Follow These Steps and Watch Your Medical Practice Grow
Improving medical billing is one way to help your medical practice grow. Efficient revenue cycle management is perhaps the single most important factor for a healthy bottom line. The question most physicians must answer is whether third-party medical billing services are a better bet than in-house billing. Here are 5 reasons outsourcing medical billing will help your practice grow.
- Comprehensive Services
An end-to-end billing service provider for medical practices does more than just file insurance claims. Third-party companies handle coding and billing as well as follow-up on claims with payers. In addition, services may include business analysis and strategy, provider credentialing, compliance, and perhaps even branding and marketing. Especially for small medical practices with limited staff, having someone take care of the business aspect with a comprehensive suite of services means in-house employees can focus on patients. This translates to fewer errors and greater patient satisfaction. And when your current patients are satisfied, word of mouth publicity will bring you new patients and help your practice grow.
- Low Cost
According to some estimates, poor billing processes at medical practices result in $125 billion of lost revenue each year. When you calculate the true cost of in-house billing, outsourcing medical billing seems like the smart thing to do. For example, in addition to the cost of hiring trained coding and billing staff, you must factor in the cost of space, equipment, hardware, software, and ongoing training. Add to this employee insurance and benefits and the cost of hiring new staff from time to time. In comparison to all this, the flat fee paid to third-party billing service providers pales in comparison.
- Workflow Management
Typically, staff members at a medical practice wear many different hats. Front desk staff may be tasked with answering the phone, manning the reception, explaining outstanding bills to patients, and following up on insurance claims. This is not the most efficient way of running a medical practice. Having the business processes taken care of by the experts is not only more efficient, it leaves in-house personnel free to attend to patient needs. A smooth workflow improves the patient’s experience at your practice. First and foremost, it means reduced waiting times, which is frequently cited as the single most important factor that influences patient satisfaction.
- Fewer Errors
An initial mistake while submitting an insurance claim can lead to a cascade of events that lead to delays and rejections. Submitting clean claims is, therefore, the key to efficient revenue cycle management at a medical practice. Fewer rejections mean increased revenue and quicker collection of reimbursement. The coders and billers employed by a medical billing service company are experts in the field and have one job which they perform without distraction. In addition, they are up-to-date on the latest government and insurance company regulations. All this translates to a more productive billing process, leaving you with money to spend on capital improvements or advertising to grow your medical practice.
- Business Analysis
Physicians are trained to care for sick people and many don’t have a head for business. A medical billing service company performs the critical task of business analysis and strategizing. This is necessary to identify any areas that need improvement. If a certain process is causing your practice to bleed money, it’s important to plug the leak. Analysis helps identify inefficient processes and possible sources of error. This type of insider knowledge is especially helpful to new practices trying to establish a foothold in the current competitive and consumer-centric healthcare space.
Outsourcing your medical billing process to an end-to-end solution provider is a multi-pronged approach to growing your practice. And best of all, it leaves you free to attend to your growing number of patients.