Basic Mistakes in Laboratory Billing Software Implementation

Billing is one of the major systems to develop and implement in your medical laboratory. Many businesses decide right away that they need to work with a reputable third party to handle billing logistics.

 

After all, delegating arguably the most important part of the process provides the benefits of their speed, efficiency, and expertise to move things through the revenue cycle more quickly and with fewer errors, all of which leads to more money in the door for your laboratory.

 

However, before you begin implementing your laboratory billing software at your organization, there are a few mistakes we’ve seen time and again.

 

As a laboratory billing solution provider, we’ve seen these errors slow down the payment process, cause frustration for all parties, and, worst of all, cost organizations money they shouldn’t have spent.

 

Here are four basic mistakes we see in laboratories when implementing laboratory billing.

 

Volume Expectations Aren’t Being Met

 

In some scenarios, medical laboratories do not have enough space. Under normal conditions, laboratories will project their minimums vs. maximums when forecasting future volumes for billing. The cost of laboratory certification and recertification is determined in part by the number of patient tests performed each year.

 

Unfortunately, the issue of not meeting the expected volumes can be an unpredictable factor for laboratory managers. You can forecast revenue flow more precisely if you are more careful about detailing the level of activity in your laboratory and thus obtain a clearer picture of expected volume.

 

Failure to Have Credentials and a LIS Agreement in Place Before Signing

 

Because clinical laboratories in the United States must follow stringent standards and regulations, they must be certified by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA). If your organization has not yet prepared for CLIA certification, this is a challenge that should be prioritized.

 

Another common error made by organizations when implementing laboratory billing software is failing to have Library Information System (LIS) agreements in place before partnering with a billing services company. This is a common beginner’s error in new start-up labs that have never used a LIS before working with a provider.

 

In this case, the solution is simple: have the LIS agreement in place before you collaborate with us. Keep in mind that if you lack the necessary laboratory credentials and licensing, no provider can bill or host billing for your laboratory.

Employees are Not Fully Trained in Coding Regulations.

 

The use of incorrect codes is a common error in laboratory billing. It’s easy for claim denials to occur if members of your team aren’t fully up to speed on the various coding regulations, such as perfectly assigning procedure codes to diagnosis codes.

 

A simple way to solve this type of error is to use software with built-in error correction, which will detect discrepancies in billing and allow an employee to quickly correct them on the spot. It’s also in your best interest to organize for additional training, particularly for new hires with little experience in medical offices.

 

The Information Technology Department Lacks The Technical Knowledge and Experience Required To Maintain Software.

 

A common error made by medical organizations is failing to plan ahead of time and ensure that their information technology staff is capable of handling the new software and hardware used to manage billing tasks. As a result, they do not carefully evaluate new software offerings, even though the apps could save the organization time, money, and dedication in its normal operations.

 

Consider your organization’s early days, when the software was more primitive and it took longer to complete basic tasks, in comparison to the leaps and bounds we can now achieve. With high-speed connectivity over secure networks, you can count on billing software being updated regularly by the developer.

 

You also have the advantage of other software professionals handling any necessary upgrades and patches on time, which your local IT team may not be able to do as quickly or efficiently.

 

Hiring additional staff for your IT department is one solution to this problem. However, organizations are not always willing to add another employee or two, especially when they are unsure of how much they can add through human resources. Rather than hiring new employees, sending your software professionals for training may be the best option.

 

However, collaborating with third-party software developers, primarily outsourcing billing to a firm that will typically rely on software as a service or SaaS offering outsourced billing software services, provides the best return on investment for many medical organizations.

 

A Better Billing System For Your Business

 

There are numerous factors to consider when putting in place a laboratory billing system. There’s a lot on your plate, from not meeting your stakeholders’ volume expectations due to insufficient volume, to failing to have proper LIS contracts in place before trying to sign up for service, to having issues with your potential, to providing ongoing training and technical support. You will undoubtedly want to avoid easily avoidable laboratory billing errors.

