Medical billing is a payment method in which a healthcare provider is required to submit to and make a follow up with a health insurance company to get compensated for the services that they provide. These services can range from investigations to treatments. While medical billing can be done in-house by one of the health facility staff that specializes in the billing field, this method may not be effective, especially if the hospital handles a large number of patients or provides a wide range of services. A more efficient and cheaper way to handle a high volume of medical billing paperwork is to outsource to a company that specializes in this work.
While outsourcing medical billing services sounds like the perfect solution, one needs to know the details of this method, which we will explore below.
Advantages of Outsourcing Medical Billing Services
1. Frees Up Time and Resources
When the billing tasks are given to the medical billing service providers, health facility staff are freed up to concentrate on their work and specializations. This creates more time for these medical specialists to attend to more clients and save lives. A medical practitioner may find it hard to submit to and follow up with insurance companies on payments for their services in addition to their other day-to-day duties. In-house billing also may not be as efficient as expected and therefore may end up creating losses. Leaving the work to medical billing companies comes in handy for the doctors especially.
Outsourcing medical billing services will guarantee that there is a team of professionals to submit the claims on time and ensure the claims are paid in full. These professionals will also promptly perform proper follow up of claims that have been denied or delayed. In-house billing poses a more significant risk for inconsistency in expenses since the staff in charge may not be in the best position to deal with the insurance companies. With the help of medical billing outsourcing, employees can avoid forced absenteeism while they attempt to sort billing issues. This makes them more reliable in their work as there are minimal interruptions.
3. Field Dynamics
Because there are constant changes in the medical field, a healthcare practitioner may find it hard to keep up with the trends, such as fee changes and the billing software code changes. This calls for expert knowledge of the field, which may not be the priority to cover in-house. Instead of incurring costs in training staff on billing, acquiring a medical billing service provider to do this work would save time, resources, and money.
4. Prompt Payments
Leaving all the billing work to the outsourced billing experts improves the speed at which your payments are processed. This is because the claims are submitted faster and with minimal mistakes. The experts also consider sending the claims to the insurance companies electronically, which expedites the process and keeps denied claims at the minimum.
5. Professionalism and Competence
Outsourcing medical billing services ensures that your work is being handled by professionals who are dedicated, prompt, well trained, and experienced. This translates to high-quality work and gives you the confidence that the work is in the right hands. It also keeps the business from making unnecessary losses that come along with billing mistakes, such as underquoting. The professionals also make good use of technology and are able to handle the work no matter the size or client demands.
Factors to Keep in Mind When Outsourcing Medical Billing Services
To get the most out of your medical billing service provider, you should factor in some aspects which may make the difference in the delivery of good results as well as sustainability.
1. Cost of Billing Services
It is crucial to know how much the billing service provider charges for all the work that they do. Though it may not be possible to get an exact quote, it is always good to at least have an estimate which can help you maintain a budget. Cost is determined by the size of the company and the services being offered. Small healthcare providers may not need the same services as the big clients. One should always ensure that they still make a profit after all is said and done.
2. Scope of Services Offered
Every medical billing company is unique in the way they offer services. To get the best deal, one has to conduct extensive research on the service provider to identify the best package to suit their needs. While some will just submit claims and follow up on payments only, other billing providers provide extra services such as checking accounts payable, advising their clients on matters, and even recommending solutions to issues. It’s always good to choose the one that gives the best package for the price.
Always go for a service provider that will keep your information confidential. Information security is vital both for patients and the healthcare facility and should be upheld at all times.
Outsourcing billing services doesn’t mean that you have no right to know what is going on with your claims. A good billing company should periodically update you on the progress of the payments and engage you in everything they do.
How a Medical Service Provider Can Benefit from Billing Outsourcing
Specific to the medical industry, there are a few ways in which billing outsourcing can prevent a lot of issues. In the following circumstances, a medical facility might benefit from billing outsourcing:
1. Employee Turnover
When employees from the billing department start leaving the organization, it becomes a concern. Employee turnover risks the security of the organization’s information, which may pose a threat to the reputation of the organization and the safety of the patients.
In-house billing will require you to invest in the billing software and the training of employees, which is expensive. Outsourcing your medical billing allows you to cut down on these unnecessary expenses.
3. New Service Providers
Apart from billing, a new service provider has a lot of things to keep up with. To avoid the stress of employing, training, and managing billing staff, one can outsource billing services.
For healthcare practitioners, outsourcing billing services ensures that this highly important duty is done correctly and efficiently the first time. Acting as a medium between the healthcare service providers and health insurance companies is the safest and most cost-effective way to handle billing issues.