We are sharing another amazing special guest blogger, Melissa Pierson, with you! Check it out below!

6 Direct Billing Myths

Last summer I took my three kids for a walk, when my 3-year-old shouted, “Hurry! Before dat dog eat us!” I looked over and expected to see a giant ferocious looking dog but to my surprise it was the world’s tiniest wiener dog. You see, my kids don’t have a lot of experience with dogs. They’re scared of anything that’s unfamiliar to them.

The same is true with us.

Some RMTs are nervous about direct billing, but I think it’s mostly because it’s unfamiliar. Once we learn more about it, it becomes second nature.

This is why I created a Direct Billing Course for Canadian Practitioners. I wanted to walk people through the whole process.

There’s also a lot of myths and misunderstandings about direct billing, so I wanted to address those to show you there’s little to be afraid of.

MYTH #1: You won’t know right away if the claim is covered, so you’ll be left to “hunt down the patient” afterwards if the claim doesn’t go through.

The truth is that the insurance companies will tell you immediately how much will be covered. This is called “real-time adjudication”. The key is to put the claim through while the client is still in your clinic.

MYTH #2: It takes 30 days to be paid from the insurance companies, which leads to cash-flow issues.

I don’t know of a single insurance company that takes that long to pay. Most pay the very next day which is no longer than the processing time for a credit card payment. Some take a little longer, but the longest wait time is around 2-weeks.

MYTH #3: It’s really easy for your clients to submit their own receipts, so it’s better to just have them do it. Why should you take on the added stress?

This is a big assumption. You may have elderly patients that need assistance with the internet, or clients that are unfamiliar with the submission process. Why would we dump the added stress on our patients? One of our primary goals should be to REDUCE stress … not increase it! Many clients ONLY choose practitioners who direct bill.

MYTH #4: You can’t trust your patient’s private information to a third party.

The direct billing portals comply with privacy acts and have legal agreements with the insurance companies.

MYTH #5: If you direct bill, you will be audited more frequently.

Direct billing does not increase the possibility of being audited by the insurer. Audits are typically routine rather than in response to a suspected problem. In my experience I have been audited much more for claims submitted by clients themselves. If you are audited, the process is simple. It involves either a phone call or letter in the mail requesting confirmation of how much the client was charged and the date of service.

MYTH #6: Direct Billing is time consuming.

Direct Billing can take extra time, but there are many things that speed up the process.
1. Have someone walk you through it (like in my CEU approved course!)
2. Utilize a practice management system that directly integrates with some portals (like Jane or Noterro). Then submitting a claim takes the same number of clicks as accepting a credit card payment!
3. Many of the portals recall past client’s information, so repeat clients are very easy to direct bill for.

Also, remember that you’re sort of getting paid for the extra time, because you save on credit card processing fees (which really add up!)

If you’re ready to add this valuable service for your clients and want to learn the easy way instead of stumbling through it on your own, check out my course over at The Online Wellness Institute! Use the promo code DIRECT25 at checkout to receive 25% off.

You can also find us on Instagram and Facebook at @onlinewellnessinstitute and TikTok & YouTube at @onlinewellness. Our unstuffy fun podcast is called Massage Life Podcast and can be found on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcasts!

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