If you’re a doctor or medical staff member, you probably know that general surgery billing can be a hassle. You’re also most likely aware that errors on Medicare claims can be costly. Unfortunately, according to Etactics, almost 50% of Medicare claims have mistakes on them. To avoid being a part of this statistic, follow these general surgery billing tips to help you avoid errors.

1. Get Organized

This tip may seem obvious, but it’s crucial. Make sure you have a system in place for tracking patient information, billing codes, and payments. It’ll save you time and headaches in the long run. Start by creating a master list of all of your patients. Include each patient’s name, contact information, and insurance information. Then, create a second list with all of the procedures you performed. Assign a code to each procedure. Using codes will make it easier to track what you need to bill for.

2. Verify Insurance

Before you see a patient, always verify their insurance coverage to ensure that it will pay for the appointment. You can check this information by calling the patient’s insurance company or by looking online. If a patient doesn’t have insurance, you may still be able to see them if you offer a sliding scale fee.

3. Know Your Codes

Billing codes can be confusing, but it’s important to fully understand them. If you’re unsure about a code, look it up or ask a colleague if they can provide you with more information. Using the wrong code can result in a rejected claim, so you definitely don’t want to input anything incorrectly.

4. Check Your Claims

Before you submit a claim, double-check it for errors. This checking procedure should include the patient’s name, procedure codes, and insurance information. If you make a mistake on a claim, it will likely be rejected and you’ll have to start the process over again.

5. Follow Up

If you haven’t received payment for a claim within 30 days, follow up with the insurance company. They may have rejected the claim, or they may need additional information from you. Don’t let claims fall through the cracks — following up will help ensure you get paid.

By following these general surgery billing tips, you can avoid mistakes and get paid more quickly. Organize your patients, understand billing codes, and follow up on claims to streamline the billing process. A good organizational system will save you time and money in the long run.