Strong revenue cycle management is integral to a financially healthy physician practice, and a medical billing services team plays a prominent role in the process. Accurate billing and coding will increase a practice’s cash flow by improving the payment process. Hiring a medical billing service can be a great decision for your practice, resulting in increased revenue due to improved quality of claims, however, not all medical billing services are created equal. HIS (Healthcare Information Services, LLC) a leading provider of healthcare management solutions, suggests asking the following seven questions before hiring a medical billing services team:
1) Are Your coders certified? Medical coding is complicated, requiring extensive training and keen analytic skills to determine the right code for the treatment. HIS medical coders are certified and stay abreast of changes that occur due to new technology, advancements in medical treatment, and changes to treatment protocols.
2) How are your coders preparing for ICD-10 implementation? With implementation less than two years away, the time to prepare is now. Is your company conducting beta testing to determine what kind of training will be necessary as the launch date approaches?
3) What is your clean claims rate? Clean claims translate into fast payment. The typical clean claims rate for in-house medical billing teams is somewhere between 70-80%.
4) Do you offer a guarantee for your medical billing services? Only a company with a high level of confidence guarantees that they will boost your revenue.
5) What type of benchmarking do you perform? Do you track percentage of A/R outstanding, and what intervals do you measure? These benchmarks help determine of your practice is meeting the benchmarks established by groups like the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA).
6) What kind of follow up methods do you utilize to ensure that I am realizing maximum benefits from my relationship with you medical billing services team? Will your medical billing services team communicate via email, telephone, one-to-one (or any method of my choosing) to ensure that the program is working well for my practice?
7) What collection methods do you use to increase physician practice revenue? With the rising levels of patient deductibles and co-pays, payment up from can significantly increase your revenue.
Affirmative, knowledgeable, and proactive answers to these questions sets your practice up to achieve your goals from your physician billing service; stronger revenue, improved billing consistency, and stability to your practice’s financials.
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Photo courtesy of Karen Eliot