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Medical Billing Service Considerations

A medical billing service can be extremely useful for doctor's offices looking to focus on patients, while increasing their revenue. Those searching for alternatives should learn about what these services can bring to the table.

Part of the issue is staffing. Many healthcare providers have a hard time finding and retaining qualified employees. Another concern is collection rates and administrative costs. Doctor's offices may want to compare their overhead costs with the collection rates. Healthcare providers need to know where their office stands in terms of their finances and efficiency before moving forward in their search.

For those interested in finding a medical billing service, there are quite a few factors to think about. It's important to know what these types of services do, who should use them, and also what search criteria should be used. This will help you select a provider that makes sense for your office or practice's needs.

First, what do they do? Basically, they work with accounts receivable, which means that they are responsible for billing patients and collecting payments on those bills. Billers submit claims to health insurance companies, including Medicare. A biller also spends time following up, posting payments, and communicating with patients and insurance companies, among other duties.

This is usually performed by a trained individual or organization. A medical billing service uses people who have either had training in billing and coding, or have completed specialized courses. There are many class options that provide certification. Students can be required to take a series of six-week classes, including "Terminology," "Introduction to ICD Coding" and "Proper Billing for Medicare." While this isn't necessary to be hired, it helps to understand various concepts and processes.

Next, find out if it makes sense to outsource your process. Consider the size of your operation and if you have plans for growth. How much do you spend on administrative costs? Do you have a high biller turnover and low collection rates? How much time does your office spend dealing with bills? These are all important to know before moving forward. The goal of outsourcing is to reduce overhead costs incurred by paying administrative staff to deal with it, eliminate the need to find and manage skilled billers, increase the time healthcare professionals can focus on their patients, and increase the bottom line. If your office has one or two billers who are extremely efficient and have been with you for a while, this may not be necessary. In contrast, if your practice sees high turnover rates for in-house specialists and has never had good collection rates, it may be time to search for help. If your office is a good candidate for Electronic Health Record (EHR) software systems, in-house management of bills may be a significant factor in deciding not to outsource. EHR systems can be expensive.

Truly, the biggest challenge in finding a medical billing service is comparing the reality of your company's staffing, financesFree Reprint Articles, and efficiency and doing a cost-benefit analysis.

Article Tags: Medical Billing Service, Medical Billing, Billing Service, Collection Rates

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