Medical billing is one of the most complex procedures in every practice. The standing question for most practices remains the same- whether to retain an in-house billing or outsource it to professionals. Although the answer to this largely depends on the type of practice, most opine towards outsourcing the billing services, however, there still looms a portion of practitioners who are wary of having their billing step outside their clinic. Smaller practices may benefit from an in-house billing wherein it may deem necessary for a larger practice to outsource the billing services.
As is established, Revenue Cycle Management(RCM) is one of the key factors that plays a major role for a healthier practice. Ensuring an efficient billing cycle is in place with minimal flaws goes a long way in the success of any medical practice. Every coin has two sides, hence both these options too have their pros and cons. Weighing them against the requirements of your practice will enable a steady cash flow. It is of dire importance here to ensure the effectiveness of your staff’s billing and coding knowledge. Thus, whether you choose to outsource or not, it is imperative to be sure of the knowledge possessed by the team.
Understanding the pros and cons of an in-house billing is important to make informed decisions. Although, an in-house billing calls for extra staff for back up, software installations, updated systems, salaries for the staff – gives you an upper-hand in the control factor. You have a control over your accounts and a closer watch on your billing operations along with easy access to your systems. However, this also translates to higher costs for the practice as you invest in infrastructure and staff salaries etc. It is likely that there could be a slip in claims follow up or due to absenteeism the workflow gets hampered. In case of errors in claims, the practice is held responsible and may have to face further charges for embezzlement which is common in medical billing departments.
Hence, it is important to ensure your systems are in place with the latest norms, the staff is doing a good job, has an updated knowledge and is working in the best interest of the practice.
With a large number of practices turning towards outsourcing their medical billing, is proof enough for its benefits. However, it is always better to understand all the sides of an outsourced medical billing before you take the plunge. Once you choose to outsource, you are saved of the costs of infrastructure, hiring staff, keeping your systems up-to-date and your staff updated with new-in knowledge. All of this ends up being less expensive than maintaining an in-house billing. There are lesser chances of blunders and errors in claim filing and almost all of your unpaid claims are paid for due to a dedicated team that works on appealing for claims. Your outsourced billing company will live up to its commitment owing to the fact that it is contractually bound and will consistently give you results, thus enhancing your cash flow. With a professional staff adept with the latest knowledge of billing and coding handling your billing, you are sure to end up with a profitable business.
The flip side however is the accessibility factor and for some it may be the control factor. Some medical billing companies have hidden fees which you need to clarify in the beginning while signing the contract.
Regardless of what you choose- an in-house or an outsourced medical billing service, it is wise to understand your practice needs and then take the decision. No matter your preferences, either of the choices will impact your profitability hence, an informed decision based on your management style and your personal inclinations will help you choose better.