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Orthopedic Billing: In-House Vs. Outsourcing

 Orthopedics Outsourcing

Unlike any other practices, billing is a very crucial factor, even to orthopedic practices that are looking out for steady cash flow and decent revenues. It is a major decision that medical practices need to make whether  to  handle  the  billing  in-house  itself,  or  to outsource  it  to  a  professional  orthopedic  billing company?  You  will  need  to make  the  decision  based  on  several  factors  depending  on  your  specific practice, the resources at your disposal, and your style of operation. You need to consider every single option carefully before coming to a decision.

In-House Orthopedic Billing

As the term itself implies, in-house billing signifies a situation where the practice employs staff on the payroll to handle all the orthopedic billing requirements. Of course, when you have a person working directly under your supervision, you can have full control over the entire billing process, provided you have the time to spare, and can surmount the inherent difficulties like:

  • Cost factor: When you choose to do the billing in-house, it means that you need to hire a full time employee who will be dedicated to take care of billing. In addition to paying annual salary (quite high for qualified and experienced hands), you need to take care of other benefits like health care and insurance. You time also need to spend and money on training run. In the long, you will notice that  these  costs  far  outweigh  the cost  of  simply  outsourcing  your  orthopedic  billing  to  a professional billing company.

Problems with personnel: When you employ a person on full time basis, you need to think of associated issues like the person taking days off reporting sick, or going away on vacation. Moreover, you will not be able to question inefficiency and poor performance apart from poor productivity levels.

Added responsibilities: While hiring employees on full time basis, it is the practice’s responsibility to monitor the performance, and look out for mistakes and errors that can happen easily. Even if errors manage to creep in, it is the responsibility of the management and not on a particular employee, though he or she can be pulled up for it.

Outsourced Orthopedic Billing

While you outsource your orthopedic billing to a  professional billing and coding company, you need to pay a percentage of the total revenues that they bill on your behalf. This way, you ensure that you are paying only for the work executed, though the percentage of commission has to be agreed upon mutually. You will be handing over all controls to the company you are outsourcing to, though there are several benefits you enjoy while doing so like:

  • Expertise and Experience

Once you outsource your orthopedic billing to a professional company, you are ensured that their expertise and experience in the field will be a major advantage. For instance, converting from  ICD-9 to  ICD-10 is a tedious process that you may not have been able to handle by yourself. Once you outsource billing, you do not have to worry about updates and training your staff on the latest rules, which takes away a lot of unnecessary stress.

  • Less responsibility

While outsourcing billing to a professional orthopedic billing company, your responsibility ceases as it is shifted on to the company. You are paying the company to take care of your billing needs and it is up to them to handle it responsibly, saving you a lot of precious time that you can spend on your core competencies.

  • Better Patient Care

With more time at your disposal, you can focus on providing better care for your patients, which will  translate  to  better  patient  retention  and  more  referrals,  which  will contribute  to  better revenue and profitability.

Conclusion:

While in-house billing gives you more control over the process, the associated stress and responsibility are probably not worth the trouble. Outsourcing is the proven way to success in any practice, especially orthopedic billing, which calls for use of proper codes and detailed billing, lest the reimbursement is delayed or denied.

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