Survey of Minnesota Mental Health Professionals about billing practices

Survey of Minnesota Mental Health Professionals about billing practices

Thanks to the Mental Health Professional (MHP) colleagues who completed the MHConcierge survey about billing practices.  We had 167 responses.  149 of the participants are psychologists, and we also had 3 social workers and 9 participants licensed by the Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy.  We aspire to have more responses, and more non-psychologist participants, for future surveys.

92% of the respondents accept insurance. 64% accept credit card payments, but only 7, or 6.67%, pass credit card fees on to patients/clients.  Several respondents commented that they have the understanding that their contract with their credit card company prohibits passing on the fee, and several also commented that they have the understanding that passing on the fee is “illegal.”

We also asked about passing on the MinnesotaCare Provider Tax to patients/clients, and only 9, or 5.73% pass on the tax.

We asked about use of Health & Behavioral Codes, and 21% were not aware of these codes.  Interestingly, 41% use the H&B codes at least once per week, but 25% have never used them.

In regard to the relatively new 96127 code, Brief Emotional and Behavioral Assessment, 28% were not aware of this code and 66% were aware of it but had never used it.

Finally, we asked about use of outcomes measures.  25% report using outcomes measures with most clients/patients, and 36% use them with some patients/clients, and 35% do not use an outcomes measurement tool. 38% reported that they would increase their use of outcomes measurement tools if they could have reliable reimbursement. 61% would not change their use of outcomes measurement tools with reliable reimbursement.

These results indicate that it may be possible for some mental health professionals to increase their billing options by using H&B and 96127 codes.  Given that outcomes measurement is likely to be increasingly mandated, it seems advisable for MHPs to work towards integrating use of outcomes measures into their routine practice.

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