Many small medical practices, those with only one or a handful of practitioners, believe that keeping all aspects of revenue cycle management in-house will give them a better understanding and control of their finances.
But most practitioners did not enter medicine to be billers and accountants.
The reality is that, compared to larger healthcare providers, smaller practices have fewer resources or personnel to contribute to
- Medical Billing and Coding
- Claims Management
- Patient Verification
- Patient Engagement
and other vital steps in the revenue cycle. So everyone ends up being involved just to get the job done.
Unfortunately, working as subject matter authorities on medical billing and coding policies often pulls practitioners from their primary duty—patient care.
Luckily, there are comprehensive services that can effectively protect and even increase revenue while reducing daily workload and overall operating costs. The use of medical billing services for small practices can be hugely beneficial.
The Problem with In-house Billing
There is no doubt that mistakes happen. In fast-paced practices, front-office personnel often perform multiple tasks. Codes get transposed, information is forgotten, or a doctor’s signature is omitted.
Even a well-trained, certified medical biller and coder fumbles occasionally.
While these errors are common, unfortunately they are also costly. But by outsourcing financial operations, mistakes are minimized, and a small practice’s revenue cycle is protected.
Submitting clean claims is just one task performed by billing and coding services for small practices.
Another important aspect of revenue management is navigating the complex world of claim denials and appeals.
Recent surveys found that 15% of all medical claims were denied for coding mistakes, 15%for incomplete information, and 21% for correctable coverage information.
Appealing All Denials Is Important to Your Revenue
Many people who are running small practices believe that revising a denied claim is not worth the time and that the unpaid revenue is ust the cost of doing business.
It is true that once a claim has been denied, it costs an additional investment of time to rework it and file an appeal.
But the reality of medical billing is that most denied claims are payable once revised. With these payment statistics, it makes sense to correct all claims for resubmission or appeal. Yet, research indicates that up to 65% of denied claims are never appealed. Clearly, providers are losing a tremendous amount of potential revenue by not engaging help to process their claims.
Accurate Billing Helps Retain Patients
Satisfied customers are a vital part of every small practice. No one wants to visit an office and be hit with an unexpected demand for payment. And few medical practitioners want to lose a customer over a minimal past-due balance.
So, it is not surprising that reducing claims errors, mistaken billing, and genuine invoicing mistakes can play a significant role in practitioner-patient relationships.
Ongoing patient interaction is a daily requirement, including:
- Treatment Education
and follow-up, to fulfill minimum standards of care. However, private and government-based insurance carriers also require various customer communication levels. One benefit of having a streamlined system is organized customer information.
Maintaining good communication is another aspect of customer satisfaction that can benefit from comprehensive coding and billing services management.
Trusting medical billing responsibilities to a third-party service reduces time spent in the office on paperwork and documentation. While everyone should be cross-trained and understand medical policy, a separate service ensures that all of the most recent changes related to coding requirements, documentation guidelines, and reimbursement policies are implemented.
No small medical practice wants to discover a change in insurance policy coverage is responsible for a drop in reimbursements.
Medical Billing Services for Small Practices Typically Include Software
Another benefit to a small practice is personalized in-house software training and maintenance. Technology, just like medical policy, changes rapidly.
So optimizing your medical billing services through a third party allows the small practice to transfer the concern and significant expense involved.
The outside service maintains servers, ensures compliance, and may even combine multiple medical software platforms, such as electronic medical records (EMR), medical billing and coding software, and medical practice management (MPM) programs, into an easy-to-use system.
And because billing and coding software services use the latest technology, patient data is protected, and claims records are secure.
One of the most popular benefits of medical billing software for small practices is its ability to streamline office procedures. Outsourcing medical billing and coding services may make it feel like your small office has gained a support staff.
Tasks that previously involved hours spent on hold can be automated, reducing daily workloads and office frustration. Patient information can be verified online, as can insurance eligibility benefits.
One of the hidden benefits of billing and coding services is increased revenue through comprehensive coding at the highest allowable rate. In addition to reducing errors and time spent on claims processing, a medical billing service should have the expertise to increase your revenue by utilizing the coding that gets complete reimbursement. Less common supplemental codes are often overlooked in manual filling.
Expand Your Practice with Credentialing Help
Keeping up with credentialing and practice accreditation is vital to running a small medical practice. Billing and coding support companies may also offer credentialing oversight.
The accreditation process can take up to six months and requires considerable time from owners and practitioners.
An experienced medical billing company makes the transition from in-house billing to using their services smooth and fast, so you won’t lose revenue to system downtime.
Medcare offers all the services discussed here and much more. Because we have many labs as clients, we have developed a system for quickly processing high numbers of claims. Our system works equally well for small practices, so we are happy to serve them, unlike some other medical billing companies that only want high dollar claims or add on fees.
Give us a call today at 800-640-6409 to discuss how we can streamline your billing process and increase your revenue.