There are few sectors in our world that change as quickly as healthcare. Americans spend more than $2.8 trillion dollars each year on healthcare and the payment system is a confusing one of public and private insurance programs and self-paying clients. For small practices, navigating this complex system can be a daunting task. Working with an outside firm that specializes in medical billing is often the best bet to insure that patient billing can be done correctly, efficiently, and in compliance with the rapidly changing regulations. For four reasons your small medical practice should consider working with a professional medical billing company, keep reading.
1) Changing Technology Two parts of the medical billing and coding industry are being rapidly influenced by technological advances. First, while only 18% of office based doctors used electronic medical records in 2001, today, around 76% do. This means there has been a huge shift in offices all over the country and the industry is shifting to exclusively accommodate this kind of record keeping. If you have not switched already, working with a medical billing company can be helpful. Second, receiving a paper bill is becoming increasingly unpopular. 55% of Millennials don’t want one, and neither do 36% of folks from Generation X and 30% of the baby boomer generation. Plus, 43% of patients would be more satisfied with their doctor if they had multiple payment options. Handling a completely electronic system and accepting many payment methods can be a lot for a small office to handle, but can adeptly done by professional patient billing companies.
2) Evolving Coverage Model Because of the Affordable Care Act, millions of Americans have been enrolled in both top of the line and average health insurance. As the rest of this legislation is implemented and tweaks are made to improve it, the coverage model in this country will only become more complex. As patient loads potentially increase, having a system in place for patient billing will be crucial to meeting the need.
3) Aging Population It is no secret that America’s population is aging. The baby boomer generation is nearing retirement and as they do, are incurring more and more medical bills. Because older adults can often have multiple paying sources from Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance, it can be especially difficult to effectively serve them. Medical billing resources provided by a professional patient billing company can help meet the needs of this complex population.
4) Reimbursement Shifts Another effect of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act is a shift in reimbursement models. With a higher emphasis on preventative care and measures put in place to discourage hospital readmission or unnecessary interventions, medical coding is undergoing an enormous shift. Navigating this for a small practice interferes with the ability to provide the best medical care and customer service possible.
Especially for small practices, patient billing is often best left to the professionals. With a professional medical billing and coding company, physicians and nurses can focus more on caring for patients and less on understanding the complex and shifting system of coverage, reimbursement, and payment.