Although Americans spend over $100 billion yearly on mental health treatment and care, many consumers still fall through the cracks. Citing problems in health care coverage and the resultant high costs of funding treatment by themselves, about one out of every seven potential mental health consumers choose not to pursue formal treatment of their illnesses.
The remaining mental health consumers either have their treatment, therapy, and medications covered by their insurance, or they pay out-of-pocket. The majority of mental health care providers report that they offer delayed payment options to their consumers, and about seven out of 10 providers also said that they accepted electronic payments from insurance companies or from consumers directly.
Mental health billing software is evolving to make payments easier and also to ensure that consumer information remains confidential. In an era where much data is stored offsite, security remains an important issue to health care providers who are committed to protecting sensitive consumer information.
About half of all data breaches in the mental health system happen because of direct theft: violation of mental health billing software or general mental health software is much less common. Still, software companies who provide security for health care firms have to constantly strive to protect files against the next, unforeseen digital attack.
Mental health billing software may lower the cost of collecting consumer claims from insurance companies, eliminating paperwork and postage fees and allowing for faster remittance times. About seven out of 10 “e-claims” come back paid in about one week, with claims submitted via post usually taking much longer to fulfill.
The savings from mental health billing software can be passed on to the average mental health consumer. The average savings of filing an e-claim is $4.00, which can add up over time and allow a health care facility to hire more therapists, host more group therapy, offer discounts on medication, and continue to improve services overall.
Using a digital billing solution could mean better mental health care for all American consumers, and may also attract some consumers who have not yet accessed mental health services.