May 09, 2014
Radiation oncology practices are facing billing and reimbursement issues due to changing coding practices and compliance rules. Due to implementation of new technology, radiation treatments are becoming more complex, requiring coding efficiency in order to get paid. With ICD-10 round the corner, it has become necessary for practices, including oncology to upgrade from ICD-9 to ICD-10 in order to avoid disruption in cash flow.
Not just upgrading but providers are also facing the pressure of training staff, reprinting superbills, HIPAA compliance and so on. To make matters worse, ICD-10 training has reduced productivity levels of doctors and billers due to the complexities involved.
With so much to handle, many oncologists are planning to sell off their practice to hospitals.
According to Community Oncology Alliance, since 2007, approximately 400 oncology practices have been bought by hospitals or formed financial arrangements with hospitals across the country
This trend started due to the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 under which, Medicare reimbursement to private doctors for cancer drugs was reduced by the Congress. Even private insurers cut their reimbursement as a result of this act.
With the decline in reimbursement for cancer drugs for private oncologists, it became difficult for providers to stay independent. This payment cut coupled with reforms and oncology billing challenges are forcing many private oncology practices to get a job in a hospital.
If you are facing the same situation, outsourcing can be a practical option to bring an end to your financial woes. It will also free you from the struggle of staying independent.
How to choose a reliable medical billing company?
There are certain features that you must look for, when choosing a oncology billing company for your oncology practice.
Pricing quoted by the billing company should be affordable so that your practice can save approximately 30-40% on costs compared to in-house billing
You should get customized monthly reports on a regular basis
The billing company must ensure HIPAA compliance so that confidentiality of patient information is maintained
You should have access to coding software at all times
A separate, dedicated team should be assigned for your practice
The billing company should perform stringent quality checks so that accuracy in billing and coding procedures can be maintained
Choose a company only when it offers the above-mentioned services without fail. This will not only ensure timely reimbursements but also give you ample time to concentrate on quality patient care.
Billing partners like Medicalbillersandcoders.com is the largest consortium of coders and billers in the US. This company has been offering effective billing solutions to providers, including oncologists across 50 states in the US. MBC works with the aim to help medical practices sail through billing and coding challenges and end their struggle to stay independent.
A dedicated team of well-trained experts are assigned and the latest technology and systems are used to file claims and procure payments. Since an experienced team will be managing your revenue cycle, you can focus on documentation and patient care.
Best Billing and Coding Practices