The 2 Lab Classifications and How to Bill For Them
Medical laboratories make up 3-5% of hospital spending, yet the information they provide accounts for 70% of medical decisions and 80% of a patient’s electronic medical record. As you can see, the data that medical laboratories process has a major impact on patient outcomes and quality of life. Therefore, it’s important that your clinic, hospital or health system processes this information correctly and in a timely fashion.
Why is Laboratory Billing Important?
The reasons for this are twofold. First, laboratory services play a crucial role in making diagnoses and guiding treatment plans. Physicians and physician assistants use this information to assist patients in pinpointing the source of uncomfortable symptoms and taking steps to treat them.
Second, if your facility offers laboratory services, they directly impact your revenue. Timely collection and processing ensure that your clinic, hospital or health system receives payment on time. In turn, this allows you to pay your staff, keep the lights on and make investments in equipment and personnel.
How Does Lab Billing Differ From Traditional Medical Billing?
Laboratory billing is different from traditional medical billing in that each service — blood panels, urinalysis and tumor markers — has its own unique current procedural technology codes. Correctly identifying these codes and submitting them to insurance providers is the first step toward receiving compensation.
Laboratory billing falls into two distinct categories:
1. Clinical laboratory services
Clinical laboratory services evaluate a sample of material from the human body (i.e., blood samples, biopsies or plasma) to diagnose, treat or prevent a particular medical condition. Some of the most common clinical laboratory services include biological tests, chemical tests, and cytological tests.
2. Diagnostic laboratory services
Diagnostic laboratory services are lab services that require the insight and expertise of a physician or other certified medical professional. Examples of diagnostic laboratory tests include surgical pathology, hematology and blood banking services.
Because laboratory billing falls into two separate categories, and because each category contains dozens of its own Current Procedural Terminology codes, there’s plenty of room to make errors. Without a dedicated partner to collect, process and make sense of this information, your risk of making a significant billing error increases dramatically. Considering most medical practices run on tight margins, that’s the last thing you want.
Fortunately, you don’t have to figure things out on your own. Here at Med USA, we have more than 40 years of experience providing laboratory billing services. Our commitment to client satisfaction and our laser-guided attention to detail provide all of our clients with a sense of confidence and peace of mind.
How Does Outsourcing Laboratory Billing Work?
Outsourced laboratory billing provides the same function as an in-house billing team. The main difference is that you don’t have to worry about management or oversight.
Many clinics, hospitals and health systems already use software to assist in their laboratory billing efforts. And while software can improve communication between your facility and your laboratory partners, and streamline internal processes, it isn’t necessarily a one-size-fits-all solution. Regardless of the type of software you use, regular updates and patches are necessary. Plus, if you don’t have an IT specialist on staff, you might not be using your program to its full capacity.
The first step to outsourcing your laboratory billing is to set up a consultation with our lab billing experts. During our initial appointment, we’ll discuss a variety of topics, including:
- The laboratory services you offer
- Your current billing processes
- The size and scope of your operation
- The type of electronic health records software you currently use
- Your goals for outsourcing
- Your budget
After gathering all of this information, we develop a custom laboratory billing plan that aligns with your facility’s unique needs. Remember that we can make adjustments at any point. You’re never locked into one specific program. Each of our services, including our laboratory billing program, is adaptable at a moment’s notice. We’re here to help your business, not hurt it. Click here to learn more about what to look for in a lab billing company.
Hire an experienced laboratory billing company
Finding the right laboratory billing company is critical to your management success. There are dozens of companies out there, but none can provide the dedication or efficiency of Med USA.
In fact, over three separate performed on the basis of just over two million individual patient visits, we billed an average of 98% of all claims within 24 hours. In addition, Med USA closed 94% of all charts the same day. To learn more about our medical lab billing system, get in touch today. We’re confident our solutions can save you time and money.
Take the Hassle Out of Billing For Your Lab
Talk to a laboratory billing expert today!