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Billing Tips: Paper Claims

General Reminders

  • An original signature is required on all paper claims. The signature must be written, not printed or stamped.
  • Do not staple your paper claims. Staples delay processing time.
  • Before submitting your paper claims, remove side perforations. Side perforations delay claim processing time.
  • Please use only black ink when completing your claim form or marking on documentation attached to the claim.
  • Please do not use a highlighter on attachments.
  • Avoid entering data in the margin, header or footer portion of the form. Overlapping data may be misread.
  • Do not type zeros with a dot in the center. The scanning equipment may misread dotted zeros.

Tips to Avoid Privacy Breaches

Protect the health information of recipients during the paper claim billing process.

The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) and its Fiscal Intermediary (FI) recognize the importance of protecting the health information of recipients. Providers can help protect recipients’ health information by following the paper claim billing process. The FI uses Optical Character Recognition (OCR) equipment to scan all submitted paper billing forms. Accuracy, completeness and clarity of the form are important to ensure that the information is read correctly. Forms can be misread if information is illegible. Illegible information may be corrected manually, which results in a processing delay of claims and also increases the chance of a privacy breach. To avoid protected health information being sent to the wrong providers, which can result in health care privacy breaches, please adhere to the following guidelines when submitting paper billing forms:

  • Avoid printing claim forms using a dot matrix printer. Dot matrix print is not clear and the OCR equipment may misread it. Laser printers are strongly recommended.
  • Frequently change the ink cartridges on the printer to avoid light ink. Light printing is not legible and the OCR equipment may misread it.
  • Use black film-type or high-quality ribbons. Ribbons should be changed regularly to ensure that a clear, distinct character is printed. The OCR equipment may misread blurred or light printing.
  • Whenever possible, type all information. Use 10-point font or larger (not to exceed the size of the field). The OCR equipment can only scan typed or computer-printed forms. Do not use script or italic font.
  • Handwritten forms should be printed neatly and accurately using black ballpoint pen only. All requirements pertaining to typed forms, such as entering data within the text space, apply to handwritten forms.
  • Type only in areas of the form designated as fields. Be sure the data falls completely within the text space and is properly aligned.
  • Verify that the billing provider number and beneficiary identification numbers are correct.
  • Providers are encouraged to explore the many benefits of electronic claims submission, funds transfer, remittance and other business transactions. These electronic transactions expedite processing, minimize errors and streamline business office operation. Recent enhancements have expanded the types of electronic services available to the provider community.

To ensure timely and accurate claims processing, please adhere to the guidelines stated above.

If you have any questions, please call the Telephone Service Center (TSC) at 1-800-541-5555.