3 Things Your Billing Office Staff Wish You Knew

“I am a Human Being”

Sometimes your billing office staff feels just like the 19th Century’s John Merrick from the classic 1980 movie Elephant Man. We just want to cry out in desperation…

“I am not an animal. I am not an animal. I am a human being!”

Billing office staff are people, just like you. We are not the intangible “The Billing Office” and we want you to know this about us…

1. We Want to Bill the Claim Just as Much As You Want Us To!

Time is money!

With every click of the clock and every passing day, the longer we move away from the date of service of your ambulance incident, the likelihood that we are going to achieve a quick easy reimbursement completion diminishes.

3 Things You’re Billing Office Staff Wish You Knew

Nothing makes an ambulance biller happier than to review a claim and have every part click. The PCR is pristine and paints a clear picture in words adequately outlining the medical necessity and reasonableness of the ambulance trip. Additionally, there is adequate detail for the proper assigning of an ICD-10 diagnosis code.

The Physicians Certification Statement (PCS) is completed, signed by the proper person who is also identified correctly including a printed name of the person signing the PCS along with their credentials, and the signature itself is dated. 

A hospital face sheet is included with insurance information and the patient or a patient representative signed acknowledging the authorization statement.

Conversely, nothing makes a biller more frustrated than to receive a PCR that is poorly written, with no detail and the supporting documentation is missing all or in part because…

    a) it means a delay in the claim being billed and more importantly paid, 
    b) we risk the ire of the crew on the trip because we now must interrupt your day to obtain what we need and 
    c) we have to touch the same trip another time.

2. We Really Do Care About the Patient As Much As You Do.

We hear some very sad stories when interacting with your patients. Part of any good billing office’s training is instruction about how to be sensitive and sympathetic to the plight of people who are ill, injured and many times confused about what they are to do next.

And…on top of it, now they are receiving a bill!!

We constantly must remind ourselves that we are talking and interacting with people who are ill, have suffered some kind of traumatic interruption to their life and/or a combination of the two. Plus, they are now perceiving they will be (or are) financially stressed because of it all.

Often they don’t like us just because we represent you and are asking for money. 

Consider the last time you had to deal with your health insurance or had a motor vehicle accident and all the “stuff” you had to go through to resolve the issue. Can the average patient really read and understand an insurance Explanation of Benefits? Does the patient fully understand that the insurance check they received is money to be paid to the ambulance service?

Completing the patient care loop by extending the excellent care you have provided in the field to continued excellence when working with the patient, after the fact, is vital for the overall satisfaction of said patient. If EMS is to be trusted in crisis, we must be trustworthy in our interactions with the patients we serve.

It’s our number one goal to help minimize the angst that can surround the ambulance billing scenario while remaining firm in collecting every dollar possible to support the EMS mission.

3. We Understand Our Jobs Don’t Exist Without You!

EMS is and always will be a team “sport.” The billing office is a vital part of that team.

We don’t have a job unless you do your job. Communication is key and we all must work together. We cringe when we hear about field personnel who label all of us as “That billing office…” (with grinding of teeth and gravel in voice.)

On the opposite side of the coin, we equally cringe when we learn of billing staff who demonize the people on the street providing patient care.

To fix this…

Providers- support the efforts of your billing office by doing your best to provide billing staff with a complete and precise PCR package.

Billers- work harder than ever to understand the complexity of the provider’s life, educate when possible and work even harder to treat each patient with the respect he/she is due.

In the end, if we work every day to respect each other- be it provider, patient or biller- we all win!

The Ambulance Billing Services blog is brought to you as an educational tool by Enhanced Management Services, Inc. Enhanced Management Services, Inc. is an all-EMS third-party billing contractor serving Fire/EMS agencies across the United States. To learn more about who we are and what we do, please visit our website at www.enhancedms.com and click on the “Get Started” button on any landing page.

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