Sedate the Stress: A Comprehensive Guide to Medical Billing for Anesthesiologists

Can you imagine a world without anesthetics? 

I mean, just thinking about having to get through major surgery, childbirth, a colonoscopy, root canal, or wisdom tooth removal without local, general, regional, or monitored anesthesia can make anyone cringe. 

No matter how high their pain tolerance is – or how tough they claim to be. 

But thanks to anesthesiologists like you, patients don’t have to live in that petrifying reality. Instead, they get to live in a reality where things don’t always have to get worse before they get better – even surgery

And we’re eternally grateful for all that you do! 

With that said, we know your job isn’t easy. And we know it involves much more than just relieving pain and putting patients to sleep – though that does encompass two of your most prominent responsibilities. 

But behind the scenes, you’re trying to run a business just like everyone else. And like most businesses, your practice not only has a reputation to uphold, but you also have bills to pay – and money to collect. 

Step-by-Step: Breaking Down the Medical Billing Process for Anesthetics

Medical billing is the process of documenting, monitoring, and managing a healthcare facility’s insurance claims and reimbursements (via medical coding), and patient invoices (for what insurance doesn’t cover). 

In other words, it’s what gets you and your employees paid. 

And it’s what ensures you have the means to continue doing what you do best. 

Unfortunately, many anesthesiologists struggle in this area. 

Denials. Rejections. Delayed reimbursements. Collections. Coding errors. Typos. Frequent changes in billing codes and insurance regulations. Failing to pre-authorize certain procedures. Cash flow problems. 

Look, we get it – medical billing and coding can be a nightmare. 

But don’t worry – that’s what Millenium Medical Billing is here for. 

Whether you’re new to the anesthesiology community or are looking to streamline this process in your private practice, our talented team of medical billing experts can help you take control of your finances.

Here’s a brief overview of how we can help you and your practice thrive. 

1. Patient Information

Anyone who has ever walked into a hospital, doctor’s office, or healthcare clinic understands that their appointment doesn’t start until they finish filling out the paperwork handed to them by your receptionist. 

Believe it or not, this is one of the most crucial steps in the medical billing process.

It not only details the patient’s name, date of birth, address, phone number, email, and insurance, but it also contains the HIPAA consent form. Without this information, your chances of getting paid are slim.

2. Procedure Documentation

During the course of the visit, anesthesiologists and their team must properly and accurately document the patient’s medical history, type of medical procedure chosen, and the anesthesia technique used.

Failure to document this information could result in errors and delays down the road. 

In fact, it plays a major role in helping your medical billing team determine financial responsibility based on what the patient’s insurance covers (if anything) and what the patient will have to pay themselves. 

3. Medical Coding

Medical coding is the process of transforming healthcare diagnoses, procedures, medical services, and equipment into universal medical alphanumeric codes – which are then used by insurance companies. 

Any errors or typos with medical coding can result in claim denials and rejections. 

In addition to understanding how to use ICD, CPT, and HCPCS codes, your medical billing team should know the various modifiers to use and understand how base units, time units, and contracted rates work.

4. Claim Submission

Once your medical billing team has the correct codes and modifiers, they can start to build what we refer to as a superbill – the document that gets sent to the insurance company in exchange for reimbursement.

This superbill is also called a claim, and it acts as the invoice for insurance companies. 

Before submitting an insurance claim, anesthesiologists need to double-check (we recommend checking three times, if not more) that all the patient and procedure information is correct, accurate, and error-free.

5. Denials & Rejections

Once an insurance claim is submitted, the insurance company will review the invoice and check for any inconsistencies, typos, and errors. If everything goes well, they’ll approve the claim and you’ll get paid. 

If something is wrong, they’ll either deny or reject the insurance claim. 

A denial can be resubmitted once the errors are fixed – at which point they’ll review it again and hopefully approve it. A rejection, unfortunately, can’t be resubmitted and the bill is then sent directly to the patient.

6. Patient Billing & Collections

Whether you’re dealing with an uninsured patient, a claim rejection, or an insurance plan that only covers a portion of the procedure or treatment, chances are the patient will have to pay at least some of the bill. 

In that case, the patient will receive a separate invoice for whatever’s not covered. 

While that invoice is usually due right away, anesthesiologists should expect at least some delay when invoicing patients. If that invoice isn’t paid in a timely manner, the bill can be sent to a collection agency

7. Reporting & Analysis

A quality medical billing company will analyze your practice’s billing and reimbursement data to identify trends, monitor payment patterns, and make informed decisions to optimize revenue cycle management.

This data is then communicated through a series of reports and analytics

The goal here is to minimize the amount of time it takes for insurance companies and patients to pay invoices, as well as reduce the number of claim denials and rejections by prioritizing claim approvals. 

Millenium Medical Billing: Your Key to Financial Success

Is the medical billing process too much for you to handle? Is it taking too much time, energy, and effort that could be spent on patients? Do you need an extra hand with insurance claims and patient billing? 

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of those questions, then you’ve come to the right place. 

Welcome to Millenium Medical Billing – where anesthesiologists can thrive again. 

With more than 15 years of experience in the industry, our team of medical billing experts stay up-to-date with evolving healthcare regulations and coding standards to ensure our clients always remain compliant.

To learn more about how we can help your practice thrive, contact us today at (718) 356-1337.