Tag Archives: patient billing

Pros And Cons Of Outsourcing Medical Billing

Stethoscope, syringe and money on gray background

When it comes to the healthcare business, it is not all about short-term financial gain, but about long-term investment that is associated with time and patient care. The long-term return on investment would be higher if you are taking care of all three important factors: money, time and patient care.

You should take these factors into account when making your business decisions, especially if you are thinking about outsourcing your medical processes. It is important to note that outsourcing can help you save money, but you should make your decision carefully. Before you make a decision about outsourcing a process like your medical billing, you should critically analyze how it would affect your revenue, patient care, and time.

If you have started a new practice or are managing a small practice or if the billing process is complex, you can outsource it because hiring full-time employees to do the billing can create administrative and financial burdens for you. Moreover, the recruitment process can take much of your time, energy, and money.
Below are the pros and cons of outsourcing your medical billing:


· Outsourcing your medical billing can save you money because it is relatively less expensive. If you have just kicked off your new business or if an employee has just left, then outsourcing your medical billing makes sense.

· Outsourcing your medical billing can make the process transparent. Your medical billing contractor can provide you detailed performance reports as per contract or whenever you may request. This will enable you to keep eye on your billing operations without micromanaging any full-time employees.

· Outsourcing your medical billing can also enhance consistency of your operations because the contractor will be legally responsible to carry out certain services like appealing denials for you with a good degree of success. Moreover, you won’t have to worry about hiring staff because the contractor is there to support your operations according to the provisions of the agreement.

· You can fully concentrate on service delivery instead of worrying about billing, meaning that the quality of your medical services can boost as a result of outsourcing your medical billing process.


· Outsourcing your medical billing can make it tough for you to transfer control of the process to the contractor. You may be required to provide a certain degree of training to the contractor before completely handing over the system.

· Medical billing contractors often take a percentage of their collections, meaning that the more money you make, the more you’d be required to pay your contractor. The costs and revenues can vary from month to month, making it difficult for you to forecast the budget.

· There are often certain hidden charges on the outsourcing contract, so it is important to read it carefully. For example, fees for printing and mailing reports and statements can increase the cost.

If you have decided to outsource your medical billing, be sure to clearly communicate to the contractor your expectations from the service and put the same on the contract. The roles and responsibilities of both parties should also be clearly defined if you want to get maximum benefit out of this opportunity.

How to Improve Patient Collections

Buying with Credit Card in the Pharmacy.

The Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) reports that patient payments account for 25% of the revenue generated by healthcare practices. It is therefore imperative to take measures to improve patient collection procedures. In order to minimize losses in revenue, the collection methods must be streamlined to the highest possible efficiency levels.

Characteristics of an Effective Patient Payment Strategy
It is important to optimize patient collections. More employers are opting for high deductible plans to lower their monthly premiums, so healthcare facilities cannot choose to ignore the importance of proper billing strategies.

1) Offer Diverse Payment Options

Do not restrict the possible modes of payment your practice accepts. Most patients wish to pay through debit/credit cards. If patients prefer cash, then make sure the facility has an ATM available within easy reach of the payment desk. Be sure to accept:
· Cash
· Checks
· Debit/Credit Cards
· Payment through your patient portals
· Online Payments (via your website)

2) Provide Payment Plans

Payment plans can be a convenient option for patients; they enable payments in a set of installments. Proper documentation of the plan is necessary so ensure all the requisite forms and signatures are in place. Spell out details of the terms and conditions in clear language. Avoid payment plans which extend beyond six months.

3) Word Patient Statements Properly

Pay attention to how the patient statements are formatted, which information is included and what the instructions imply to the patient.
· Aging buckets (for example, 0-30 days, 31-60 days, 61-90 days) displayed on your patient statements can delay your payments because they serve as a reason for waiting.
· Send out weekly patient statements.
· The first statement sent out should display the message “Due Now”
· The next statement should read “Past Due”
· Send out a final notice or follow up with a phone call if no payment is received.

4) Have Policy Implementation Procedures in Place

Creation of a payment policy will not benefit you if the practice fails to implement it. Policy guidelines must be communicated to the patient in a timely manner. Try to encourage payment before service. Proper financial policies will help you avoid any patient confusion or payment discrepancies.

5) A Well-Trained Front Desk Staff

Your front desk staff has direct interaction with the patient. Making sure that the staff is familiar with the healthcare policies and payment procedures will increase patient collections. Hire staff that is knowledgeable about health insurance policies. Proper training when it comes to making collections, looking up patient payment history and resolving payment disputes is essential.

What To Ask Your Telemedicine Vendor


There are a number of options to choose from when it comes to telemedicine. Having a huge variety is a good thing, however it also makes it difficult on some people to pick the right one at times. Choosing the right vendor involves serious consideration, here are the most important aspects that you must enquire about.

1. What are the initial and maintenance costs?

Ask all details of the pricing and any maintenance costs, setup costs, monthly fees. You might need extra data storage in some cases. To make sure you budget properly, it is very important to be clear about all kinds of costs involved.

2. What kind of training packages do you offer?

Training the staff to incorporate the new systems into their work is essential. The vendors often are the best options for training. Ask the vendor their terms and costs of training.

3. Is the platform HIPAA/ HITEC compliant?

Data security is imperative in healthcare systems, the solution must be 1005 secure and HIPAA compliant. This is because there is confidential and personal information stored on the cloud, which must be kept safe and secure.

4. Is the system accessible via mobile?

Mobile access is needed in order to provide patients treatment anytime, anywhere. Check whether the platform has a mobile app since the presence of an app makes things much easier.

5. Will the setup and management require a dedicated IT staff member?

User-friendly systems can be easily managed. If the solution is tailored to your workflows, it would be easy to maintain.

6. Is the platform cloud-based?

These systems are easier to install and manage; they require no extra data storage onsite.

7. Do I need to purchase any additional equipment?

When evaluating your options, consider if the system will need additional equipment to be set up. Enterprise level systems are complex and often include additional equipment such as carts, telemedicine kiosks, screens, data storage, etc.

8. Does it have live conferencing and what is the video quality?

Video quality depends on the bandwidth of the patient and hospital, but at a minimum the system should have HD video when the bandwidth permits.

9. Is ePrescribe enabled on the platform?

ePrescribe capabilities can be a big bonus and can enable the doctor to send prescriptions directly to the pharmacy.

10. Is patient billing supported?

An integrated billing module will make your workflows more efficient.

11. Do you offer patient marketing solutions?

If the healthcare facility does not have proper marketing staff, the vendor can help provide the marketing resources to communicate the benefits of the new system.

12. Can it be used with EMR?

Enquire how the solution will work with your EMR and whether telemedicine visits can be imported to your EMR.

13. Is reimbursement possible?

Ensure that the vendor is familiar with reimbursement procedures. The direct-pay model is normally used; reimbursement options must also be explored.

14. What level of technical support do you offer?

All systems will face glitches and errors, the vendor can help resolve these.

15. Do you provide a client success team?

A client success team can help you set up, provide training to staff and get the system up and running.

Once you have answers to all these questions, you can compare your options and see the one that fits your requirements the best. However, it should be remembered that a vendor that offers all these services may be a little more expensive.