10 Ways Outsourcing Your Medical Billing Will Improve Your Medical Practice
Where is it written that your medical organization has to conduct billing services in-house?
It turns out that outsourcing medical billing can be extremely beneficial for medical practices. However, it may not be for everyone and there certainly can be disadvantages to doing so.
At Advanced Data Systems, we have worked with medical practices big and small to help them deliver the best healthcare services possible. Over that time, we have seen practices be successful both with in-house billing and outsourced billing solutions.
In this article, we are going to share 10 of the biggest reasons why every medical practice should consider outsourced billing in order to help you determine if it’s the right solution for your organization.
1. Automatically Check on Patient Insurance Eligibility
If your organization relies on temporary workers or finds itself needing to bring on part-timers to handle the basic activity of verifying a patient has insurance coverage, it’s a waste of resources.
Instead, it’s easier and more efficient to allow the medical billing company to do this on your behalf. It’s trivial to check on this data automatically, and finding out a patient’s status means you know vital details sooner, such as whether he or she has met a deductible yet or what might be covered and what requires pre-authorization.
2. Cut Down on Coding and Billing Mistakes
Mistakes are possible in even the most professional of environments. It’s not an indictment of your staff to suggest there could be a better approach to handling a rise of mistakes in billing or putting in codes for diagnosis and treatment. By outsourcing billing, you can count on cutting down these mistakes.
The reason is obvious: a medical billing business spends all of its time working with codes and the staff has much more experience doing so. They will commit far fewer errors and will also be in a position to find and fix them much faster than members of your own team.
3. Safeguard Patient Data
The sensitive information that your practice gathers from patients is a gold mine to criminal hackers. While you may have savvy information technology people on staff (or perhaps just a single part-timer?), it’s not so easy for the computer team of a medical practice to stay on top of industry best practices.
Contrast their knowledge base to the skills and experience of a team of medical billing professionals. They’ll work hard to follow regulations to protect patient information. Your IT department can focus on making sure servers and workstations of doctors, nurses and other staff are working properly, while the billing company sees to it that patient privacy is maintained against hackers.
4. Boost Productivity
Did you know that when you outsource billing to a third party, they will have typically have more tools to use the data more effectively than you can do in-house? Data mining information in the patient database will reveal a range of patterns that can help you be more productive.
Examples include adjusting staff schedules to handle patient flow appropriately based on historical patterns and projections, and identifying obstacles in the schedule. You could determine that certain patients need more time in the examination room than previously thought. A little knowledge goes a long way toward helping you operate more efficiently.
5. Drive up Patient Engagement and Satisfaction
A key predictor of a practice’s long-term success is the comments and feedback from patients about whether they are satisfied with service and what areas need to be improved for patient engagement.
Since members of your team are no longer concerned with the details of billing statements thanks to the third party taking this on, they are free to engage with patients with less urgency to move them along. By offering more personalized service from the time patients walk through your doors to their stint in the waiting room and first interaction with a nursing assistant, they’ll feel more relaxed about their doctor visit.
6. Improve “Customer Service”
How do you think your customer service performance is these days? When staff isn’t stuck hanging on the phone verifying a patient’s coverage or mulling over the correct code to input in a chart, they can devote more energy to making patients feel listened to and respected.
While they’re not traditional “customers” in the same way as retailers view the individuals they serve, it’s useful for your staff to think in terms of boosting customer service for each patient seen.
7. Stay Compliant With Regulations
It can be quite a burden to stay on top of governmental regulations in healthcare. And if you fall out of compliance, the problems can be severe, such as losing out on compensation from Medicare and Medicaid because you are not adhering to the latest rules concerning patient privacy.
It takes a lot of brainpower to work as a full-time compliance officer, after all. If members of your staff are doing double-duty, such as making appointments for patients one moment and documenting on compliance issues the next, staff will likely be spread too thin to do a good job at either task.
8. Lower Costs of Ensuring Normal Billing Activity
The process your practice uses to print out and mail bills and then to stay on top of who has paid and who is falling behind in payments takes a lot of time and effort. Giving this work to the medical billing organization will cut down the costs. Spending less money on overseeing payments from the time of service to reminders to finally getting compensated means you can devote more resources to other, higher priority items, such as a new piece of equipment.
9. Strengthen Cash Flow With Faster Claims Processing
Patients sometimes lag in paying their bills, which leads to more staff overhead just to get the compensation your organization deserves. One great option when using outsourced medical billing is that the company can issue timely payment reminders to your patients. Now that your staff no longer has to take care of this chore, they can turn more of their focus to taking care of patients.
10. Lower Administrative Requirements
Are you aware of just how much time and attention your staff has to devote to routine administrative duties? From training them to get refreshed on the latest billing codes to enduring the hard slog of typing in patient information or preparing submission paperwork, there’s a lot of basic clerical activity that is easily handled by third parties in your stead. Don’t waste the time of your staff on low-level activities when it’s so easy to let experts do it for you faster.
Is Outsourcing Medical Billing The Right Solution For You?
Outsourcing medical billing may be the best action your company takes this year. It’s clear that you’ll start to benefit from each of these 10 ways to improve your medical practice when your organization decides to take the plunge and work with a professional, third party company for medical billing.
But before you proceed, it’s useful to become more familiar with the nature of medical billing these days. To help you out, we’re happy to provide a new Guide to Medical Billing Services, which you can access by clicking here now.
About Stephen O'Connor
As a Director of Digital Marketing at Advanced Data Systems Corporation, Stephen spends his day's planning, writing, & designing resources for the modern healthcare professional. He has a strong affinity for snow crab legs, the ocean, and Rutgers Football.