As per estimations, approximately 32 million patients will be entering the US healthcare system in 2014 due to the Affordable Care Act. More patients mean more money; however, many providers are not yet prepared to cope with medical billing and patient influx due to lack of resources. Even the shortage of physicians has made practices uncertain about the future of this new law. The shortage will pose challenges for an already-taxed healthcare system, increase doctor-to-patient ratio, strain patient outcomes and affect the interaction between patients and physicians.
Considering the annual payments cuts and stringent reforms, a significant number of practices will refuse to absorb more volume without more money to cover the extra staff they will need.
Medical billing will bear the brunt of patient influx:
Pressure on medical billing due to patient influx will be having a negative impact on the level of healthcare provided by practices. Medicare will be paying 10% bonus to doctors who spend major portion of their time in treating elderly patients. Even Medicaid payments will increase in 2014 by 20% and reach 100% of Medicare rates. Incentives may be a good start to encourage doctors to see more patients but various other changes will have to be implemented to get prepared for the influx.
In order to treat more patients, physicians will be left with less or no time to concentrate on billing and coding requirements, which might lead to disrupted cash flow. Due to lack of timely payments, they will be unable to hire a new physician, physician’s assistant or implement technology to embrace the rise in number of patients. The Medicaid influx will also require practices to hire or train medical billing staff in payment rules of Medicaid plans.
How can practices prepare for the influx?
Provision of quality patient care is the first priority for physicians but preparation for ICD-10, HIPAA-5010 compliance and pressure caused by other reforms makes them unable to strike a balance. This leads to delayed payments, data breach, denied claims, affecting the financial health of their practice.
To ensure timely payments and eliminate the headache of hiring, training staff, implementation of EHR, compliance to HIPAA and claim denials, practices are seeking help from a billing partner. This is helping them offer quality care to increased number of patients without worrying about billing, coding, hiring, training and other vital administrative tasks.
Medicalbillersandcoders.com is the largest consortium of billers and coders in the US, helping practices overcome billing and coding challenges. MBC has a strong reputation as a credible source for billing and revenue cycle management services, including patient scheduling and reminders, insurance enrolment, patient enrolment, insurance authorization, insurance verification, coding and audits, denial management, financial management reporting and AR management.
MBC aims to relieve physicians from these non-core medical issues and offer them sufficient time to attend patients. Our team of experts will not only handle your revenue cycle management, but also offer effective solutions to help you embrace the rise in number of patients.