Medical billing can be a complex task. The process can become even more challenging in smaller practices where only a few people handle the administrative work. Thankfully, office managers and physicians can turn to outsourced billing services for a convenient and cost-effective solution.
So, if you’re still wondering why your collection rates continue to decrease, it may be time to consider medical billing services. At Wing Assistant, we have HIPAA-compliant healthcare virtual assistants experienced in medical billing and coding. Today, we’ll show you how you can cut down costs and save time when you take advantage of this service.
Time-Saving Benefits of Outsourced Billing Services
Indeed, your office staff is responsible for keeping records. However, that is only one of the many duties they have in a medical facility. So, if you give them the burden of contacting clients, collecting payments, and processing claims, they might not reach their optimal productivity. After all, they’ll be switching from one task to another. Here are some of the ways outsourced medical billing services can save your practice time:
Reducing billing errors and disputes
According to Stanford University psychology professor Clifford Naas, multitasking is a myth. Our brain is not wired to perform several tasks simultaneously. What we consider multitasking is actually switching from one task to another, which can elevate the risks of committing mistakes. So, when you don’t have people solely working on medical billing, your practice is at risk of claim submission errors. When these occur, claims will be denied or rejected. Consequently, your medical practice will suffer from financial losses.
On the other hand, when you outsource, you will work with fully-trained individuals who specialize in coding and billing. Moreover, part of their KPIs is timely and accurate submissions. Because they are accountable for their work, they will thoroughly review claims before forwarding them to the payer.
Providing timely and accurate billing information
When you turn to outsourced billing services, you can expect to work with a team of experts. These professionals are specifically trained to handle various medical billing tasks. They have experience in coding, payment collections, and submitting claims, among others.
As a result, your medical practice will enjoy the benefits of an efficient billing process. Of course, as we’ve mentioned, the results will be accurate, and you won’t have to worry about delayed or denied claims.
Offering 24/7 support and service
If you’re running an urgent care center, you likely have patients coming to you 24/7. Naturally, you’ll need to operate a continuous medical billing service to ensure that insurance claims and payments will be processed in time.
Now, hiring several employees with shifting schedules can be expensive. With outsourced billing services, you will have a streamlined workflow without spending as much. Fortunately, there are specialized service providers that operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This way, you can have a continuous medical billing service without taking the focus of your in-house staff away from patient care.
Cost-Saving Benefits of Outsourced Billing Services
Maintaining an in-house billing team can be expensive. You’d have to consider the cost of onboarding, infrastructure, benefits, payroll, and even insurance. Fortunately, you can lower these expenses by outsourcing billing services. Here are some ways a healthcare VA can save you money:
Eliminating the need for expensive software and equipment
When you opt to build an in-house medical billing team, you must be prepared to spend from $1,000 to over $10,000. Whether you have a small dental clinic or a family practice, you’ll have to invest in these essentials:
- Computer equipment
- Commercial-grade copier with multiple functions
- Medical billing software and licensing
- Business phone system
- IT support
When you outsource your billing services, you won’t have to worry about purchasing these items. Moreover, you don’t have to start with thousands of dollars. For instance, when you turn to Wing Assistant, you can start for as low as $899 monthly. There won’t be downtime for infrastructure setup because your service provider will have everything ready.
Reducing the cost of labor and employee benefits
Labor costs are among the highest expenses of medical practices. So, if you want to save money, you can outsource your billing services. You can reduce expenses on salaries and onboarding. Moreover, since you’re not maintaining a physical office, you don’t have to spend money on office supplies and furniture.
A University of California San Francisco study revealed that 53% of medical administrative staff experience burnout. With such conditions, turnover rates can also be high. Now, when you’re managing employees, you need to take measures to keep them engaged and motivated.
There are many ways to achieve this, but in most cases, you need to spend money. For instance, to prevent burnout, you need to invest in rewards and recognition. Moreover, if you want your billers to stay loyal, you need to offer long-term benefits.
