Billing in AngelTrack

AngelTrack's billing system is a fully deterministic, outsourceable, end-to-end workflow for all receivables.

Flows through postprocess

Every receivable is tracked continuously, from dispatch through payment in full. You can never lose track of a single dollar of revenue.

Help! I Don't Know Anything About EMS Billing!

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Billing in AngelTrack is far easier than general medical billing because the software is built specifically for EMS billing... and only EMS billing. It does not support billing for other medical services (doctor visits, x-rays, lab work, surgery) and so it is vastly simpler than other medical billing applications.

There is a training video titled Demystifying Billing for EMS Owners and Managers, which gives a one-hour overview of the process, with special guidance for EMS owners who are trying to judge the performance of their billing office. At the end of the video is a walkthrough for coding and filing a claim using AngelTrack.

After watching that video, sign up for a class to become a Certified Ambulance Coder. AngelTrack LLC recommends the CAC classes offered by Page, Wolfberg, and Wirth. The class will teach you how to select the proper diagnosis codes for your claim. AngelTrack's online help covers the rest of the process.

Billing Tasks are Divided Into Queues

At any given time, there will be many dispatches awaiting the attention of a Biller. AngelTrack sorts these dispatches into queues, according to what they are waiting for.

The queues are:

Each queue can be handled in-house or outsourced, as you see fit.

For more detailed information about each queue, refer to the Using the Billing Queues guide.

Why a Queue System?

AngelTrack's queue system solves three problems common in EMS billing:

AngelTrack's queue system significantly reduces the heroism involved in EMS billing, by storing all state information for every receivable... and then sorting each receivable into queues based on what the receivable is waiting for. It makes outsourcing easy, by having specific queues for each task that might be outsourced. And it prevents oversights by tracking every dollar owed for every receivable.

You Must Understand the Postprocess Workflow

To succeed as a Biller, you must understand the workflow that dispatches follow after call completion... and you must understand the key datafields that control each dispatch's path through that workflow.

Quick overview of the postprocess workflow

There is no getting around this requirement. AngelTrack moves dispatches around, presenting them in different ways based on what they need next. A biller must understand what AngelTrack is doing, and why, in order to work with the system rather than against it.

Read the Postprocess Workflows guide before attempting any billing activity in AngelTrack.

You Must Understand the Critical Dates

All financial events in AngelTrack are recorded as payment events. For every payment event there are three critical dates which have distinct meanings:

  1. The Activation Date stores the date and time that a crew actually ran the call and cared for the patient.
  2. The Date Received stores the date that a financial event legally occurred.
  3. The Bookkeeping Date stores the date and time that a biller using AngelTrack recorded the financial event.

You must understand -- and always be aware of -- the difference between these three dates. To learn more, read the Critical Dates for Accounting explainer.

Other Biller Tasks

In addition to the queues, billers are responsible for the following:

Manage the paper document workflow

Ideally, there are zero paper documents passing through your billing office. AngelTrack is specifically designed to push you and your crews towards this goal. Unfortunately it is difficult to hit 100% paperless, but you can come close.

So for those unfortunate exceptions, there should be a policy in place laying out the workflow that paper documents follow through your organization, from the moment they are handed to the crew to the moment they land in the shred box. If you do not have a clearly defined workflow yet, have a look at this sample paper document workflow and start a conversation with your manager.

The workflow will specify your responsibilities regarding paper documents sent in by crews. Some organizations push most of the scanning effort onto the crews, in which case billers just verify and then shred; other organizations push all the effort onto billers, in which case you will be processing, scanning, and uploading at lease once a week. Fortunately it is not difficult; read the Document Storage guide to get started.

Generate and manage invoices

Using the Invoice Generators, create invoices that include all calls billable to each facility, to each patient, and to each affiliate (if you accept calls rolled from an affiliate that guarantees payment). The invoice generators allow you to zoom in on certain date ranges or service levels if you wish... or simply bill for everything still outstanding.

Once you're happy with the invoice, use the 'Commit' button to move all of its dispatches from 'Billing office' to 'Awaiting payment'. This move tells AngelTrack and your fellow billers that there is nothing left to do but wait for the check.

Later, if an invoice goes unpaid, you can generate a new invoice and include the unpaid calls from the previous invoice. Accomplish this by generating a 'complete' invoice rather than a 'differential'... or generate a 'custom' invoice and include calls set  Awaiting payment .

An invoice can also settle a ledger balance if any, or be sold to collections.

For further reading, see the Invoicing guide, the Invoice Generator guide, and the Invoice Comments guide. To learn how to implement a weekly/monthly reinvoicing cycle, read the Weekly/Monthly Reinvoicing Guide.

Process payments and EOBs received

After a dispatch graduates QA and moves through the initial workflow:

Initial workflow must wait for a reponse -- be it a payment, an approval, a denial, whatever.

When the response EOB arrives, you must process it into one or more payment events. Electronic EOBs (in X12.835 format) are processed automatically; for paper EOBs, use the Record a Payment Event page to key them in. The affected dispatches may then await further payments, or may move to a queue for re-billing, depending on the details in the EOB.

The Import an EDI Document and Record a Payment Event pages will guide you in selecting the next step in the workflow. For further reading, refer to the Payment Event guide.

If you are not yet familiar with the numbers 837P, 999, 277CA, and 835, or if you do not yet know how your billing software, your clearinghouse, and the insurance carriers all work together, then read the EDI Primer first.

Curation of Patient and Facility Records

AngelTrack gathers mountains of billing data, and it is all keyed to the patient records and the facility records. It is the biller's job to curate those records, keeping them up-to-date and removing any duplicates created accidentally by dispatchers.

Read the Curation of Facility and Patient Records guide to learn more.

Monitor the Problem Queues

Some of AngelTrack's billing queues are primarily intended for identifying and fixing problems...

The Facilities Potential Payables report shows which facilities have potential financial liability for unfinished dispatches. Normally this report will show some number of outstanding dispatches to your contracted facilities. You are looking for dispatches that -- due to mistakes during call-taking or billing -- are set to bill to an uncontracted facility. For example, you might discover a discharge from hospital back to a contracted nursing home, but accidentally set to bill the hospital. The hospital will then show up in this report as obligated to pay it.

For each facility that appears in the aforementioned report, and should not be there, click its name to view its list of unfinished dispatches. Make the necessary corrections to the billing fields, and then refresh the report to verify the errors are resolved.

Likewise, the Special Handling Queue shows dispatches that have unusual billing settings, which are likely to be a mistake. Every dispatch in this queue should have its billing settings checked.

Finally, the Stale Receivables Queue shows all dispatches that have received no billing activity in a certain number of days (45 days by default).

Know the Anti-Kickback Statute

The Federal Anti-Kickback Statute casts a long shadow over the world of EMS billing. It applies to all customer relationships where Medicare or Medicaid patients are in play.

If not already well-versed in this law and how it applies to your operation, read the Anti-Kickback Statute Primer and then meet with your billing director for guidance and clarifications.

Collect Missing PCS Forms

AngelTrack's Prior Auth Queue constantly fills up with dispatches that are missing their PCS forms. Periodically you must visit your contracted facilities and get these missing PCS forms signed.

Read the Bulk PCS Collection guide for help.

Help Index - AngelTrack EMS Billing Software