Billing is one of the major systems to develop and implement in your medical laboratory. Many businesses decide right away that they need to work with a reputable third party to handle billing logistics.

 

After all, delegating arguably the most important part of the process provides the benefits of their speed, efficiency, and expertise to move things through the revenue cycle more quickly and with fewer errors, all of which leads to more money in the door for your laboratory.

 

However, before you begin implementing your laboratory billing software at your organization, there are a few mistakes we’ve seen time and again.

 

As a laboratory billing solution provider, we’ve seen these errors slow down the payment process, cause frustration for all parties, and, worst of all, cost organizations money they shouldn’t have spent.

 

Here are four basic mistakes we see in laboratories when implementing laboratory billing.

 

Volume Expectations Aren’t Being Met

 

In some scenarios, medical laboratories do not have enough space. Under normal conditions, laboratories will project their minimums vs. maximums when forecasting future volumes for billing. The cost of laboratory certification and recertification is determined in part by the number of patient tests performed each year.

 

Unfortunately, the issue of not meeting the expected volumes can be an unpredictable factor for laboratory managers. You can forecast revenue flow more precisely if you are more careful about detailing the level of activity in your laboratory and thus obtain a clearer picture of expected volume.

 

Failure to Have Credentials and a LIS Agreement in Place Before Signing

 

Because clinical laboratories in the United States must follow stringent standards and regulations, they must be certified by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA). If your organization has not yet prepared for CLIA certification, this is a challenge that should be prioritized.

 

Another common error made by organizations when implementing laboratory billing software is failing to have Library Information System (LIS) agreements in place before partnering with a billing services company. This is a common beginner’s error in new start-up labs that have never used a LIS before working with a provider.

 

In this case, the solution is simple: have the LIS agreement in place before you collaborate with us. Keep in mind that if you lack the necessary laboratory credentials and licensing, no provider can bill or host billing for your laboratory.

Employees are Not Fully Trained in Coding Regulations.

 

The use of incorrect codes is a common error in laboratory billing. It’s easy for claim denials to occur if members of your team aren’t fully up to speed on the various coding regulations, such as perfectly assigning procedure codes to diagnosis codes.

 

A simple way to solve this type of error is to use software with built-in error correction, which will detect discrepancies in billing and allow an employee to quickly correct them on the spot. It’s also in your best interest to organize for additional training, particularly for new hires with little experience in medical offices.

 

The Information Technology Department Lacks The Technical Knowledge and Experience Required To Maintain Software.

 

A common error made by medical organizations is failing to plan ahead of time and ensure that their information technology staff is capable of handling the new software and hardware used to manage billing tasks. As a result, they do not carefully evaluate new software offerings, even though the apps could save the organization time, money, and dedication in its normal operations.

 

Consider your organization’s early days, when the software was more primitive and it took longer to complete basic tasks, in comparison to the leaps and bounds we can now achieve. With high-speed connectivity over secure networks, you can count on billing software being updated regularly by the developer.

 

You also have the advantage of other software professionals handling any necessary upgrades and patches on time, which your local IT team may not be able to do as quickly or efficiently.

 

Hiring additional staff for your IT department is one solution to this problem. However, organizations are not always willing to add another employee or two, especially when they are unsure of how much they can add through human resources. Rather than hiring new employees, sending your software professionals for training may be the best option.

 

However, collaborating with third-party software developers, primarily outsourcing billing to a firm that will typically rely on software as a service or SaaS offering outsourced billing software services, provides the best return on investment for many medical organizations.

 

A Better Billing System For Your Business

 

There are numerous factors to consider when putting in place a laboratory billing system. There’s a lot on your plate, from not meeting your stakeholders’ volume expectations due to insufficient volume, to failing to have proper LIS contracts in place before trying to sign up for service, to having issues with your potential, to providing ongoing training and technical support. You will undoubtedly want to avoid easily avoidable laboratory billing errors.

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