The low estimate on medical billing errors is $17 billion, according to a report from the Institute of Medicine. Even if the $29 billion they state as the top of the range is an overstatement, do you have your share of $17 billion to give back to patients and insurance companies? Furthermore, do you even want a part of the 250,000 patients who die each year because of medical errors (according to the medical journal BMJ) on your conscience?
Medical Billing mistakes in your practice not only costs your patients money; it may cost them their lives. The billing mistakes that proved fatal were not only in depth procedures such as surgeries, but also supposedly routine processes as simple as prescribing a drugstore medication.
The majority of costs that are associated with billing mistakes include the expenses involved with unnecessary inpatient and outpatient care, prescription drug services and ancillary services. However, there was a significant portion of cost associated with the mortality rate as well as days missed from work, as reported by annual reports of short term disability claims.
The increase in the population of the United States over the past 8 years raises the cost of billing errors year over year. Even on the low end, the adjusted number for total losses actually comes closer to $20 billion. These findings come from a study that was conducted by Milliman and sponsored through the Society for Actuaries.
It doesn't end there.
The Fall 2012 issue of the Journal of Health Care Finance published a study entitled, "The Economics of Health Care Quality and Medical Errors," which showed that the real impact of a broken medical system actually outpaces even the worst of these numbers. Using the scale of quality adjusted life years and focusing only on the people who suffered a fatality from a medical error, the total number of money lost from death is more along the lines of $187 billion to $250 billion.
If we were to include the loss of productivity for all patients who suffered a loss in quality of life, this number might skyrocket into the trillions.
To put it mildly, medical billing errors are an expensive proposition. Even if your office can afford the malpractice insurance, it cannot afford the hit to your reputation if you are overly involved in the statistics above. The question that you must ask yourself is this: Do you have the manpower in house to ensure that your office is responsible for as few billing errors as possible?
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The answer for the majority of you will be no. If this is the case, you should follow the example of some of the largest medical facilities in the world - outsourcing the majority of your billing, coding and medical documentations services to a vetted partner. M-Scribe is the company that you need by your side to avoid billing errors that are far too expensive for your patients or your office.
You owe it to your business and to your patients to take a hard look at your records for the past few years. How much money are your errors responsible for, and how much of that could have been avoided? The business of medicine involves caring for your patients from the moment they walk in your door until they walk out - it doesn't end by the bedside. Consider forming a partnership with M-Scribe to ensure that your patients never suffer the consequences of unnecessary medical billing errors, and save your business the damage to your budget and reputation as well.