Medicare & Commercial Insurance Deductibles
The 2022 annual outpatient (Part B) deductible for Medicare beneficiaries is $233. This is a $30.00 increase from last year. Many secondary plans expect the patient to pay the deductible before covering their portion of the Medicare payment amount. The patient who has one of those plans is responsible to pay the first $233 directly to their providers.
Additionally, most Commercial insurance beneficiaries with a deductible begin the calendar year with their full deductible due before their insurance plan begins to pay. Most practices have more money due from their patients at the beginning of the year than at any other time. However, it is not wise to automatically collect the deductible and be in the awkward position of refunding the patient their overpayment.
Patient Invoicing & Payment Services
As a reminder, Health Assets has made it affordable for your practice to send out professional invoices and receive payments from your patients. Please talk to us about setting up a regular patient mailing schedule. Practices that send out these invoices are more successful in recovering patient balances.
Additionally, Health Assets will send out the invoice when we are sure that the patient owes the money (after the complete billing cycle). Avoid overpayments and patient refunds.
Behavioral Health Billing Lessons from the Pandemic (so far)
Verification of Benefits is a Must! The playing field is not even. Every payer and each plan must be checked individually. Patients may look like they have the same coverage but have vastly different benefits.
Don’t assume that what is true today will be true in a couple of weeks! Teletherapy and waived copays are reassessed on state and national levels and by private payers as the pandemic continues to impact services. If you get a denial of payment, be sure to re-verify the patient’s benefits. Don’t allow time to lapse. You may do a disservice to you and your patient.
Remember that Health Assets has a team of Benefit Verification Specialists. We will do preliminary verification of benefits for each of your patients and can re-verify if there are any changes in your reimbursement (including denials).
Check the Health Assets website, www.healthassets.com, for news and resources. We are as attentive to individual practitioners as we are to group practices and clinics. Let us be the back office of your practice so you can focus on your clinical work.
As always, our staff is available to answer your questions about Medicare participation, as well as Medicaid and Commercial Insurance Payer billing and credentialing.
Here’s to a Happy and Healthy 2022!
Carmel L Gold, LCSW
Founder and Advisor
Health Assets Management, LLC