For many practices, outsourcing medical billing can allow the physician and staff to spend more time on patient care and less time on paperwork. It can streamline your process flow, improve revenue, and increase patient satisfaction. And in many instances, it can increase your revenue by allowing you to see more patients, eliminating costs associated with re-submitting inaccurate claims, and reducing staff costs.
Now that you’ve decided that your practice will benefit from hiring a medical billing company, what’s your next step? Where do you go from here?
Determine What Level of Service You Need for Medical Practice Collections
Medical billing companies generally offer a variety of services to their customers, tailored to the needs of each specific practice. Some organizations only offer electronic claim submission, some offer billing-only services, while others can handle everything from claims processing to staffing, facilities, and equipment.
Each practice is unique. Research your current situation, locate where improvement or oversight is necessary, and determine which services benefit your practice the most. Do you need a full service medical billing company? Or would your existing billing staff benefit from some assistance?
Know How to Verify the Expertise of a Medical Billing Company
There are many medical billing companies to choose from. It’s important not to choose the first one you see on Google or the one with the lowest rates. Choosing a reputable medical billing company is imperative, as they will be your direct source to your revenue stream and in some cases may be speaking with your patients directly.
In choosing to outsource your medical billing, you should consider the following three factors.
- Experience, Training, and References: A qualified medical billing company should be able to produce a wide range of references, as well as detailed qualifications of the company and the employees who will be working with your practice. They may also specify if and how their employees are coding certified. Don’t just review this information; verify it as best you can and contact the references for some honest feedback.
- Compliance & Location: Determine if the billing company has ever been investigated or convicted for fraud or abuse. Additionally, some companies are located overseas, which can have HIPAA and other legal ramifications. Verify their location and qualifications before signing a contract.
- Audit & Reports: If your medical billing company is going to be providing you with reports, audits, or other financial feedback, ask for some samples. Determine whether the information they gather and how often they compile it is adequate for your practice. Many companies also provide periodic quality assurance audits. Verify if and when they do this and what their past results have been.
Evaluate the Candidates Based on Your Research and Interviews
Sometimes it’s tempting to make a split second decision in business when you talk to someone you get along with, or they offer just the right price. Keep in mind that this is not the time to make a rash decision. The medical billing company you work with will be a part of your business and will be your source for patient payment collection.
Speak with each company individually and thoroughly. Ask any follow up questions or concerns that come to mind. The company should be willing and able to answer everything in detail and to your satisfaction.
Make a detailed list of each company you interview and note the differences in qualifications, price, services, and personnel.
Sign the Contract and Get Started
Once the pricing and details are agreed upon, you should always formalize your relationship with a written contract specifying the details of your agreement.
Read the contract carefully and ask for clarification or changes if necessary. Contracts should be mutually agreeable and should clearly define the responsibilities of each party.
You have successfully done your research, determined what level of service you need, interviewed candidates, and chosen a company to work with. Now you can spend less time doing paperwork and more time doing what you do best – caring for your patients.
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