Medical Billing Errors Can Cost More Than Just a Few Dollars
When it comes to medical billing codes, we take seriously our responsibility to provide accurate data. Whether it is ICD-10 or CPT codes, our clients need to be able to trust that what they find in our databases is accurate. Otherwise, errors are waiting to happen. Those errors can sometimes cost more than just a few dollars.
A recent report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau shows just what can happen when medical billing errors go unchecked. The report details tens of thousands of complaints among U.S. military service members who have run into billing and payment problems after using Tricare – the government's health insurance plan for the military.
Hurting Credit Reports
One of the most commonly heard complaints was that of incorrect medical billing leading to duplicate bills that went unpaid. The unpaid bills, despite not being legitimate, caused service members' credit reports to reflect medical debt. In one case, a soldier reported seeing his credit score drop by some seventy points for a medical debt he did not legally owe.
Medical debt on a credit report can be enough to prevent someone from obtaining credit. And even when credit can be obtained, a low score almost always means that a consumer will not get the most favorable interest rates and terms. However, it is one thing to have earned a poor credit score through poor financial habits; it's another thing to see your credit score fall because of debt that you don't owe, debt created by medical billing errors.
Some Debts Going to Collection
In some of the more egregious cases, medical billing errors have led to duplicate debts being sent to collection. One particular case involved a soldier whose medical bill was actually paid by Tricare. But a billing error created a number of duplicate bills that were not paid. They went to collections. The soldier is now fighting to stop the collection agency from trying to collect on a nonexistent debt.
It shouldn't be this hard for service members to use their health insurance. It certainly shouldn't be difficult to get a collection agency to back off on bills that are not legitimate. But all of that aside, at the root of what many soldiers are facing is a convoluted medical billing system that can be extremely difficult to understand.
A Ton of Codes
As a medical billing specialist, you are fully aware that there are tens of thousands of codes to deal with. That's a ton of codes as far as we're concerned. There is no way you can possibly memorize them all. You cannot even memorize all the categories and subcategories. You rely on being able to look up medical codes in accurate publications and online databases.
Patients rely on the same thing. When they submit their insurance cards at the office, they expect the billing process to be carried out accurately. They have a right to that expectation. It is not the patient's fault that our medical billing system is so complicated. The patient should not suffer for it.
There is nothing we can do at Find-A-Code to fix the system. We cannot wave a magic wand and make medical billing errors go away. But we can provide the industry with the latest, up-to-date medical billing codes in an easy-to-use online environment.
We invite you to give Find-A-Code a try. No matter what type of code you need to look up, you are just a few keystrokes away from accurate and up to date information. We are doing our part to help cut down on medical billing errors.