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Just like every other aspect of the medical industry, medical billing is constantly changing and increasing in complexity. With thousands of codes, insurance providers, and varying standards, it is only becoming more difficult to keep up to date on the latest rules and regulations.
Focusing on all of this takes away time that healthcare professionals could be using to focus on patients. Luckily, you can outsource your medical billing to a third party of trained professionals. A medical billing service works to optimize your revenue and streamline your operations, while also ensuring your claims are error-free.
What Does a Physician Medical Billing Service Provide?
A physician medical billing service does more than just keep an eye on your practice's finances. Some of the features that medical billing services offer include:
- Accounts receivable management: With a physician medical billing service, you get a professional accounts receivable representative that monitors every dollar billed. The representative ensures that all aged receivables are properly managed and work to resolve denied and underpaid claims.
- Electronic claims: Paper claims are becoming obsolete, making way for more efficient electronic claims that come with a lower chance of errors. Most medical billing services offer practice management (PM) software (either in addition to or as a part of their billing solutions) that allows claims to be billed out within a business day. This means you receive payments on a consistent basis with less hassle.
- HIPAA compliance: Medical billing companies work to ensure that all business is conducted in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996. Protecting patient health information is a priority for billing services, which is why they only work with clearinghouses and software that meet full HIPAA standards.
- Medical coding: If you do not use the proper medical coding, you will not be reimbursed by insurance companies. Billing services employ medical coding specialists that review the codes you provide and ensure they are correct. These specialists perform multiple checks on every claim you submit, providing complete accuracy and full reimbursement.
- Reporting: It is important to keep track of your revenue if you want your practice to be profitable and successful. A medical billing service provides financial reports (daily, weekly, or monthly) with either detailed or summarized information. Reporting features are usually customizable to fit the needs of your specific facility.
Why Outsource Your Medical Billing?
Outsourcing your medical billing to a professional service offers a host of benefits, such as:
- Expertise: Outsourcing to a physician medical billing company doesn't just take the billing process off your shoulders, it places it in the hands of experienced professionals with in-depth knowledge of the field. A professional medical billing service is staffed with people who know how insurance companies operate and can tailor their work to have claims paid in a timely manner.
- Increased revenue: Medical billing companies help to maximize the revenue your practice generates. Billing services stay up-to-date on codes and regulations, even going so far as to compare codes and (should it be an option) use the ones that yield the highest revenue. In addition to this, billing companies know the ins and outs of multiple different insurance companies and use this knowledge to get bills and claims paid out at the highest rate.
- Time efficiency: A physician's time is valuable and every second spent dealing with the billing process and insurance companies is time that could be spent with patients. When you outsource to a professional medical billing company, this work is handled by trained professionals, leaving you with more time to focus on your patients and your practice.
How Much Do Physician Medical Billing Services Cost?
It is difficult to provide an exact cost for medical billing services, as prices vary widely based on the size and specialty of your practice, the billing company you choose, and their method of charging. That being said, here is a general pricing guide based on industry averages to give you an idea of what you can expect to pay for physician medical billing services:
- The majority of medical billing companies charge for their services as a percentage of your collections. Rates generally average between 5 and 10 percent, but may vary as much as between 4 and 15 percent. This is an earning incentive that stands to increase revenue, as the billing company does not get paid unless you do.
- Some billing services or specialty services charge for their services through a flat fee on each claim. Fees range between $1 and $8 per claim, with most practices paying an average between $4 and $6 per claim. It is important to find out whether the cost of submitting inpatient and outpatient claims is separate.