Outsourcing Medical Billing a Remedy

Henry Ford once said “don’t find a fault, find a remedy”.  Unfortunately many clinics just have a long list of “things faulty” with their practices, but no solutions in sight.  These faults are unlike the geologic faults which cause sudden, violent earthquakes; but are more akin to the many silent killers which eventually take their toll on the human body.  This seems like divine justice, since we are after all talking about clinics and physicians here, who take care of the sick and the invalid.

Every 1 Hour of Patient Examination requires half hour of Paperwork:

The above seems like an exaggeration; but many a small-time practice would vouch for its authenticity.   According to an important article in the Los Angeles Times, majority of the healthcare practitioners unanimously agree that collecting reimbursements from insurers is a very big headache that is driving up the nation’s healthcare costs.   In fact it has been estimated that around $30 billion is spent each year by the practices to cover the cost of paper, postage, and other related supplies required for paper claims.  And one has not even considered other overheads like those for employee retention, office space, erroneous submissions etc.  Also it is estimated that office personnel spend more than 20% of their working hours pulling medical records out of cabinets or submitting paper bills.  Now, this seems like a rather poor utilization of expensive paramedical/administrative labour force.

The Remedy:

The remedy is something which has been time-tested in other business, “Outsourcing”.  By outsourcing a clinic’s medical billing process to expert billers, the clinical staff is better able to concentrate on its core competency, which is caring for the patients.   Also medical billing costs (including the cost for the paperwork) will come plummeting down, since billing companies charge very nominal collection rates, usually between 8 to 10% of the amount collected (courtesy iSource).  They are able to do this by making use of cost-effective medical billing softwares like Kareo and recruiting personnel who have huge expertise with a single insurance’s reimbursement criteria.   Such economies of scale would only be possible in the case of medical billing companies, who more often than not run many simultaneous projects involving a particular payer and can afford to hire such a medical billing expert.   So, if you are still unsure whether outsourcing medical billing is really going to benefit your practice, think no more, it definitely is a remedy which Henry Ford himself would have been proud of.

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