What Does the Future of Medical Billing Look Like?
Is your medical practice losing money because of your outdated filing system? Are you still relying on paper records?
More than 85% of doctors report that they use electronic medical billing services. Thousands more, however, still need to make the switch.
If you’re curious about the benefits of electronic coding and billing, this article is for you. We’ll take you through the major benefits of having electronic records and discuss the future of medical billing.
Why Is Medical Billing Important?
Whether you’re running a primary care practice, a dental office, or a chiropractic center, medical billing is how you get paid. Several decades ago, when paper billing and records were the only option, the insurance landscape was also much simpler. Doctors’ offices could simply bill the insurance company and receive payment for services.
With the arrival of a “multi-payer” health insurance system, medical billing has become increasingly complex. In order to get paid, health care professionals must navigate strict deadlines and impose limits on the care they can provide.
Having efficient billing procedures is important for medical practices. You could be losing money without realizing it: paper-based billing costs American medical practices more than $350 billion every year. If you want to stay competitive, you need to embrace new approaches to billing.
Medical billers and coders use numbers to communicate information about patient visits. The code “99284,” for example, refers to an emergency visit that requires being seen by a doctor.
That specific code, however, refers to a condition that is not immediately life-threatening. Proper billing procedures are the key to a successful medical practice.
Outsourcing Medical Coding and Billing
The newer ICD-10 billing codes allow for more specific billing and should allow doctors to get reimbursed more quickly for their services. If you’re still doing all of your own billing, you might want to consider outsourcing as a long-term solution.
The benefit of outsourcing your medical coding and billing is that you can focus more on patient care. You’ve got a team of professional billers and coders who can work around the clock to get your billing taken care of. The medical coders are also well-versed in the latest changes to billing protocol.
Take a look at your bottom line: what percentage of your bills are getting paid in full? What is your standard collection rate? If you’re stressed out about interacting with insurance companies, take the time to find a billing and coding company that can assist you.
Outsourcing is the future of medical billing. You’re paying discounted prices to have seasoned professionals work on your billing backlog. They can raise your payment rate and you can have more time with patients.
Practice Management Systems
Another big change to the medical landscape is the advent of practice management systems. Being able to connect with patients directly — and remind them of their medical bills — should mean higher rates of payment for doctors.
In this connected digital era, a practice management system can issue appointment reminders to patients. It can also keep track of patient eligibility for insurance payments, status of insurance claims, and dates of payment.
Overall, the future of medical billing has to be electronic. There’s simply no way that a paper-based system can compete. Paper filing also leaves your practice vulnerable to employee theft and malpractice. Are your files locked securely, or can nurses and visitors easily access them?
Patients want to see that their information is being kept securely. They will choose to spend their healthcare dollars with offices that have advanced HIPAA security systems. Does your office measure up?
Online Patient Outreach
Unless you’re in a small town or rural area, you’ve probably got some competition. Many medical practices have “gone digital,” advertising online for new patients. The goal is to find patients who have their own insurance, because the collection rate on self-pay accounts can be as low as 25 percent.
If you’re unfamiliar with online outreach, you should know that you can also outsource this area of your practice. There are professional companies that can generate a website for you, including a blog and online bill pay options. It’s important to make bill payment as easy and integrated as possible.
Take your time to find the best overall medical billing service. Make sure that they support the ICD-10, are compliant with HIPAA, and have multi-layered security protocols. Your contract should include follow-up on patient claims, claims processing, and offsite information backup.
Health care is big business: the five top medical insurance companies recently earned more than $4 billion in three months. No matter how big your medical practice is, you need to secure your patient files and make sure that the insurance companies are paying you for your medical services.
There is a wide variety of medical billing options out there: find the one that works best for your practice.
The Future of Medical Billing
The future of medical billing is electronic. As more doctors switch to secure online patient management systems, their payment rates should increase. Taking the time to find the right billing and coding provider could save you the cost of a full-time billing employee.
In a competitive marketplace, there is increased pressure to attract patients. Again, patients want to see that their personal information is secure before they will commit to a medical practice. They usually have more than one option for care, no matter what their insurance company is.
Are you ready to outsource your billing? We provide reviews on dozens of medical billing and coding companies. We helping doctors find information management systems. No matter how big or small your practice is, we can work with you.
If you’ve been using a computerized billing system, let us know how you like it. Even if you’re still using paper records, you can switch to digital records in under one month. The process is called migrating your records.
Use our quote generator to find out how much you can save with a digital billing system. You might be able to get a new system installed for free!
Author: Mike Cynar
Mike Cynar brings buyers and sellers together by producing reviews and creating non biased webpages allowing users to share their experiences on various products and services. He and his staff write informative articles related to the medical field, legal, and other small business industries.