Create a collaborative team to regularly discuss patient care documentation, EMS billing, collection, denial, and appeal metrics as part of continuous improvement.
EMS agencies continue to struggle to make ends meet. The cost of EMS patient care continues to rise, while ambulance reimbursement rates continue to disappoint. In addition, Federal and state regulations continue to multiply. When payers and regulators fail to see the immense value EMS brings to healthcare, economical solutions can be hard to find.
This post, the fifth in a 10-post series, highlights another EMS best practice intended to help your agency keep its footing by increasing efficiency and improving revenue.
EMS Best Practice #5: Foster Collaboration Between EMS Crew Members and Billers
Billers often complain that crews forget documents and don’t document correctly. In turn, crews complain that their priority is to save lives and billers don’t understand how much they must multitask in the field. The relationship between crews and billers provides a litmus test of your agency’s organizational health. If they aren’t getting along and you haven’t done anything to bring them closer together, then it’s time to start. Correct the communicative weaknesses causing these issues to improve employee relations, productivity, and reimbursement time.
EMS billers depend on the crew to document thoroughly and correctly the first time. Otherwise, billers are waiting on addendums and amendments. At best this delays payment and at worst it might uncover that the transport wasn’t medically necessary. Give your crew insight into what billers need. Provide ambulance billing tip guides and checklists like those by Palmetto. Crew feels less overwhelmed by documentation when they know what’s needed.
Define a multidisciplinary team to regularly discuss billing, collection, denial, and appeal metrics as part of continuous improvement efforts. Collaborate to integrate billing with dispatch and patient care reporting to improve accuracy and minimize payment loss. Consult with billers on the configuration of dispatch and ePCR systems. Back this up with regular QA processes to help optimize biller-crew interactions.
Want to see all 10 EMS best practices?
Download our eBook, Ten Best Practices to Optimize EMS Workflow, to gain nine more best practices that will help you revitalize your organization, increase efficiency, and improve revenue. It includes concrete actions that you can take to streamline dispatch, simplify patient care reporting, and improve EMS billing to maximize reimbursement.