There’s so much more to running a chiropractic office than just being a great chiropractor. There are administrative tasks to complete, personnel to manage, a building or office space to maintain, and plenty of other tiny little details to attend to. So the last thing that a chiropractor needs or wants to worry about is being audited.
Unfortunately, audits happen. And while there’s nothing anyone can do about that, there are certain things chiropractors and office managers can do to minimize the chances, and they all have to do with prevention. Take a look at these top tips to help avoid those dreaded audits.
Taking patient notes and creating proper documentation can be one of most challenging duties for chiropractors. That’s because to do it right, it takes lots and lots of time. And while initial billing services might not require documentation, each patient encounter should be conclusively documented. Why? Because this serves as the only official record of that encounter.
So, what happens if the service isn’t adequately documented (or not documented at all)? An investigator or auditor might conclude that the service was not provided appropriately. Proper and complete documentation is the only way to substantiate that the care you provided was actually performed. The good news is that quality billing services and software will give you peace of mind by ensuring compliance and protecting you in the event of an audit.
One of the most common problems that occurs when billing for individual services rendered during each patient encounter has inaccurate CPT® codes. It’s vital that you use the codes that most accurately describe the services you provided. If you have an in-house billing process, make sure you thoroughly read the description of that code (making sure it most closely matches the actual services provided) before actually using it.
Improper codes can also negatively affect your revenue. Using professional billing services can make a drastic difference in coding errors, which not only relieves stress within your practice, but also helps improve your bottom line.
Perform a Self-Audit
Okay, so nobody is thrilled with this idea, but providers can best avoid audits and recoupments by conducting self-audits. There are lots of upsides to doing so, including the fact that they’re an inexpensive solution to make sure your services are properly documented and billed. A self-audit can also be performed at any interval, like daily (before the services are actually billed), monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually. In addition, you can implement a self-audit on each chart for a particular date of service, or randomly on a less frequent basis for proper coding, documentation and compliance with provider/insurer contracts.
Do you have more tips for avoiding audits?
Proper documentation and coding are both things that professional billing services can help you with. Our team at ACOM Health would be happy to discuss how such services can not only help you avoid audits, but improve your efficiency and revenue. Please give us a call toll free at (866) 286-5315.