Patient spending on healthcare will reach $608 billion in 2019. Yet, many patients feel dissatisfied by the billing process. As a result, 65 percent have considered switching to providers with better billing systems. What do these patients list as their biggest issues with provider billing? Up to 70 percent of patients report feeling confused when reviewing their medical bills, and 72 percent don’t fully understand their explanation of benefits.
When it comes to medical billing, how well does your office perform? Is patient confusion and dissatisfaction a common theme? Does your office suffer from cash flow problems when billing staff is away? If so, outsourcing your medical billing could represent a solid solution. Want to know more about how it works and if it’s right for you? Read on for 10 reasons you should opt for medical billing outsourcing.
1. Billing Errors and Denied Claims Are Plaguing Your Office
Nothing raises patient ire quite like billing errors. They can ruin your patients’ credit, and they can paralyze your office’s cash flow. How common are medical billing errors? Between 30 to 40 percent of medical bills contain errors these can undermine patient trust and send your online reviews into a tailspin. When you outsource medical billing, you gain access to a consistent pool of professional, experienced medical billers. Unlike your current office staff, who probably wear many hats, a qualified medical billing company focuses on billing. Period.
Since the staff at a medical billing company spends their days working exclusively on finances and claims, they bring with them a thorough understanding of every aspect of the process. They know the pitfalls of dealing with insurance companies, Medicaid, and Medicare. These people understand correct coding and know the ins and outs of avoiding common yet avoidable mistakes. To go along with that, they also have access to the latest software and are consistently trained on how to use it. Finally, they bring years of specialized experience and come with a thorough grasp of how to submit medical claims. They’ll diagnose issues your office has had in the past while maximizing reimbursements and decreasing the number of denied claims.
2. Your Priorities Feel Misplaced
Do you feel frustrated when it comes to your medical practice’s priorities? Do you feel as if patients are getting lost in the shuffle because of accounting and regulatory overload? Perhaps you’d like to put patients back at the center of your practice. And you’d like to move away from the clerical issues that have sidelined your ability to authentically connect with patients. If so, consider medical billing outsourcing.
They’ll handle the paperwork and bureaucracy so that you no longer feel bogged down by the financial side of your business. That way, you can focus on what brought you to the medical field in the first place, helping patients live better, healthier lives. Instead of feeling torn in many different directions and unable to provide your patients with the medical care and administrative clarity that they need, you can take back control of your schedule and your priorities. What’s more, your office will gain a better handle on what’s going on in terms of billing, and you’ll free up more time to focus on patient satisfaction.
3. Cash Flow Problems
Do you encounter issues with cash flow when members of your staff, particularly those involved in billing, go on vacation? Take sick leave? Seek employment elsewhere? If the claims stack up and invoice creation comes to a grinding halt, then it’s time to seek other solutions. Billing interruptions come with long term repercussions. Besides disrupting cash flow, they impact reimbursement timeframes. They can also exacerbate your dealings with insurance companies. Fortunately, choosing a reputable medical billing company can streamline your office’s billing process. You’ll also enjoy consistent cash flow and increased revenues no matter how often your staff may be turning over or fluctuating. As a result, you no longer have to worry about delays when a member of your medical office’s team has to step away from their desk for a couple of days or weeks.
4. In-House Staff Costs Need to Be Reduced
Employing medical office staff proves an expensive proposition. It can cost you thousands upon thousands of dollars each year. And with each employee, the costs rise exponentially when you consider things such as their benefits packages. You also have to provide them with complete workspaces including furniture, office supplies, computers, and etc. All of these workplace necessities add up and can put a serious dent in your medical practice’s budget.
One of the great advantages of working with a medical billing company remains consistency. Instead of factoring in all of the expenses associated with adding another member to your staff, you’ll be charged a flat rate for each claim. Or, in some cases, you’ll be assessed a fee based on a percentage of the reimbursement of each claim. Either way, you’ll receive a consistent product at a predictable price. In fact, you’ll feel pleasantly surprised by just how much money you can save through professional medical billing. What’s more, you’ll enjoy peace of mind knowing that you have seasoned professionals handling your office finances.
5. Patient Satisfaction Could Use a Boost
Did you know that 90 percent of consumers today check out online reviews before visiting a business in person? Or that 84 percent of individuals give online reviews as much weight as word-of-mouth recommendations? How do your office’s online reviews look? Are you patients satisfied with the services that you provide, or could their satisfaction use a boost? When you think about where patient satisfaction begins, look no further than the front desk. Your medical receptionist should be greeting customers, getting to know them and their current needs, and connecting with them authentically. Does your receptionist have time to do this? Or, are they spending much of their time in the billing trenches? Is that person trying to balance invoice creation and claims with greeting patients and addressing their needs?
