Locating and assigning the correct payer ID before submitting a claim is the first—and arguably the most important—step in the billing process. Not spending the time upfront to do this important step could result in denied claims and decreased revenue. Especially considering that usually, it requires only a simple search to find this information. However, in some situations, it may not be as straightforward. This article explains the best way to find payer IDs and set yourself up for success with SimplePractice.
What exactly is a payer ID?
As mentioned above, in order to set up electronic claim filing for a client, you will need what’s called a payer ID. A payer ID is a unique five-character code used to transmit a claim to the correct payer. In order to collect on each claim, the payer ID must be 100% correct.
How to locate a payer ID
Usually, the most reliable place to get a payer information is directly from a client's insurance card. (See when the insurance card payer ID should not be used in the FAQs at the end of this article.) If you don't have a client's insurance card, here is another way to get a payer ID:
- Log into your SimplePractice account.
- Go to My Account > Settings > Insurance Providers.
- Enter the name or partial name of the Insurance Providers in the search box, as shown below.
- Once you locate the payer ID, copy it by highlighting only the payer ID as shown below and pasting it into the payer ID column in the Data Import Template.
Q: I entered the payer ID exactly as it appears on my client's insurance card, but nothing comes up when I search. Could you help?
A. Our clearinghouse uses a different payer ID to identify payers. For example, if you're trying to locate "Blue Cross Blue Shield," type the keywords, "Blue Cross" to find your payer ID, not the ID itself.
Q: My client's ID card has Michigan payer info, but my practice is in California. Should I use the Michigan info on the ID card or find the payer ID for the California location?
A. Good question! In this case, utilize the information provided on the client's ID card first (member ID, group ID, etc). However, claims should always be submitted to local payers that serve the location where the client was seen, regardless of what’s seen on the client’s member id card. In this case, since you are in California, always select the payer IDs also located in California (i.e., for Blue Cross Blue Shield, the payer id would be BC001, BS001).