On Rebilling

November 1, 2004

What time frame do you recommend for rebilling a service that has not been paid?

Question: What time frame do you recommend for rebilling a service that has not been paid?

Answer: Before you rebill, find out why the claim has not been paid. Use the claims status lookups available on most carriers' web sites. If the carrier says it never received the claim, then rebill. If it has the claim but the claim is pending, then call before rebilling. Most practices routinely rebill if the claim is pending, but if the claim is in process the result is a duplicate payment, which the practice must then refund.

If your state has a prompt-payment law, check on "open" claims the day after the time frame in the law has lapsed - if it's 30 days, for instance, then check on the 31st day.

With a service dated more than a year ago, pursue the claim with a passion. If the carrier denied the claim but responded late, then appeal the denial with supporting documentation on its response. Note that although the timely filing limit has passed, its response to your claim was also beyond that limit.

On the other hand, if a patient account is this overdue and you've made appropriate efforts to collect, don't pursue it unless there are extenuating circumstances. The bad PR just isn't worth it, particularly because you probably won't collect anyway. Write it off as patient bad debt.