Healthcare practices large and small could all learn some things from looking at the way billing companies of healthcare practices operate. Billing companies make their money on volume billing as most are a percentage of collections. These days, the percent charged is pretty low and in the lower single digit range. How can they afford to do that? What do they do differently that your practice could put into practice at your healthcare organization?
- Leverage technology – billing companies know that the more hands that touch single transactions, the more it costs. They find way to automate processes from getting the transactions into their practice management system to filing charges to posting payments. Making sure that transactions meet technical requirements for automating is a top priority for most billing companies.
- Scrubbing claims prior to AR – billing companies know that getting claims paid the first time filed is not only more efficient, it costs less and the turnaround of cash is quicker. In order to ensure that, running complete transactions against a rules program (both internal and carrier rules) ensures cleaner quicker paid claims.
- Efficient write-off policies – billing companies do not have time or people to chase after little dollars. Most practices spend far too much energy and personnel chasing balances of less than $10. Over-working claims means spending money. Do not spend more on getting less.
- Quick follow-up – Successful billing companies work the denials today that come in the door today. Working denials should be a quick turnaround process, otherwise you are allowing money to age and again spending too much money trying to collect.
- Know their costs – How much does it cost you from the time a patient makes an appointment until you get fully paid? Knowing what your costs are will help you make wise decisions about where you are wasting time and effort. I know you think you know…..but do a thorough cost analysis of cost per encounter. You will be surprised at what you are spending where.
Billing companies operate to make money. Most practices have different goals, and should. A billing company can focus only on the cost and revenue side of healthcare and can therefore be more efficient. There are other things that contribute to a successful billing company that your practice may not be able to take advantage of because of volume and taking advantage of spreading technology costs. So why not think about outsourcing as a real strategy? What could outsourcing billing save your practice over a years’ time? Could you increase revenue by outsourcing? During these very tight financial times it might be worth a look.