December 8, 2015
Most practices are aware of how medical billing services and revenue cycle management can reduce costs and increase collections with benefits such as electronic eligibility verification, included electronic medical record (EMR) and practice management (PM) software, financial reporting, and faster accounts receivable turnaround.
But how else can medical billing services benefit a practice? Here are some unknown benefits you can expect to see.
Avoid hiring additional employees to handle your billing services. Fewer employees can streamline a practice’s operational and financial processes. Keep costs down and headaches minimal.
“Typical support staff is 37.16% of total practice costs,” according to the Medical Group Management Association’s 2014 Cost Survey. The size of the billing staff is usually determined by the number of claims the practice submits and according to AMA board member, Barbara McAneny, MD, “physicians divert as much as 14% of their gross revenue to insure accurate and sure payments for their services.” Any savings in support staff and billing costs will go straight to the bottom line.
“Physicians divert as much as 14% of their gross revenue to insure accurate and sure payments for their services.” – Barbara McAneny, MD, AMA board member
Without the stress of managing your practice’s billing, your staff can focus on other areas and improve workflows. According to The Commonwealth Fund, “Nurses and medical assistants spent 20.6 hours per physician per week on administrative tasks related to health plans.”
Electronic health record solutions not only gives you the power of faster note taking, but it allows you to stay organized throughout the day while efficiently managing administrative and financial tasks. Utilizing the tools provided by the medical billing service company and your EHR can also drastically improve your internal communication because data can easily be shared. Staying organized and optimizing processes can even reduce test duplication and decrease errors.
“Nurses and medical assistants spent 20.6 hours per physician per week on administrative tasks related to health plans.”
If you are a new practice or adding a physician to your practice, you must go through a credentialing and enrollment process to connect with insurance companies. This process can be time-consuming and cause delays if you don’t enroll properly. Medical billing service companies usually offer solutions to take care of this process for you. They have the contacts with insurance companies and can make sure you are enrolled properly and have the correct credentials.
The next step in this process is negotiating with payers to receive the best rates. For smaller practices, this can be a little overwhelming and feel like you’re going up against Goliath when trying to negotiate with large insurance companies. Let a medical billing service company do the negotiating for you. They have the experience and can get the best rates for your practice. This service is normally free of charge, so be sure to take advantage of payer negotiation. You don’t need the added headache.
Having your software and billing service under one roof and also connected to each other is a key benefit that is often forgotten when evaluating medical billing services as a solution.
Practices need to have complete transparency with their billing process in order to know where each charge is in the process and have the ability to track the charges all the way back to the practice. If there are any denials, practices need to know what they are and how to correct them. A transparent process makes it easier for billers to confirm that all claims are processed in a timely manner. From there, practices can be sure that the insurance companies are processing the claims as soon as they receive them and are being paid the correct amount. A medical billing service makes this transparency possible.
Using a medical billing service company that also uses the same technology as the practice provides the added benefit of everyone being on the same page. Using a one-stop shop for both software and service makes setup and implementation a breeze by incorporating patient reminders, online bill pay, patient portals, and more. Medical billing service companies can provide all of these solutions and since they use them daily, they can help with any questions you may have along the way.
One thing to remember about most medical billing service companies is that they have years of billing experience and know all the ins and outs of how make your practice as efficient as possible. They typically provide training for basic practice operations and best practices for using your PM software. They are a great resource for any tips and training.
If additional in-depth training such as on-site visits is needed, most medical billing service companies have available options. Be sure to reach out to see what options they have and utilize them as much as possible, they are there to help you succeed and most practice are unaware of these additional services.
Return on investment (ROI) is critical in any business, but as billing costs continue to increase, keeping costs down and revenue up has never been more important. When deciding whether or not to keep a software solution, evaluating the ROI is one of the key variables at which to look. Thirty-six percent of providers said that they will have to reduce their capital spend (according to a peer60 report) and 79% of chief financial officers are looking to cut ties with RCM vendors that are not producing a return on investment in 2016, according to Black Book report.
79% of chief financial officers are looking to cut ties with RCM vendors that are not producing a return on investment in 2016.
Could your practice benefit from medical billing services? Connect with a ChartLogic Billing expert to learn more.