As a healthcare professional, your focus and strength should be on your patients and their treatment plans rather than on managing your office financials. In looking at how you handle medical billing, you may be tempted to stay with what you have in place rather than spend the time to make a change. But in today’s volatile economy, you should pay attention to the signs that it’s time to take that leap. Here are five signs that you should outsource your medical billing.
1.) You have, or soon will have, employee turn-over – If you’ve experienced turnover in your staff who handle medical billing, or you are losing knowledgeable staff to retirement in the near future, this could be a good time to look at a medical billing service rather than go to the expense of training new employees. It is becoming more and more expensive to hire, train and retain quality and experienced billing professionals in the clinic setting.
2.) Your revenue is less than industry median – By looking at benchmarks for your industry and seeing where your cost and revenue numbers fall, you can quickly see if your financials could be better. The cost of doing in-house billing and collections including cost to hire, retain, train and provide employee benefits to your staff, is often times a lot more expensive than an outsourcing the management of your revenue cycle. Moreover, the reduced cost can often provide for improved results. It’s possible your practice has outgrown the in-house billing process that you started with and that outsourcing your billing could save on costs and bring your revenue in-line with your peers. Even if the costs of outsourcing your revenue cycle management activities are relatively equal to maintaining it in-house, outsourcing would still be a better option. With an outsourced revenue cycle management firm, you convert those high fixed employee costs to a variable expense tied to revenue. So when revenue is down, so are your revenue cycle management costs. If you employ your staff, and revenue is down, those expenses are fixed and do not adjust to the loss in revenue.
3.) Your accounts receivables have slow turn-around and your patient collections are nil – Medical billing providers will speed up your income stream remarkably because they will focus on timely payments, denied claim management and appeals and patient balance collections more than your in-house staff is generally able to.
4.) You are spending too much time doing paperwork. – In many offices physicians spend an inordinate amount of time dealing with billing and payment issues. Time that you spend doing administrative tasks either reduces your time spent on patient care or reduces your income per patient or both.
5.) You’re not prepared for ICD-10. Even though it has been delayed for a year, when implementing the phases of ICD-10, you’ll need training and changes to your processes to ensure you meet regulations. The cost of training current staff or hiring experienced staff may be more burdensome than you expect. A medical billing service can handle the new regulations and save you the work and expense. Typically, ICD-10 Readiness and training is part of the revenue cycle management and billing services of a reputable firm.
Outsourcing your medical billing isn’t right for every office, but if you can say yes to any of the signs listed here, you should make some inquiries and see if the time is right for your office to make the change.