On the other hand, with outsourced billing services, you don’t have to worry about employee management. After all, the service provider will take care of all the human resource processes.
Minimizing the risk of non-payment and bad debt
It’s not uncommon for patients to forget or intentionally neglect their payments. If you don’t actively reach out to your clients, your practice can experience significant losses. One option would be to hire more staff to collect payments. However, that approach will increase your overhead costs even more.
When you hire a billing service provider, you won’t have to worry about these problems. You’ll have someone to contact customers and remind them of their payments. This way, you can always expect a consistent cash flow for your practice.
Choosing the Right Provider for Outsourced Billing Services
If you want to get the most out of your outsourced billing services, you must consider several factors. Here are some actions you can take before choosing a service provider:
Identify business needs and goals
The first thing you must do is consider the volume of claims and collections that your practice handles. Some service providers can handle large medical facilities, while others accept smaller practices with more conservative budgets.
You can opt for a small-scale medical billing service if you’re running a small dental clinic or a family practice. For instance, you can hire a healthcare virtual assistant who has experience in handling billing needs. Meanwhile, if you have over 200 staff members, you’ll need a physician practice management company. They should be well-equipped and well-established in the medical coding and billing field. Moreover, they’d have automation procedures that will speed up the claims and collections processes.
Research companies offering outsourced billing services
You should also consider the reputation of an outsourced medical billing company. These days, scammers are prevalent in the industry. So, we recommend going online and checking reviews. When conducting research, you should ask the following questions:
- What do previous clients have to say about their services?
- Do they have HIPAA-compliant medical virtual assistants?
- What actions do they take to deliver their promise?
By asking these questions, you’ll know how credible and reliable the company is. This way, you can build trust with your patients and insurance companies.
Evaluate provider expertise and experience
To ensure accurate and timely billing, you must work with a company that has extensive experience in your field. Make sure that they know the terminology and processes in your particular practice. After all, one of the top reasons for revenue loss and denied claims is incorrect coding and billing. So, it’s safer to work with someone with experience in your specialty.
Review provider pricing and contract terms
You can assess whether you’re getting the best deal by checking the breakdown of the services. Service providers will either charge a flat fee or a percentage. So, you should look at your current patient volume and evaluate the level of service that you’ll need.
Don’t forget to ask about the company’s collection percentage. If they’re charging a flat fee, ask about the features and services included in their package. You should also know if they have extra fees for reports or special workflows. Moreover, make sure that all the terms are clearly laid out in the contract to ensure that you won’t be billed for hidden charges.
Depending on your current patient load, you must decide whether the cost-effective solution is to be billed by revenue percentage or a flat fee. Once you’ve done that, you can create a short list of companies that are within your needs and budgets. Make sure to limit your choices to less than five so you won’t get overwhelmed.
Get the Best Medical Billing Services from a Wing Assistant
As we’ve mentioned, starting and maintaining an in-house medical billing team can be expensive. After all, you need to consider the cost of labor, furniture, training, onboarding, and software licensing, among others. However, when you turn to Wing Assistant, you can start for as low as $899 per month.
Just because you’re paying a more affordable fee, it doesn’t mean you’re getting less than you deserve. With Wing Assistant, you’ll have a HIPAA-compliant medical virtual assistant who is experienced in managing physician EMRs, handling billing and coding, and scheduling appointments. Moreover, you’ll have a dedicated Customer Success Manager who will help you with training, onboarding, and feedback.
To get the best outsourced billing services, get in touch with Wing Assistant today!
Eunice Samson’s interest in keeping up with the “bleeding edge” of technology has led her to a career in digital marketing. She’s currently writing SEO content for eCommerce, SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS companies. Aside from searching for opportunities to increase her online marketing knowledge, Eunice also scours the Internet for useful bonuses and coupon codes that she can use to fuel her love for photography. During her free time, she watches professional photo retouching tutorials between streaming her favorite TV shows. Fun fact: Eunice has never met a cupcake she didn’t like.