When considering the switch to outsourced medical billing services, doctors and medical practice managers typically focus on the most obvious benefits: lower overhead costs, decreased demand on staff, improved and more consistent cash flow.
Yet those cut-and-dry advantages aren’t the only ‘pros’ of contracting with a medical billing firm. The effectiveness of your revenue cycle management (RCM) efforts is the most important indicator of your medical practice’s overall success, so when the responsibility for billing outcomes is transferred to an outside entity, the benefits reaped can go far beyond finances. Here are three bonus ‘perks’ you may not expect.
Medical administrators execs often think that outsourcing medical billing is akin to relinquishing control of the RCM process to a set of strangers – but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Once you contract with a firm, your outsourced billing team becomes obliged to earn you positive marks on a definable set of metrics (think first-pass resolutions, denials, collections) and to provide data on efforts and outcomes, giving you unprecedented transparency into the revenue cycle.
Any reputable medical billing company will regularly supply you with comprehensive performance reports, and most will keep you better informed of delays and payment issues than your on-site staff does. That means you maintain control of RCM without having to micromanage – or even oversee – any billing staff.
Availability of Talent
And when it comes to staffing, management issues aren’t typically even the reason a practice becomes interested in medical billing companies. Often, doctors and medical office managers are satisfied with their billing department’s effectiveness until something unexpected happens: an integral staffer starts taking too much time off, or the most experienced biller resigns, or worse. (Never forget that internal medical billing departments are hotbeds for embezzlement!)
When things like that happen, a shortage of billing talent in your local community can stunt your practice’s ability to bounce back – and the problem can be exacerbated if you lose a biller with a specialized background or coding credentials. Leveraging a medical billing service is your smartest hedge against potential employment issues.
Every medical office aims to deliver excellent care and customer service, but juggling everything on your practice’s plate can make it difficult to meet all your patients’ expectations. Your support staff is always going to be responsible for managing scheduling tasks, executing patient check-in and check-out, keeping the books, and handling clinical concerns.
By outsourcing medical billing, you’re taking something off your team’s hands – something that can usually be better managed by another entity. In doing so, you’re freeing up your staff’s time to better attend to patients’ needs, resulting in higher satisfaction rates and better patient retention.
...and if you need help with your practice management...