Hiring a Medical Billing Company During COVID 19 — 7 Top Things to Look For
COVID-19 has brought about many changes in all aspects of health care, and they are coming fast. Doctors and scientists are on the ground working to find treatments, vaccines and hopefully a cure as soon as possible. The urgency of the rapidly spreading pandemic activated all possible exceptions to the usual slow, cautious process demanded for anything new in medicine.
If you are one of the many medical professionals or healthcare administrators who are responsible for medical billing in your organization, chances are you would love to be able to hand off the headache of figuring out the new codes and payer procedures to a billing company. Naturally, we think that’s a great idea.
Not all medical billing and coding services are the same, though, so it’s important to make the right choice when you select a billing company to work with. Here are seven of the top things to look for.
7 Must-Haves for Choosing a Medical Billing Company for COVID-19 (and Always)
- Happy Customers—Before you get into anything technical, make sure your potential billing company has clients who will tell you how satisfied they are with the services provided. During this time when things are changing so rapidly, you need someone who is easy to work with. When things are changing, it causes confusion and at those times, it’s especially important for your medical billers to be responsive to your particular needs.
- Experience—There are quite a few schools and certification programs for medical billing, but no class can fully inform coders and billers of all the intricacies of the uncommon situations that can arise. Medcare MSO has been in business for over eight years and our billers have resolved every sort of problem. Sometimes with COVID-19, there is no “right answer” yet, but thanks to that experience, we know where to look for answers and how to formulate the best temporary solutions.
- Systematic Claims Management—The basic claim filing system is simple. In an ideal world, the interaction and treatment is described by alphanumeric codes that are entered into a form, which is then sent to the payer. The payer reimburses the provider the amount previously negotiated and the cycle is complete. If only the real world was like that! There are many points in the cycle where it can break down, from a claim being denied (maybe because of something as simple as transposed digits in an address) to a rejection resulting from the claim missing complex codes relevant only to that area of specialization. Your billing company must have a system to track claims from the first patient interaction until the claim is satisfactorily paid.
- Fast Implementation—When you are already feeling unsteady about coding and billing, it is not a time to add confusion, we get that. Medcare MSO has streamlined our software integration and billing transfer process so that we can step in and take over your medical billing completely within two weeks in most cases. Make sure anyone you work with is prepared to smoothly manage the transfer.
- Old A/R Management—There is a lot of revenue tied up in outstanding claims at any given time. Make sure you have a plan to get that collected when you switch to a billing company. You can keep that in-house if you like, but it’s probably going to be more efficient to outsource it along with your new billing.
- High Level Security—It goes without saying that your billing company must be HIPAA compliant. But black-market hackers get high prices for medical records and are always working on new ways to break into the system. Any revenue cycle management company you work with should employ high security protocols for all data transmission as well as storage.
- Accessible Support—COVID-19 has certainly raised the number of billing questions and concerns that come up. The last thing you want is to waste time negotiating with online bots and putting tickets in queues. While a billing company can cut costs that way, it does not provide the level of service our customers expect. When you are hiring help with billing, make sure you will be able to quickly reach a live person who is familiar with your account.
Hiring a medical billing company is a big move and we understand it can be daunting. These seven points will give you a good start for narrowing down your choices. Medcare MSO has a large staff of experienced billers, so we have someone who is familiar with the details of every specialization. If you’d like to be free of the impossible billing hassles of COVID-19 or just medical billing in general, give us a call and let’s discuss how we can help.