Whether your medical billing and coding should be in-housed or outsourced, there are certain things that are worth considering. Nitin Chhoda shares the advantages of an in-house medical billing and coding for a small or new private practice.
One of the biggest considerations for many practices is whether or not to conduct the medical billing and coding in-house or to outsource the work.
The question tends to focus on costs, which makes sense.
If your practice can save money by hiring a company to handle the medical billing and coding for you, why hire someone in-house?
But of course, calculating how you are best served is not all that simple. The determination often depends on the size of the office, how many claims need to be filed per day, how many clinicians work at the practice, and the costs of related hardware and software.
And of course, does in-house medical billing and coding improve the rate at which your claims are accepted and paid, or will outsourcing improve collection rates?
Benefits of In-House Billers
The most obvious decision will have to do with the amount of billing that your in-house billers and coders can handle.
In a very small practice, where the receptionist can handle scheduling, medical coding, and medical billing without being overwhelmed, hiring out medical billing and coding is probably unnecessary. And there are a few benefits to having the medical billing and coding professional right there in the office with clinicians.
When you can talk to your medical billing and coding staff member directly, all the details can be accessed at any time about any claim. One downside of an off-site service is that you have less control over and less access to your billing history.
Some services will provide reporting as a scheduled service or on demand. But timing will still be hampered by the fact that the medical billing and coding staff handling your practice probably has a number of practices to worry about. The process becomes less personal.
Another benefit of in-house medical billing and coding is that the information only has to be communicated once.
In other words, in many ways an outsourced system will require that someone put in a decent amount of work to get the billing accomplished.
In the most efficient scenario, you could simply scan relevant documents and hope they understand what is written.
But outsourcing will not mean that all aspect of medical billing and coding will be handled elsewhere. Someone still needs to be available for communication and transfer of information.
Size Matters When it Comes to Price
As you can imagine, the larger a practice gets, the more efficient an in-house biller can be. If you have a very small office, hiring one or two staff members just to handle medical billing and coding careers will be very expensive. In a private practice, there is a fine line to be drawn between having one staff member to handle everything administrative, and having too much work for a single staff member to handle.
When staff members with lots of responsibilities get overwhelmed, all tasks begin to suffer. And when medical billing and coding suffers, the entire practice is put in jeopardy.