Hospitals face potential communications gap between providers, billing departments, healthcare leadership organization says

Hospitals and health systems could improve communication between providers and billing departments by increasing provider awareness of reimbursement claims processes, said the authors of a national survey.  

The survey of 3,450 physician assistants and 250 NPs, conducted by the Center for Healthcare Leadership and Management, a division of the American Academy of PAs, found that 42 percent of physician assistants and 20 percent of nurse practitioners don't know whether claims are billed under their own name and national provider identification number, the physician's NPI number or a combination of the two.

"This data point indicates a potential communications gap between providers and billing departments. As the PA and NP workforce continues to grow, bridging that gap, and building provider awareness of reimbursement claims processes can help increase revenue by maximizing reimbursement and avoiding billing mistakes," said Jennifer Broderick, managing director of the center. The center offers institutions advisory services on how they can best use their PA and NP workforces.

Five other survey findings related to billing and reimbursement:

1. Physician assistants are less likely than nurse practitioners to bill under their own national provider identifier number. One reason for this may be that many commercial payers do not authorize PAs to bill under their own NPI number. Thirty-four percent of physician assistants submit claims under their own number compared to 55 percent of nurse practitioners.

2. More than 57 percent of respondents said their compensation was not based on productivity measures such as billing, collections or relative value units.

3. More than half of respondents said they were not given or were not aware of any report or dashboard that tracked their productivity or other hospital metrics (e.g., hospital infection rates).

4. Eighty-seven percent of respondents reported receiving some education about documentation and coding.

5. More than 70 percent of respondents said their employer gives feedback about documentation and coding.

Read more about the survey here. A link to the center's billing and reimbursement online module is available here.

 

More articles on healthcare finance: 

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Physician staffing firms are behind $30M campaign to stop surprise-billing legislation, Politico says

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