Medical billing is an important part of your practice. In fact, it is one of the crucial aspects, which if ignored or not handled properly, can even lead to the practice eventually facing closure. Healthcare providers handle their medical billing either in-house or through outsourcing. However, the benefits of outsourcing your medical billing are far more than keeping them in-house. Like with any other change in the system, there are a lot of misconceptions about outsourcing medical billing. Some of the more common misconceptions are listed below.
Outsourcing will reduce your control over billing
Let’s face it, how often do you manage to supervise or look into your medical billing work? Hiring an in-house billing and coding professional also means managing your entire revenue cycle. That is a lot of added work for you. Professional off-site billing services offer dedicated specialists and complete transparency. They provide you with auto generated reports that allows you more control, while reducing the time taken to manage your revenue cycle. In this case, proximity doe not equate to better or more control.
Medical Billing can be handled by the existing staff
If that was correct, you would not have courses for medical billing and coding. Good working knowledge of medical terminology, diseases, and technology are a must for medical billing and coding professionals. In addition to these, they have to be good at math, well organized and meticulous about details. A large chunk of the revenue comes from collections from patients. Add deductible health plans and health saving accounts to that list; that is a huge amount of work load on your hands. Any errors and you lose revenue. You would need at least one additional employee if not more to handle work which involves patient billing questions, sending patient statements, establishing payment plans and follow ups on late or missed payments. Your employee will also have to be in tune with the changing and growing government regulations and know how to work with the latest technology in place. All this can be avoided by outsourcing your billing work, leaving you with no internal mess on your hands.
Outsourcing is more Expensive
You need to remember that benefits, 401k, training of staff, sick leave, vacations and staff turnovers are also costs involved, in addition to salaries, cost of hardware and software and errors that bring revenue loss. Not investing in billing software that integrates with your documentation tool will mean that your biller will be doing double data entries most of the time, resulting in longer working hours with no additional productivity. The most important factor is that you need to pay your billing staff every month, irrespective of you receiving the payment. Outsourcing your medical billing definitely takes care of this. Most billing services work on a pay-for-performance basis. They only get paid if you receive your payment.
You need not bother with ICD-10
Unfortunately, that is not true. ICD-10 has double the number of codes as compared to ICD-9 and a large number of the old codes have no equivalent in the new coding system. Any mistakes in the codes will result in either receiving reduced payments or in the claims getting rejected. Clinicians need to specify the details within ICD-10 for successful billing by the coders. Outsourcing your billing and coding means that they are responsible for training and educating their coders and billers on ICD-10.
The single biggest advantage in outsourcing the coding and billing work, is that it leaves you to do what you started with – taking care of patients.