In my role as an executive at PracticeForces, I have spoken to hundreds, if not thousands, of physicians on the subject of medical billing. A number of them told me they prefer to outsource their medical billing to local vendors, rather than remote vendors who are located some states away. They prefer this even though that remote vendor will do a better job and substantially increase collections for the practice and the workflow that many so-called "Ma and Pa" home billers cannot even come close to.
PracticeForces has proven we do a great job with many of our remote clients who are extremely delighted with the results that we have delivered.
Remote Billing Concerns and Safety
The primary reason the doctors I spoke to were either afraid or concerned about partnering with remote medical billers had largely to do with financial security. For example, an Ohio-based doctor wanted to hire a medical billing agency in the same state because he felt more secure about having his money close to him. On the other hand, contracting with a medical billing agency in Florida or California would have meant greater distance between the doctor and the people handling his revenue cycle. The physical distance made the doctor hesitant about trusting the remote billing agency with his finances, even though it would clearly streamline his billing operation with a mature, professional company and certainly increase revenue for the practice.
This physician objection reminds me of the internet’s arrival onto the national and global scene in the mid-1990s. Many people wouldn’t use their credit card details for online purchases and other electronic transactions. They feared their financials would be easily stolen by cyber scammers, and their fear was completely justified. We didn’t have the powerful encryption algorithms to ensure maximum confidentiality and protection twenty years ago that we do today.
At PracticeForces, we are 100% compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This means that we utilize state-of-the-art IT security measures and software to ensure that your electronic medical and financial records stay strongly protected from unauthorized access at all times. The significant advances in information technology enable any remote medical billing agency worth their salt to manage a physician’s revenue cycle with remarkable accuracy, safety, and security. The agency could be on the other side of the planet from where you live, but that distance shouldn’t affect your medical reimbursements and revenue management in the slightest, thanks to the technology we have today.
Is Local Billing Really More Personal?
Still, some physicians might argue that partnering with a provider of local medical billing vs. remote medical billing allows for personal, face-to-face interaction with the billing staff, which, in itself, is another form of security and comfort. I agree with this sentiment if you do, in fact, actively interact with your local billing company on a regular basis.
But realistically, how often would you meet with your local billing agency face to face, even if the vendor is based 30 minutes from your practice?
My guess: maybe once or twice, if at all. With the use of webcams and state of the art meeting tools, a remote company can be right in front of you for conversations and conference calls. Many of PracticeForces' remote clients visit us here in Florida at our headquarters when the opportunity arises for them, as well as us visiting them onsite at their location.
Advantages of Remote Billing
I can’t speak for other remote medical billing agencies, but we at PracticeForces never had an IT security breach of physician clients’ medical and financial information since we have been in business since 2003. We assign a team of experienced medical billing professionals to every one of our clients. Each team includes an account manager with several junior employees who use stringent IT security measures and maintain active communication with the physician client. They are readily available to provide client support, answer questions, and handle any revenue management concerns.
There are a few other advantages to partnering with a remote medical billing vendor. PracticeForces, for example, manages the insurance reimbursements and revenue cycles of physician clients via a highly developed electronic infrastructure. We don’t handle any paperwork – which tends to contain frequent errors and get lost easily. Instead, we support virtually all EHR and practice management software, such as eClinicalWorks, Advanced MD (ADP), and other specialty-specific applications. We are also able to remotely access your current practice software through an ultra-secure Virtual Private Network (VPN). These technical capabilities make it possible for us to function as your virtual back office that is in charge of financial administration.
Further, physicians practice in large cities, small towns, and rural regions across the nation. If you live in Montana, Wyoming, North and South Dakota, and other rural regions in the Midwest, chances are that local billing agencies, or a top notch in house biller, will be pretty hard to find. In this case, reaching out to a remote medical billing company with high volume resources, a proven track record, and sharply competitive rates would be a viable option. Now, in 2015, we have the technology to make the remote back office billing company a complete, successful venture for you!
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Don’t hesitate to contact PracticeForces if you have any other questions about the reliability, security, and efficacy of a remote billing agency.