can convert its receivables into cash. A high ratio usually indicates that a practice’s accounts receivables are of higher quality, as it reveals that receivables are being converted to cash more quickly.

Because a company can receive cash from its accounts receivables faster, a shorter DSO indicates that the accounts receivables quality is higher. While a high DSO ratio (more than 90 days) can indicate that receivables will become “stale” and may not be collected, it also indicates the poor quality of practice earnings.

3. Accounts Receivable-to-Sales Ratio

The accounts receivable-to-sales ratio is a simple way to assess the quality of your receivables. The ratio is calculated by dividing accounts receivable at a given point in time by sales over time. It shows what percentage of a practice’s sales are still owed to them. With a few tweaks, it’s the inverse of the accounts receivable turnover ratio. It’s the exact opposite of the accounts receivable turnover ratio, but with a few tweaks.

Since it is not guaranteed that all accounts receivable can be collected, a high accounts receivable-to-sales ratio may indicate a riskier practice with a poor quality of accounts receivable.

What Period Should be Analyzed for the Formulas?

While opinions differ on this, we think it is prudent to use a period that is appropriate for your specialty and practice and then study this measure over time to determine its pattern for your work. We suggest a time limit of the last 90 days. Divide your  Current A/R Balance with the quotient of Total Billed Charges over the past 90 days. 

How to Determine if the Result is Good or Bad?

The lower the A/R Days, the better it is. This means you’ll have fewer billed payments awaiting billing and adjudication. The A/R Days benchmark varies by specialty and can be influenced by practice-specific factors like treatment mix, payer mix, and internal policies. Consider the following scenarios:

Insurance providers can take longer to assess and pay claims for a specialty practice that conducts complex procedures with high average payout rates, such as Interventional Pain, resulting in a longer average period to adjudicate and pay the practice’s claims and a higher A/R Days measure.

Since pain practices are subject to denials due to inadequate prior authorization, medical necessity, or other obstacles, these factors cause claims adjudication delays, resulting in higher average A/R Days. Pain practices need to be aggressive about collecting time-of-service payments from patients at the front desk because these balances can take time to collect which can cause A/R Days to rise.

What other Factors Need to be Considered in Evaluating A/R Days?

The A/R balance of practice often includes both debit and credit balances, which means that although the majority of the balances are debited to be paid to the practice, others are credits showing possible overpayments that may be refunded. Significant credit balances in the total A/R balance will outweigh large debit balances, resulting in a deceptive A/R Days metric. Specialty practices that have higher than average credit balances can take this into account when calculating A/R Days. The argument is that when determining whether your A/R day’s number is positive or bad, you must understand the content and essence of the statements that make up your A/R Balances.

Tap Into Our Expertise

At 5 Star Billing Billing Services Inc, we offer the highest level of performance for high-quality medical billing. Let us help you during these dire times.

Schedule a consultation with our experts today!


Medical Billing Errors That Are Hurting Your Practice January 26, 2021

medical billing errors

Effective medical billing is the backbone of a successful practice. Thus, maintaining a healthy cash flow is every provider’s daily challenge. Any mistake, error, or delay will not only disrupt your flow but will also negatively affect your patient experience and patient retention. Therefore, it is essential to determine blockages that are hurting your finances. It will make it easier for you to streamline your processes, minimize errors, and improve the overall patient experience. We’ve gathered the top five medical billing errors and how to solve them: 

1. Limited Payment Options

Delay in your payment collection clogs up your cashflow. Consumers, including patients, prefer to settle their bills online through bank transfers, Amazon pay, PayPal, or credit cards. If you don’t offer at least some of these, that’s a problem.  Patients will pay more promptly if you give them a variety of payment options. 

Equip your patient portal with online payment options that comply with HIPAA and HITRUST standards. It will make it easier for your patients to pay you, increasing your patient collection in the process.

2. Incorrect Patient Data

Patient details are the foundation of your medical billing process. One typo on a patient ID number or name can get your claims rejected immediately. Always remind your staff to not just double-check, but to triple the effort using claim scrubbing software that can automatically detect typos, errors, or missing information.  

3.    Inaccurate Coding

Always get the updated version of your coding books. Coding guidelines, procedural, and diagnosis codes are updated annually. Coding errors are inevitable no matter how seasoned or experienced your staff may be. Make it a habit to conduct training or refresher courses for your staff for ICD-10 coding updates. 

4. Manually Managing Your Claims

There are still providers who are using a manual process for their denials management. If you are one of them, then it’s time for you to embrace medical billing innovations. You can get more 

insights through better analytics and improve your medical practice using automated EHR/EMR solutions integrated into your medical billing software. Some software has a checklist and alerts to ensure proper coding and billing practices. 

5.  Sending Claims to the Wrong Insurer

Sending the claim to the incorrect insurance provider is one of the simplest medical billing errors you can avoid. Usually, it happens because you do not have a copy of the patient’s insurance card. In order for you to send it to the right insurance company, always secure a copy of the front and back of the insurance card. Always ask the patients if there are any changes to their insurance, too. 

By eliminating the top billing mistakes in your medical practice, you can shorten billing cycles, maintain healthy cash flow, prevent regulatory violations, and deliver a better patient experience that will help you retain more patients and become more profitable.

Tap Into Our Expertise

By being aware of your medical billing errors, you can easily remove your blockages and improve your cashflow. At 5 Star Medical Billing, we offer the highest level of performance for high-quality medical billing. Let us help you during these dire times.

Schedule a consultation with our experts today!


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