If you are trying to decide between medical billing outsourcing versus assigning billing as an in-house task with your own staff, there are several pros and cons to both sides of the debate. Some of the main considerations for choosing one over the other may include your own as well as staff’s time management, especially if they must handle other tasks, as well as your practice’s budget for personnel, software and other technological outlays and training, legal and procedural considerations for collections and debt recovery, and the overall ability of the billing and accounting staff to effectively deal with all of these tasks in the first place.
Considerations for in-house billing:
- Patients’ charges can be entered into the system as soon as encountered, often resulting in faster claim payment.
- Verifying insurance network participation credentials can be done on the spot by the billing staff or manager
- You are in charge of interviewing and hiring your office’s billing staff, as well as an office or billing manager who will train and supervise the regular staff in their billing and accounting duties. Once in place, this should give you more time to do what you do best: caring for patients
- Your billing manager will need to be able to remain current on the latest changes in medical billing regulations, including the new ICD-10 codes, as well as changes and upgrades in billing software and other related technological issues. He or she will also need to be able to pass that new information along to the rest of the staff as necessary
- Any problems or issues regarding billing software and related technology and hardware can usually be handled by your billing or office manager
- Your office or billing manager can follow up readily on past-due patient accounts and other expenses, as well as access insurance payment information and other financial reports quickly
- Fees and other outsourcing expenses can be significant for some larger practices with many patients to be billed and expenses tracked
Considerations for outsourcing medical billing:
- You don’t need to spend time interviewing or dealing with the process of checking references and other personnel matters
- If your billing personnel are absent from work or leave the practice, you don’t need to scramble to find a replacement or risk becoming delinquent in billing
- You can save on office space that would otherwise be dedicated to a billing department and its storage and equipment needs
- Your software and support hardware is provided by the billing company, saving you money upfront as well as maintenance and upgrade headaches and expense
- Certification and credentialing of participating insurance companies can often be included, usually for a nominal charge
- Working with most medical billing companies results in fewer denied claims, and will help to address the reason for denial.
- You save money on billing staff salaries, health insurance and other benefits, training costs and related expenses of maintaining staff
- A well-run professional billing company ensures that their billing and coding specialists are fully trained to be compliant on the new ICD-10 codes that are replacing the old ICD-p codes next year.
The decision by a health care practitioner about whether to outsource medical billing or do it in-house is one faced by every practice sooner or later, especially as a practice grows. For advice and help with your practice’s unique billing issues, M-Scribe Technologies, LLC, a leading provider of medical billing, coding, and medical documentation services, can show you how to save money, time and billing headaches and improve your practice’s cash flow.
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