Medical Billing: In-House Or Outsourced?
The decision about whether to keep your medical billing in-housed or to outsource it is an important one too many small and medium sized practices. Other than your healthcare services, billing and revenue are your most important processes. Your cash flow and the success of your practice depends on them. Before making the decision a thorough examination of your practice’s costs, staffing and current cash flow issues is essential. You need this information to weigh the various options available to you. Before you get to that stage, however, you should have a general idea of the advantages and disadvantages of each option. In-house billing Pros • Hands on control of the billing process are retained. • You don’t lose the cost and time of any training that has been done in the medical billing field. Your investment will continue returning benefits. • By keeping your billing in-house, you are close to the process if there are any issues. Cons • The costs of keeping billing in-house (salaries, benefits, medical software etc.) are higher than outsourcing the billing process. • Neglect and ignorance can cost your practice thousands of dollars if the employees aren’t managed carefully. That doesn’t even touch on the issues of embezzlement or malfeasance. • Your billing support can take a hit when an employee goes on vacation, has a day off or even gets sick. Positive cash flow requires consistency. Outsourced billing Pros • If you are starting a new business or dealing with the retirement or resignation of part of your staff, the costs to outsource your billing are considerably less than hiring a new employee.
• The support level you will receive from an outsourced billing service will be consistently higher. They are contractually required to perform tasks that your current staff may consider unnecessary, such as filing appeals. In addition, you don’t have to worry about staffing levels. • Medical billing companies will supply you with performance reports when requested or at automatic intervals. These reports will allow you to oversee your billing operations without having to manage it. Cons • You are a hands-off manager of your billing department. You don’t get to prioritize billing on the fly or interfere in the way they do business. • Since medical billing services charge a percentage of collections, or a flat rate dependent on the number of collections, it is hard to budget the expense. The more money you make, the more you will pay. Choosing between in-house and outsourced billing For most small and medium practices, using a physicians billing service makes a great deal of sense, unless you have overwhelming reasons not to. If you have already invested a lot of money in in-house training and staff, it is a much more difficult decision than if you are just starting your business, but the advantages to outsourcing your billing are both real and compelling. In the final verdict, you will have to decide what makes the most sense for your practice. Not only at present, but in the future.
The decision about whether to keep your medical billing in-housed or to outsource it is an important one too many small and medium sized pra...