Outsourcing of any type can often feel unsettling for independent practices. When everything rests on your shoulders, it’s natural to want to oversee every aspect of your business. This is especially true when it comes to outsourcing your billing process. Your revenue system is literally the lifeblood of your practice, so it is important to consider all options and find out if keeping the process in-house is helping or harming your bottom line.
Maintaining your own billing process may be costing you more than you think. No one wants to spend late nights at the office pouring over rejected claims and complicated billing jargon, so how do you know when you are truly ready to start outsourcing?
Here are five signs that it is time to start exploring outsourced billing.
Warning Sign #1: Slowed Revenue Stream
When you are focused on the day-to-day tasks of patient care, you may not notice your revenue stream slowing down. First take a look at how your in-house billing department is performing, what it is costing you and when claims are being paid. To get a handle on your billing expenses, start adding up what you spend on phone bills, internet, information systems, physical space, support staff pay and billing supplies. This figure will be helpful when comparing it to the cost of a third party biller.
Warning Sign #2: Staffing Challenges
The process of filing claims and following-up can be quite labor-intensive, so maintaining adequate staff while staying cost-effective is often challenging for independent practices. High staff turnover will slow down any practice, and the billing department is especially vulnerable. Without tech savvy, consistent staffing, the revenue cycle will not run smoothly. If you are finding it difficult to attract and retain the right billing staff, outsourcing may be the solution.
Warning Sign #3: Bills Aren’t Being Paid
When bills are not being paid on time, your revenue cycle can quickly come to a standstill. The science of medical billing has become quite complex and most practices work with multiple payers on a daily basis, making it easy for unpaid bills to fall through the cracks. An outsourced billing system can help by doing the often undesirable and time-consuming work of following up on unpaid claims and alerting patients of their bills.
Warning Sign #4: Rejected Claims
When a claim is rejected, your billing or office staff is required to review, alter and resubmit it. This can take up a significant amount of their time and decrease productivity, not to mention your practice is charged a second time by the insurance company for a new claim submission. If you are noticing an increase in the amount of rejected claims, it usually means your billing process is not as efficient as it could be. Partnering with a third party usually results in fewer rejections and faster service.
Warning Sign #5: Lack of Expertise
Due to the complex and ever-changing nature of healthcare billing, maintaining expertise in this area can often feel impossible. If your billing staff is unable to keep up with the changing rules and trends, you may be missing inefficiencies in your practice. Medical billing errors are costly and all too common. In fact, a recent NerdWallet study found errors in 49 percent of the Medicare claims reviewed. A skilled third-party billing service will be able to maintain a high level of expertise, as well as provide you with efficiency reports—giving you valuable, real-time feedback.
How to Start Outsourcing
Are you ready to start outsourcing, but don’t know how do you choose the right provider? We have you covered. The key to finding the perfect billing service for your unique practice is by asking the right questions. Be sure to ask any provider you’re considering the following questions:
Are they HIPAA compliant?
How long have they been in business?
Who are their past and present clients?
What types of reports will they provide you with?
What do their fees include?
Choosing the right billing method for your practice doesn’t have to be a nightmare. With a little planning, research and an open mind you’re sure to find the perfect fit.
Happy to help.