According to a Physician Compensation survey conducted by Sullivan, Cotter, and Associates, specialty physicians across the US saw a 1.9% increase in their compensation in 2014. Internal medicine physicians also experienced a two percent change in their compensation between 2013 and 2014. The median total cash compensation for them recorded in 2014 is $213,428.
Even though the internal medicine specialty witnessed a slight increase in compensation this year, many internists continue to grapple with a shrinking bottom line. This is because treatment by an internal medicine physician depends on or collaborates with different diagnostic laboratories and care to justify. Due to such varied aspects in the treatment episode, the medical billing and coding become complicated. The medical claims for internists require joint coding of services. They also have to deal with a variety of separate codes as they have to treat various health disorders.
Did you know that internists have the fifth-highest burnout rate among physicians? On average, they see 20 – 30 patients a day, working for long hours every week. The pressure caused by healthcare reforms has heightened their workload. It has been observed that internists spend around 10 or more hours on paperwork and other miscellaneous tasks every week. Some of the most commonly faced challenges are:
- Failing to keep a track of the changes to ICD-9-CM and CPT codes for various treatment procedures included in internal medicine. Regular changes in the ICD-9-CM, HCPCS, and CPT codes have complicated the billing procedure for internal medicine physicians
- Not coding peripheral tests and processes such as removal of skin tags and injections in an accurate manner
Without a skilled team of coders and billers, internists can face serious troubles in transitioning to ICD-10 by 2015. The rising costs and declining reimbursements are driving many internists to quit their private practices. Many physicians have started joining larger groups for avoiding the hassles of running a medical office in the current US healthcare industry.
The dependence on other practitioners complicates the billing procedure for internists. However, they can streamline their revenue cycle and ensure timely payments through effective medical billing services and coding practices. In order to mitigate the difficulties related to billing and administration, many internal medicine practices are taking recourse to outsource their RCM to billing agencies.
Companies like MedicalBillersandCoders.com have been helping internists streamline key financial and administrative tasks through effective RCM solutions. The providers have been able to boost their productivity and ensure better patient outcomes with the help of outsourcing.
MBC has a team of skilled coders and billers that offer effective billing solutions to over 40 medical specialties. They are trained in managing the key factors of a revenue cycle including:
- Medical coding
- Insurance verification
- Patient enrollment
- Insurance authorization
- Accounts reconciling
- Follow-up with insurance companies
- Accounts receivable management
With the help of an expert team, internists have been able to increase their profitability and reduce the administrative workload. While a dedicated team handles claims submission, follow-ups, and compliance with healthcare reforms, providers have been able to streamline their business functions and get more done in less time.