The battle remains between keeping billing in-house and outsourcing medical billing to a third-party service. Facing this business question is a difficult task for physicians, as each option carries both advantages and disadvantages. So, chances are, you may be asking: is it time to outsource my medical billing? It is becoming readily apparent that outsourcing is more cost-efficient and enables doctors to spend more quality time with patients and less time filling out paperwork.
Take this moment to evaluate factors such as your office size and the experience of the staff. After all, revenue cycle management (or RCM, learn more here) is paramount when it comes to running a practice. Without the ability to process the flow of money and follow claims coming in, you won’t be able to keep the doors open.
Unless you’ve had a practice for twenty years with long-term staff, you may want to consider outsourcing. That being said, here is in-house and outsourcing summarized so you can break it down for yourself:
If you have seasoned and experienced staff members who are knowledgeable about the patient files and RCM procedures, in-house billing may be right for you. This rings especially true if they have proven to be trustworthy and efficient in their work. Not to mention the ability to have instant at-your-fingertips access to medical billing in the event that an issue can be invaluable.
However, it can also lead to problems: in-house billing software and employee salaries can be more expensive and there are risks for embezzlement and delays. If an employee gets sick and there isn’t enough coverage in the office, this can become cumbersome on your staff and, unless management is keeping a close eye, claims can get neglected, and daily duties can pile up. Falling behind in medical billing, claims that aren’t appealed, and collections can be detrimental to maintaining RCM.
In other words, placing all your eggs in one in-house basket can escalate from one cracked egg to a bad batch.
Outsourcing Medical Billing
If you are launching your practice or have high turnover with staff, outsourcing your medical billing is going to be the best option, financially speaking. It costs considerably less money to outsource than to pay employees. Not only that, but there will also never be a question on the financial standing of your practice. This is because outsourcing contractually requires them to supply documentation to you, showing crystal-clear numbers. You’ll never have to play the guessing game of where your practice stands or hover over your employees again for reports. Worried about maintaining the security of clients’ medical records? Most outsourcing companies utilize premier IT software that is 100% compliant with HIPAA.
Also, outsourcing means more hands-on time doctors get to spend with patients. This will increase your retention rate and customer satisfaction and allow patients to feel like all of their needs and concerns are being met in a comforting atmosphere.
Outsourcing is keeping up with the constant transitions of Medicare and third party payers as well. Being able to comply with ICD-10 requirements and EHRs also grant physicians an extra convenience by being able to access medical records from other lab work and physicians the patient has visited. In return, the turnaround time for the patient and the doctor would be quicker and more efficient. That can make a world of difference when it comes to tests and bloodwork.
So, Which do I Pick?
Ultimately, the choice is up to you! If you need more resources on what will be most cost-efficient, check out this ebook to further empower yourself to decide what choice is right for your practice. In terms of cost, outsourcing provides a higher net income according to the aforementioned article. Make sure you consult and research outsourcing companies to gauge their effectiveness and rapport with other practices before making your decision.