Professional vs Institutional Claims in Medical Billing

Professional vs Institutional Claims in Medical Billing

Medical billing involves a complex process of submitting claims to reimburse healthcare services rendered. Two primary types of claims exist: professional and institutional. Understanding the differences between these two is crucial for medical practitioners, billing specialists, and healthcare administrators alike. This blog will delve into the nuances of professional vs. institutional claims in medical billing.

What Are Professional Claims?

Professional claims typically involve services rendered by individual healthcare providers such as physicians, surgeons, therapists, and other licensed professionals. These services are often performed in outpatient settings, including private practices, clinics, or patients’ homes. Examples of professional services include office visits, consultations, diagnostic tests, and minor procedures.

Key Characteristics of Professional Claims

  1. Individual Providers: Professional claims are associated with services provided by individual healthcare professionals.
  2. Outpatient Services: These claims predominantly cover healthcare services offered in outpatient settings.
  3. CMS-1500 Form: Professional claims are typically submitted using the CMS-1500 form, which includes details about the services provided, patient demographics, diagnosis codes, and procedural codes.

Understanding Institutional Claims

Institutional claims, on the other hand, pertain to services delivered by healthcare facilities such as hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, and ambulatory surgery centers. These claims encompass a broader range of services, including inpatient care, outpatient surgeries, emergency room visits, and diagnostic imaging conducted within the facility.

Key Characteristics of Institutional Claims

  1. Facility-Based Services: Institutional claims involve services provided within healthcare facilities, often requiring specialized equipment and resources.
  2. Inpatient and Outpatient Care: These claims cover inpatient (overnight) and outpatient (same-day) services offered by healthcare institutions.
  3. UB-04 Form: Institutional claims are typically submitted using the UB-04 form, which includes information about the facility, patient demographics, dates of service, diagnosis codes, and procedure codes.

Differences Between Professional and Institutional Claims

  1. Provider Type: Professional claims are associated with individual healthcare providers, whereas institutional claims relate to healthcare facilities.
  2. Setting of Service: Professional claims cover services primarily delivered in outpatient settings, while institutional claims include inpatient and outpatient services provided within healthcare facilities.
  3. Billing Forms: Professional claims are submitted using the CMS-1500 form, whereas institutional claims are filed using the UB-04 form.


In the realm of medical billing, distinguishing between professional and institutional claims is essential for accurate reimbursement and compliance with regulatory requirements. Healthcare providers and billing specialists must understand the unique characteristics of each claim type and adhere to the appropriate billing guidelines. By mastering the nuances of professional vs. institutional claims, healthcare organizations can streamline their billing processes and optimize revenue cycles effectively.

By providing comprehensive information on professional and institutional claims in medical billing, this guide aims to serve as a valuable resource for healthcare professionals and billing experts navigating the intricacies of healthcare reimbursement.