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After the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, around 16 000 physician practices were forced to close their doors.
Hospitals, medical practices, and health centers around the country are all feeling the constraints of lack of finances. And when most of these health practices won’t be able to survive a few bad months, finances are more important than ever.
But splitting your focus between managing finances and managing patients can get tricky. That’s why a lot of medical practices have started outsourcing medical billing. This frees up their time and puts someone else in charge of the finances.
Keep reading to learn more about the pros and cons of outsourcing medical billing.
What is Outsourcing Medical Billing?
Medical billing is confusing at the best of times. You’ve got to keep track of billing your patients, claiming from their insurance, and paying your practice’s own bills.
Outsourcing medical billing means hiring someone else to take responsibility for your processes. The company you hire will put someone or a team in charge of managing all your billing processes. This frees up a lot of time and energy for your practice.
If this sounds like something you’re interested in, check out this medical billing company.
Pros of Outsourcing Medical Billing
There are a lot of benefits to using outsourced billing. Having experts to manage your billing frees up a lot of time for your practice and has consequences for your overall financial security.
While there is an initial cost to hiring billing services, it’s worth it in the long term. These businesses have teams of experts who can manage your billing and save you money in several ways.
Getting reimbursement from insurers requires expertly completed paperwork. Staff at your practice need to spend time and resources learning how to do this. When you hire services, you remove this cost from your staff.
Outsourcing billing also results in better management of your finances. When you manage the billing yourself, your attention is split between providing patient care and focusing on your practice’s admin. Billing services can dedicate all their focus to avoiding mistakes and following up on getting the money you’re owed.
When your medical center doesn’t need to worry about its bottom line, focus shifts entirely to your patients. When this happens, it improves your patients’ experiences because they’re getting more focused care.
And this leads to benefits for your business. When patients have good experiences, they review and encourage others to go to you. This means more patients and improved business in the future.
One of the biggest stresses in the medical field is accountability for errors. And when it comes to filing claims, the paperwork and coding have to be perfect. If there are mistakes, it can flag your practice for an audit and cost your practice money.
But if mistakes are made by a third party and not your practice, it means you’re not accountable for the mistake. This means your practice won’t get audited, and your chance of losing business decreases.
When managing your billing in-house, if a member of your team leaves, you’re left with a gap in your operations. Typically you’ll have to train and onboard a new person to the position, and this delays the smoothness of your billing operations.
When you’re outsourcing your medical billing, you’ve got a full team available to you whenever you need them. If their team changes, they are responsible for filling any gaps, so you don’t feel that loss in your practice.
Cons of Outsourcing Medical Billing
While there are a lot of benefits to outsourcing medical billing, some practices are still hesitant. This is because of concerns around control of resources, the expense of hiring these services, and security threats.
However, most of these concerns are easily addressed.
Lack of Control Over Resources
When you hand over the management of your resources to a third party, this can sometimes mean losing easy access to those resources. Some practices express frustration that they can’t easily access patient files or other administrative information they might need, without going through a third party.
To avoid this, look for medical billing options that allow you to either access their system with ease or let them access your system without disrupting your processes.
It takes a few months to feel the financial benefit of outsourced billing. But for some practices, that is just too long. When finances are tight, the upfront cost of outsourcing is not worth it.
In this case, spend a few months researching for the best option. Make sure you’re aware of any hidden costs. Another possibility is budgeting so the initial few months don’t take such a toll on your budget.
If there are security breaches for the third party, your company is impacted. But if companies are compliant with security regulations, they should have systems in place to protect your practice’s information.
Thoroughly vet any billing companies before you commit to them.
Should You Consider Outsourced Billing?
Like most business decisions, outsourcing medical billing has its pros and cons. And every practice is different, so you need to figure out what exactly your practice needs.
Outsourcing your medical billing means you have time to dedicate to your patients, which brings more business to your practice. That, combined with the long-term reduced cost of outsourcing, is usually worth it. And while there are a few disadvantages of outsourcing, most of these are easily addressed.
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