5 Reasons to Consider Outsourced Medical Billing

Lea Chatham June 17th, 2014

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Black_Book_Rankings_2014According to the recent Black Book Rankings 2014 User Survey, 42% of small physician practices with employed billing staff hope to move billing out of house in the next 12 months.Tweet this Kareo story

This statistic highlights a trend that shows up repeatedly throughout the survey. Practices are looking to upgrade and outsource to reduce costs, improve revenue, and stay independent in these challenging times in healthcare.

Despite this high number of small practices seeking to outsource billing, using a billing service isn’t for everyone. It’s a change that impacts your bottom line so it requires a thoughtful approach. If you currently have a great in-house biller and efficient billing, you may want to keep doing what works. However, there are five scenarios that definitely lend themselves to an outsourcing solution:

  1. New Practice: If you’re just getting started in practice, outsourcing can help you keep your costs low while providing a solution that can scale with you as you grow. You also get the benefits of an experienced biller and billing best practices without the need to go through the hiring process or manage staff.
  2. Your Specialty Is Complex: Some specialties have more complex or unusual billing. For example, mental health billing to commercial payers often requires submission to a different department than medical claims and some surgical specialties with very high cost procedures require more complicated authorization and documentation processes. Outsourcing can enable your practice to access a biller who is an expert in your specialty area.
  3. You’re Struggling to Find and Retain Staff: The truth is that sometimes it is hard to find the qualified, well-trained staff you need to ensure quality medical billing for your practice. Luckily, a great medical billing service can be right next door or on the other side of the country and still do the same high-quality work for you. Outsourcing can dramatically improve the prospects for finding qualified billing staff who specialize in your field.
  4. You Just Found Out Your Billing Metrics Aren’t Very Good: Often, practices that choose to outsource do so because at some point someone saw dropping revenue or inconsistent cash flow. Perhaps, after a couple months of bad numbers, the manager or provider asked to see more detailed numbers and found that denials were high, A/R was high, patient collections were terrible, etc. This is the time to make the switch and get professional help. The longer you wait, the worse the problem will be. A billing service can often go back and collect outstanding balances for you. They can also resubmit claims, but it needs to be done before the timely filing deadline passes.
  5. It’s Time to Put the Focus Back on Patients: Times have changed, and patient expectations have changed with them. Two-thirds of patients would consider switching doctors to see someone who uses and EHR and patient portal. Patients want more access to their own medical information and more opportunities to engagement with their provider. It’s hard to do this with cumbersome manual systems. You need to join the digital age, offload administrative and billing tasks where you can, and get the focus back on patients.

If you think now might be the right time to consider outsourcing your medical billing, download To Hire or Not To Hire a Billing Service. This guide will walk you through the process of how to decide if outsourcing is right for you and help you choose the right service for your needs.

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