Many medical practices consider outsourcing billing at some point. There are a lot of reasons why a practice might opt for outsourcing, but the truth is that it isn’t for everyone. The best way to decide if outsourcing is for your practice is to analyze the pro’s and con’s and ask yourself a few basic questions about your business.
First answer the following:
- Are you a new practice?
- Is billing for your specialty especially complex?
- Have you had a high turnover of billing staff or is there a lack of qualified billing staff in your area?
- Are your billing processes inefficient (i.e., high denial rate, high A/R, low patient collections, etc.)?
- Would you rather focus more on patient care and less on business management tasks?
If you answered “yes” to most of these questions then outsourcing might be a better fit for your needs. However, there are pro’s and con’s to both ways of doing your billing. Simply put, in-house billing allows you to have total control over your billing processes but it also means managing staff, paying more for full time employees, and opening yourself to problems ranging from poor training and job performance to embezzlement.
On the flip side, if you use a reputable billing service, you should see lower costs with a good return on your investment. Generally, you can expect a certain level of results and consistency in performance. The downside is that you will have little control over the process and the cost may vary based on your claim volume at any given time.
To assess the pro’s and con’s for yourself use this simple checklist:
- Would you prefer to hand over control over the daily billing process?
- Are you concerned about the time and cost involved in managing more full-time staff?
- Are you worried about the possibility of embezzlement or negligence in your billing?
- Would you rather pay a small percentage of your claims than a full-time salary?
- Are you comfortable with the varying cost of outsourcing billing tasks?
- Are you looking for more comprehensive reporting and substantial analysis of your business?
- Are you concerned about staying on top of changing reimbursement and compliance issues?
If you answered mostly “yes” again, then it is probably time to consider an outsourcing solution. Watch for our next post on outsourcing your billing, Ten Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Billing Service.