Acupuncture Billing Requires Patience and Discipline

13 Aug

Acupuncture billing poses a unique set of challenges that can frustrate even the most knowledgeable medical billing experts. If you are a clinic that specializes in acupuncture, or one that offers acupuncture in addition to other medical services, you are well aware of the difficulty involved in billing for acupuncture services.

One of the most troublesome aspects of acupuncture billing is the fact that there is such a disparity between what different insurers will cover. While some insurance companies will approve acupuncture to only treat pain, others will cover much more.

Another common problem is that it is difficult to find qualified staff to perform your acupuncture billing. Acupuncture billers must have the patience and discipline to learn the subtleties of acupuncture billing. Unfortunately, when it comes to insurance reimbursements, time is money. If claims are not done correctly and in a timely manner, the result is delayed or denied claims which negatively effects a clinic’s cash flow.

Many acupuncturists decide not to accept insurance for their services. While this is understandable given an overwhelming amount of paperwork and denied claims. In the long run, however, this is can be a mistake.

The complexities of acupuncture billing leads many acupuncturists to decide not to accept insurance for their services. While this is understandable, it can have a negative impact on a clinic. Here are some things to consider about insurance before deciding not to accept it:

  1. More clients will be able to afford your services. When you accept insurance, patients who could not otherwise afford to be treated with acupuncture will be able to get the care they need.
  2. You can make more money. While it’s true that some insurance companies reimburse less than acupuncturists charge, this is not always the case. Further, the number of additional patients you are likely to attract by accepting insurance is likely to offset reduced reimbursements.
  3. It can enhance your marketing efforts. As an in-network provider you will be listed in print and online directories that companies provide to their employees. This will help to attract new patients.

Fortunately, the insurance industry is covering more acupuncture services every day. There are a variety reasons for this including the fact that complementary and alternative medicine is growing in popularity among Americans. According the National Institutes of Health, in the United States, four in 10 adults and one in nine children are being are currently being treated with some form of alternative medicine. Acupuncture also is increasingly being viewed as a cost-effective treatment that consumers are willing to pay for—even if it comes out of their own pocket.

Of course, acupuncture still poses significant challenges when it comes to billing. In light of this fact, it is often in the best interest of patients and providers to outsource this complex task to an experienced medical billing services firm.

Need help with your billing?  Call or Text Billing Buddies at 612.432.2366 or email bonnie@billingbuddies.com.

 

 

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