What is Medical Billing Outsourcing?
Traditionally, medical billing was provided by billing personnel who worked for each provider or medical institution, and many offices still handle medical billing in-house. However, it is becoming more and more common to outsource those tasks to professional companies that specialize only in billing services.
The electronic system of record-keeping and billing that is now mandatory is complex and constantly changing, so medical billing is much more complicated than it used to be. Even though billing staff are the ones submitting claims, it is ultimately the physician who will be held responsible if there are problems, which can even include charges of fraud if duplicate billing or other overcharges are found, whether they were intentional or not.
All these factors have combined to make medical billing stressful and time consuming for medical providers.
Outsourcing Medical Billing Is a Proven Solution
Handing billing over to professional billing services has proven to be a cost-effective solution to the challenges brought about by the expanding regulations and requirements involved with getting reimbursements from government payers and insurers.
Here are seven of the most commonly experienced benefits that result from working with professional billing companies.
1. Frees Medical Staff to Focus On Their Priority—Patient Care:
Turning over the work of filling out claims and dealing with payers allows medical professionals to focus on patient care, knowing that their billing and other revenue cycle management (RCM) tasks are being taken care of by specialists. Medical office staff are able to give more attention to patients and build relationships so they feel that the practice cares for them and they are not just a number. Billing services may even take patient phone calls with complaints and questions about their bills, which saves office staff a lot of time and frustration.
2. Outsourcing Medical Billing Cuts Labor Costs.
When billing is done in-house, in addition to salaries and benefits for the billing staff, the facility/practice bears the costs of hiring, onboarding and training them. Whenever there is turnover, the costs recur.
3. Reduces Logistical Expenses:
Office space, computers and software are also required for billing staff, and all those costs completely disappear when billing is outsourced. Medical billing operate off-site, in their own offices and billers are their employees, completely independent of the medical practice.
4. Keeps Patient Data Safe:
Outsourcing medical billing helps keep patient data in the most secure system during transmission. The information that is sent back and forth between the provider/billing company and the payers is highly personal and extremely valuable on the black market because it contains so much private info, including addresses, family tree (mother’s maiden name, etc.) medical history, and so forth. Hackers are constantly coming up with new ways to steal this info, so digital security companies must stay a step ahead by updating software protections. Billing services use the latest (and continually updated) software to protect patient information as it is being transmitted to payers.
5. Increases Physician Revenue:
Despite being a helpful service, outsourcing medical billing actually increases revenue for their clients. Medical practices lose a huge amount of money each year due to dropped claims. Having a system in place, managed by experienced billing professionals, reduces errors resulting in rejected and denied claims and keeps unpaid claims in process until they are paid. This comes with no risk to the practice because medical billing companies will usually work on commission, accepting a small percentage of collections. If business drops or the billers are unsuccessful, they don’t get paid, so their incentive is high to maximize the amount of reimbursement you receive.
6. Speeds Up the Payment Cycle:
Effective medical billing have a system in place for getting claims filed quickly. The sooner they are submitted, the sooner they can be reimbursed. But another important part of getting fast payment is making sure clean claims are submitted in the first place. Even tiny errors get claims rejected, adding weeks to the payment time for each one, so part of the system should be having an experienced biller review each claim, ensuring there are no errors.
7. Keeps Billing Up To Date With the Latest Codes, Regulations and Payer Rules:
Because medical billing companies depend on having current software, to do their job, they are able to get high-end, current software that may be too expensive for small practices or independent labs to afford. This makes sure that the codes used are current and new payer rules are accommodated.
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If you haven’t outsourced your medical billing yet, it’s time to assess whether you can afford not to. We understand that it is a big change and making the wrong choice is risky, so we are happy to discuss how our medical billing services can benefit your business and answer any questions you still have. Give us a call at 800-640-6409.