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Since there are a large number of companies offering medical billing services, it’s often difficult for a healthcare provider to choose the best-fit, third party billing group for their organization. Healthcare providers have to ask billing companies the right questions on systems and services rendered, thereby making it much easier for them to pick. Healthcare providers should ensure that the billing service is compatible with their business model to avoid issues at a later date. The tips below will help healthcare providers choose the right service for medical billing.
Considering Factors Other Than Price and / or Size
A medical billing company offering a full range of medical billing services (which could include credentialing) generally charge their customers higher prices. Just because a company is large or highly priced doesn’t mean they achieve higher acceptance rates for collection of bills when compared to competing, smaller or cheaply priced billing companies.
On the other hand and it goes without saying, many healthcare providers focus entirely on price quoting when shortlisting and choosing a particular billing company for their practice. Healthcare firms should be aware that just because a billing company offers reduced pricing for its services, doesn’t automatically suggest that they are the most suitable vendor for outsourcing of billing work. Often and this has been industry observed, cheaper services tend to be of lower quality and in the long run the healthcare provider ultimately pays the price for lack of proper execution.
Rather than use price as the penultimate deciding factor, medical providers should look at the larger picture and make their decisions based upon a number of other factors, which we discuss below. References, volume-based pricing, technology and transparency are factors that should be taken into consideration and are paramount to the success of any medical provider looking to outsource their billing.
Medical Billing Technology
Some billing companies prefer to compile, store data and communicate using traditional methods such as manual data submission or using antiquated fax technology. This is drastically different when compared to companies which use cloud-based software for revenue cycle management, the latest medical billing technology. Medical providers should absolutely question the billing software being utilized and whether it fits their expectations and requirements.
To make an analogy, billing processing options are similar to the way people handle their bank account(s). Some people prefer to have their bills in paper format, make payments by writing checks, mail checks to pay bills, and manually verify their accounts. In contrast, other people prefer to make payments online for their bills and other items. Making online payments by clicking the mouse is simple, less complex with no need for tedious paperwork.
If a billing company has chosen the right software, healthcare providers can be connected to the billing remote office and revenue cycle management process(es). This will streamline the workflow to a large extent and the number of errors overall will also be reduced since many manual errors are eliminated. Additionally, when a billing company uses secure cloud-based software, the healthcare provider is assured that all medical data will comply with the regulations for data storage which are specified under HIPAA, without any additional effort at all on the part of the provider. This can reduce additional effort, saving both time and money.
Until a few years ago, one of the major disadvantages of outsourcing billing was that financial information was not immediately available to healthcare providers. After billing services were outsourced, healthcare providers had to rely on periodic reports in order to determine financial statii, whether it was making a profit or loss and exact values. This made it difficult for providers to identify billing issues, make any changes in real-time impossible. Hence, a different model and approach for managing a healthcare practice’s billing was required.
At present, hiring medical billing firms with HIPAA-compliant cloud-based applications can help overcome the limitation of conventional billing. For a cloud-based system, it’s extremely convenient and easy for a healthcare providers to immediately access all medical claims. New medical practices could very well be in the dark on medical billing software and execution best practices. It’s important for billing companies to be honest and transparent with wares being used.
Like any job application, references play a huge part in building trust between an employer and employee. Similarly in the medical world and between two companies doing business, it’s important that the medical billing group furnish excellent references. This enables the medical provider to understand the over protocol, worth ethic and success rate of the medical billing group.