As technology continues to expand, electronic medical billing systems continue to make long distance billing a growing trend for many providers. Providers are finding that adopting remote medical billing can significantly improve the efficiency and processing of claim reimbursements. Although remote medical billing is more ideal for physician practices, it can also be beneficial to hospitals, institutions and other health care organizations.
There are several benefits to utilizing the infrastructure offered by a remote medical billing service. Remote medical billing offers:
... an affordable and convenient option for practices in rural areas and small practices with a limited budget.
... increased competition among medical billers which provides an opportunity to identify a larger pool of qualified candidates to choose from.
... savings of thousands of dollars in annual salaries and benefits; office supplies and furniture; and purchasing, upgrading, and maintaining billing software and computer equipment.
... eliminates loss time and costly expenses related to recruiting, hiring and training medical office billing staff.
... provides experienced, professional medical billers can ensure that your claims are accurately submitted in a timely manner.
... completely integrated electronic billing system which improves cash flow by speeding up claims processing accuracy and time
The switch to remote medical billing does not have to mean changing your current staff or billing system. Allowing current medical billing staff to work remotely can increase productivity, efficiency and employee morale. Also, the familiarity of the your processes allows an almost seamless transition.
Remote medical billing is similar to using the services of an outsourcing medical billing company. There are many advantages to outsourcing medical billing. It saves time and money and eliminates the burden of concentrating on too many aspects of the medical office. Outsourcing provides the benefits of:
- More Focus on Patient Care. Spend more time focusing on what you do best and that is concentrating on patient satisfaction and providing quality care to your patients.
- Reduces Billing Errors. Experienced, professional medical billers can ensure that your claims are accurately submitted in a timely manner.
- Saves Money. Medical billing companies charge a flat rate per claim or a percentage of the reimbursement on each claim. Either way it is less costly than what you would pay for a medical billing staff to provide the same exceptional services that are provided by outsourcing companies.
- Improves Cash Flow. Using a medical billing service allows a continuous, steady flow of claims going out and cash coming in.
- Improves Patient Satisfaction. The ability to offer excellent customer service is what all medical professionals want to provide to their patients. Your patients will be happy because they will receive uninterrupted courteous and professional assistance for their billing questions or issues.
- Ensures Billing Compliance. Medical billing companies must stay up-to-date on the latest changes in regulations and requirements in order to maintain compliance and ensure the submission of clean claims.
- Increases Revenue. With the reduction in overhead costs, the timely submission of medical claims and the increased reimbursements, a higher profit is another advantage outsourcing can provide to the medical office.
Although there are many benefits to outsourcing, many providers are opposed to using an outsourcing medical billing company for a variety of reasons.
- No Control Over Employees. Medical office managers may be hesitant about not having direct control of the medical billing staff.
- Risks to Patient Satisfaction. Patient satisfaction can sometimes suffer due to outsourcing. Patients like having the ability to walk into their doctors office to make their payments, set up payment arrangements or discuss the specifics of their bill.
- HIPAA Privacy and Security Breaches. Although, violations of HIPAA privacy and security can occur with inhouse billing, it can present an even greater risk when medical billing is outsourced.
- Possible Hidden Costs. Often the hidden costs are not extra costs that are not disclosed by the outsourcing company. Hidden costs refer to costs associated with preparing for your medical office switching from inhouse billing to outsourcing.
- No Flexibility. Based on the changing conditions of the medical office, a manager has no flexibility for requesting overtime to increase productivity, changing employees work hours to suit the needs of the patients, and the openings and closings on holidays.
- Limitations. The services they provide may be limited due to the lack of access to information and a lack of communication between the medical office and the outsourcing company.
- Contractual Misunderstandings. Legal lingo can cause contractual misunderstandings between the medical office and the outsourcing company.
Whatever decision your medical office decides to make, it important to weigh all options and consider what will be the most beneficial to reaching the goals, mission and vision of the medical office.