You do not have to be a genius to recognize that the healthcare industry is constantly transforming due to rapidadvancements in technology and medicine. Thinking back to simpler times when physicians made house calls and gained “fans” by always having the best lollipops for patients, it is surprising how many things providers have to worry about nowadays. Between social media demands, EHRs on iPads, ICD-10 Changes and the lowest-ever reimbursement levels, it is no wonder that KevinMD blogger, Dr. Juan J. Reyes and his peers, would be concerned with physicians disillusionment of the industry. He discusses that the way for physicians to become more motivated is to add more to their plate, essentially. He focuses on improved “fulfillment” for physicians, and while we are all for physician involvement, he suggests drawing physician attention away from finances.
Ah, common ground. We agree that a provider’s time is being wasted if he is constantly focused on where they are losing money. The solution is, of course, outsourcing the billing and collections to an agency that specializes in the process. Often times, physicians are hesitant about this process because their billing and coding is so internalized they do not want to lose control, or their staff, who they tend to have personal relationships with. The fact is that antiquated coding principles are costly and mistakes go un-noticed, which leads to practices scratching their heads wondering where all their money is going. Unforeseen costs of doing billing internally add up quickly as well when you take into consideration things like; phone bills, software, training, penalties, materials etcetera. The key to success for practices that suffer low collections, is accepting that they need help. Once struggling practices outsource these steps, they can get back to focusing on care, which is why they got involved with this industry in the first place.
It is important for practices to be cautious in their choices however when it comes to billing and collections, because you don’t want to shoot yourself in the foot by sacrificing control and practice values. Before making any decisions, physicians need to be assured that the medical billing practices are in line with their practice’s expectations in regards to control of payments, personnel and data.