- Posted by Austin Swim
- On October 29, 2013
- 0 Comments
- Free Fonts
With all the concern about how our health care is costing so much, it makes sense to look at the way that services may be billed. And who does that billing? More and more people are getting into the profession of medical billing. As in any profession, ethical standards are a must, both for the protection of the client, and for the billing experts themselves.
Ethical behavior in the handling of billing, accounts management and other services for health care providers helps us to understand that health care billing and management are, as we mentioned earlier, professional services, and not just business operations.
Every professional in healthcare has elements of both altruism and self-interest of service to others and service to self. In the early days, the sliding fee scale was contrived in order for physicians to “make health” versus just make money. A major ethical concern has grown out of this practice to enhance patient friendly billing practices that adjust fees to accommodate the patient’s finances. In other words, offering discounts to patients who do not qualify under a charity care policy for free care.
So how do the professional billing experts integrate these values?
The organization of Healthcare Billing and Management Association (HBMA) has developed a Code of Ethics with depth of meaning and expression of the true definition of a “billing professional” and HBMA member.
So what are some of the guidelines?
- Sloppiness in bookkeeping can derail someone’s account very quickly and take inordinate amounts of time to correct.
- Trying to manipulate the system to get more benefits than what a client is entitled to will demonstrate a great lack of professionalism and breaches of ethics in billing.
- Billing for service covered rather than what was actually provided can end the operation of a business.
- A billing company exaggerating a diagnosis to justify more visits or providing a diagnosis to save face for someone can begin to establish a pattern of unethical practices.
- It is common for most to know that billing an insurance company for no show visits by the client is definitely falls into the unethical category.
HBMA Code of Ethics
HBMA Members Pledge to:
Exercise sensitive professional and moral judgment in all business activities.
Act in a way that will honor the public interest and demonstrate a commitment to professionalism and competence.
Perform all business activities with the highest sense of integrity.
Maintain objectivity and avoid any conflict of interest.
Strive to improve the quality and competence of services performed through continuing education.
Exercise care and diligence in providing services.
Maintain confidentiality of patient and client information.
Strive to comply with all relevant Federal, State, and Local laws and regulations.
Refrain from making misleading or false statements about professional qualifications, experience, performance or results that can be achieved.