“The start of HIPAA as well as increased scrutiny of health care billing in general helped stimulate the growth of medical billing companies across North America. For both new and established medical practices, the need to understand and wade through an increasingly complex maze of billing rules and regulations to ensure timely reimbursements for medical treatments performed by practitioners is taking precious time away from actually treating patients. Medical billing services offered a path out of the billing maze and a pathway back to providing patient care.
Proficient medical billing companies can take the burden of billing away from the health care professional and accomplish billing duties more effectively resulting in increased reimbursements returns to the practice than what could be done by the medical office staff. In patient care, record keeping requirements continue to grow at an alarming rate. The main function of a billing service is to satisfy all the billing requirements presently in effect to ensure that cash flow is healthy and that billing errors are kept to a minimum.
One of the hallmark features of medical billing companies is managing insurance claims. Time and money are at risk when poorly prepared medical staff members endeavor to process endless piles of paperwork which must be filed by precisely following government or insurance industry mandates that seem to change on a daily basis. One of the principal benefits of working with a billing company is its expertise in handling insurance claims and billing.
Generally, medical billing companies search for and employ billing specialists who are familiar with the particular billing practices associated with specialized fields of medicine as well as particular government payers. Furthermore, these specialists would also be familiar with the specific coding practices associated with the health field. Of course, these same people could be hired by individual medical practices but that becomes an excessive burden on the payroll of the practice.
Obviously, increasing both revenue and cash flow are primary goals of reputable medical billing companies. They can also serve as an information resource to physicians and staff for answering patient queries and as a provider of reports that would allow practitioners to better manage their business.
Lastly, there’s the question of cost concerns that partnering with medical billing companies could bring to a medical practice. So far, the review has been one that assumes an outsourcing type relationship between a billing company and a medical practice or an in-house software type solution. A total on site software solution in which the medical practice maintains a server and needed billing software on site can easily cost tens of thousands of dollars. However, there is an alternate solution called online electronic medical billing services where the billing software is installed outside the physical confines of the medical office and access is gained via a web portal. Costs for this type of web based program would be in the form of a service charge which would only add up to a few hundred dollars a month.”