In case you haven’t seen this research yet, multitasking is a workplace myth. But it can actually damage employees’ brains and affect their careers. If patient satisfaction has tanked at your office, start by redefining the duties of your front desk staff. Give them the time and ability to focus on patients, making them feel comfortable and well taken care of. That means leaving billings and claims to the professionals. Not only will you see a marked improvement in patient satisfaction, but your employees will feel energized and more satisfied, too. It’s a win-win.
6. Bad Billing Practices Mean Less Revenue
Extra overhead and lack of timely billing and reimbursements can put a serious dent in your revenues. Fortunately, outsourcing billing can help your practice stop bleeding money and start increasing profit margins. Bad billing practices can take on many forms, and all of them affect your practice’s bottom line. They can range from inadequate and inaccurate coding to failure to update a patient’s insurance coverage. Not properly verifying a patient’s insurance proves yet another issue.
Medical billing is a complicated process that’s best left to experts. Otherwise, your office can quickly drown under a deluge of unprocessed claims, appeals, and letters from patients. You may also end up with receipts and checks that don’t correspond to services performed. This represents a perfect storm for future accounting problems, dissatisfied customers, and lost revenues.
7. Billing Compliance Is Lagging
The healthcare industry has gone through seismic shifts in recent years, and these shifts have affected medical billing compliance in massive ways. The changes don’t appear to be stopping any time soon. In fact, keeping up with billing compliance now represents a full-time job. It involves staying ahead of the latest trends when it comes to Medicaid, Medicare, and third-party payers. The billing compliance landscape has never been more fraught with complications and uncertainties. Yet, billing compliance is not optional. And it can’t go on the back burner when your office staff needs to deal with other pressing matters.
While you may assume your staff are up-to-date on all of these regulatory changes, are you sure? Do you have a means for evaluating their performance and measuring their knowledge of compliance regulations? High-quality medical billing companies must keep their employees up-to-date about this fast-changing world. In fact, they train employees rigorously to ensure that they’re submitting clean claims and maintaining compliance at all times. Why not put these experts to work for you?
8. High Staff Turnover Rates
Without effective claims processing, your medical practice won’t be able to stay afloat. A high employee turnover rate only exacerbates this problem. Today, the employee turnover rate in the medical field sits at 19 percent. Such figures can prove devastating, especially for small private practices. Employees that don’t receive enough consistent training or who feel overwhelmed by the number of tasks that they must perform express job dissatisfaction. Because of stress, they may not exude the qualities you want from receptionist staff. Worse yet, they may quit without much notice leaving you in the lurch. A loss of employees essential to billing and claims can bring your medical practice to a standstill overnight. The same goes for employees who handle receptionist duties and appointment scheduling.
But how do you avoid high employee turnover rates? Holding exit interviews and keeping team spirits up both help. But it’s also time to get realistic about what you ask from your employees. Medical billing now represents a full-time job. It should not be handed off to your receptionist as side work when the office gets slow. Instead, make sure you employ the right people in the right positions. That means providing them with the training that they need. It also means outsourcing complicated tasks such as medical billing and claims to outside individuals with demonstrated knowledge of the system.
9. Just Launching Your Practice
If you’re just launching a new private practice, start out on the right foot by outsourcing your billing. After all, you’ve most likely got your hands full with patient care and customer service. The last thing you need is to add billing to the mix. Outsourcing your billing allows your practice to start out on a firm, professional footing. You’ll avoid making bad first impressions and garnering poor patient reviews. You’ll also streamline your workflow and set up repeatable processes that will set a trend for success for the entire office. Launching a new practice comes with lots of day-to-day stress, especially when you’re still caught up in the early stages of managing it. But if you set up outsourcing right away, you won’t run the risk of hiring more employees than your practice can actually support. You won’t undermine patient trust through billing errors either. First impressions count, so make the most of them.
10. Feeling Hesitant to Invest in New Software
Many small or solo practices don’t feel savvy when it comes to the business side of their practices. This can lead to frustration and the sense that they’re spending too much time on the administrative side of things and not enough with patients. Some turn to accounting software to provide inexpensive solutions. But they fail to understand that software comes with its own host of issues. You’ll need to regularly train your staff on this software and stay on top of updates.
You’ll also have to deal with a variety of technical and troubleshooting issues that could compromise your entire system. If you’d like to avoid dealing with software IT problems and a constant employee learning curve, then outsourcing your billing represents the perfect solution. It’s cost effective and will allow you to worry about patients instead of computer issues.
A Medical Billing Solution You Can Count On
The billing and revenue cycle remain crucial to a thriving medical practice. As you explore the advantages of outsourcing your medical billing, consider how much time, resources, and money you’re devoting to your current system. Then, ask yourself if you’re seeing the results you’d like? Or, could your invoice output and billing claims process use some streamlining? Efficient billing represents the foundation for every other aspect of your business, from operational costs to staffing size and patient volume. Contact us today to find out more about what a high-quality billing service can do for your practice.