Denial code 143 means that a portion of the payment has been deferred. This indicates that the insurance company or payer has decided to delay or hold back a certain amount of the payment for a specific reason. It could be due to missing or incomplete documentation, a need for further review or investigation, or other factors that require additional clarification before the full payment can be made.
Common causes of code 143 are:
- Incomplete or missing documentation: If the healthcare provider fails to provide complete and accurate documentation to support the services rendered, the insurance company may defer a portion of the payment until the necessary information is provided.
- Lack of medical necessity: If the insurance company determines that the services provided were not medically necessary or did not meet the criteria for coverage, they may defer a portion of the payment.
- Incorrect coding: If the healthcare provider submits incorrect or inaccurate codes for the services rendered, the insurance company may defer a portion of the payment until the coding discrepancy is resolved.
- Non-covered services: If the services provided are not covered under the patient's insurance plan, the insurance company may defer a portion of the payment.
- Pre-authorization or referral requirements not met: If the healthcare provider did not obtain the necessary pre-authorization or referral for the services rendered, the insurance company may defer a portion of the payment until the requirements are met.
- Timely filing limits exceeded: If the healthcare provider fails to submit the claim within the specified timeframe set by the insurance company, they may defer a portion of the payment.
- Coordination of benefits issues: If the patient has multiple insurance coverage, and the primary insurance has not paid its portion, the secondary insurance may defer a portion of the payment until the primary insurance processes the claim.
- Contractual agreements: If the healthcare provider has a contractual agreement with the insurance company that specifies certain payment terms or conditions, the insurance company may defer a portion of the payment if those terms are not met.
- Billing errors: If there are errors in the billing process, such as incorrect patient information, incorrect insurance information, or incorrect charges, the insurance company may defer a portion of the payment until the errors are corrected.
- Policy exclusions: If the insurance policy has specific exclusions for certain services or conditions, the insurance company may defer a portion of the payment if the services fall under those exclusions.
Ways to mitigate code 143 (Portion of payment deferred) include:
- Accurate and complete documentation: Ensure that all patient information, medical history, and treatment details are accurately documented. This will help in providing a clear picture of the services rendered and justify the payment requested.
- Verify insurance coverage: Before providing any services, verify the patient's insurance coverage and eligibility. This will help in avoiding situations where the payment is deferred due to lack of coverage or incorrect insurance information.
- Obtain prior authorization: For procedures or treatments that require prior authorization, make sure to obtain the necessary approvals from the insurance company before providing the service. This will help in preventing denials related to lack of authorization.
- Clear and concise coding: Ensure that the medical codes used for billing accurately represent the services provided. Use the most specific and appropriate codes to avoid any confusion or misinterpretation by the insurance company.
- Timely submission of claims: Submit claims to the insurance company in a timely manner, adhering to their specific guidelines and deadlines. Delayed submissions can lead to payment deferrals and potential denials.
- Follow up on outstanding claims: Regularly monitor the status of submitted claims and follow up on any outstanding or unpaid claims. Promptly address any issues or discrepancies to prevent payment deferrals.
- Stay updated with payer policies: Stay informed about the latest policies and guidelines of the insurance companies you work with. This will help in understanding their requirements and avoiding any potential pitfalls that could result in payment deferrals.
- Implement effective revenue cycle management processes: Establish efficient revenue cycle management processes within your organization. This includes accurate patient registration, thorough insurance verification, proper coding and documentation, and timely claim submission. A well-structured revenue cycle management system can significantly reduce the risk of payment deferrals.
By implementing these strategies, healthcare providers can mitigate code 143 and minimize the occurrence of payment deferrals, ensuring a smoother revenue cycle and improved financial outcomes.
The steps to address code 143, which indicates a portion of payment being deferred, are as follows:
- Review the claim details: Carefully examine the claim to ensure that all necessary information, such as patient demographics, insurance details, and service codes, are accurate and complete. Any missing or incorrect information can lead to payment deferral.
- Verify insurance coverage: Contact the patient's insurance provider to confirm the coverage details and eligibility criteria. Ensure that the services provided are covered under the patient's plan and that any pre-authorization requirements have been met.
- Check for coding errors: Review the coding used for the services rendered. Verify that the correct CPT (Current Procedural Terminology) or HCPCS (Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System) codes have been assigned. Any coding errors can result in payment deferral or denial.
- Investigate documentation: Thoroughly examine the medical documentation associated with the claim. Ensure that it supports the services billed and provides sufficient evidence of medical necessity. Inadequate or incomplete documentation can lead to payment deferral.
- Appeal if necessary: If you believe that the payment deferral is unjustified, prepare a well-documented appeal. Provide additional supporting documentation, such as medical records or clinical notes, to substantiate the services provided. Clearly explain why the payment deferral should be reconsidered and provide any relevant policy or guideline references.
- Follow up with the payer: Maintain regular communication with the insurance company to track the progress of the claim. Inquire about the status of the payment deferral and any additional information or documentation they may require to resolve the issue.
- Implement preventive measures: Analyze the root cause of the payment deferral and take steps to prevent similar issues in the future. This may involve staff training on proper coding and documentation practices, implementing quality assurance processes, or updating billing systems to ensure accurate and timely claim submission.
By following these steps, healthcare providers can effectively address code 143 and work towards resolving the payment deferral in a timely manner.