How Practices Can Increase Medical Billing Efficiency

November 2nd, 2022 - Find-A-Code
Categories:   Claims   Practice Management  

How Practices Can Increase Medical Billing Efficiency

Billing is part of running a medical practice. Whether a practice operates independently or as part of a larger group, no one gets paid if billing doesn't occur. How a practice goes about billing depends on everything from practice size to budget and available staffing. The key to doing it right is efficiency.

Note that efficient in-house billing is possible with the right policies, procedures, and tools. Unfortunately, a lack of efficiency is a problem for many practices due to medical billing's complexity. Recognizing an inefficient system is nothing to be ashamed of. But once recognized, making changes should not even be a question.

Audit Software Technologies

One of the first changes a practice should look at involves upgrading software. However, a software audit should precede any investments in new software. A practice's current software might be more than capable of efficient medical billing but be underutilized due to a lack of training. New software will require training anyway, so if investing in training on the current software will do the trick, this may be the way to go.

Embrace Automation and AI

Modern technology solutions in the medical billing space are beginning to feature built-in automation and artificial intelligence (AI). Both can do wonders for increasing medical billing efficiency. This suggests that any decision to upgrade software includes taking a serious look at automation and AI options.

Automation reduces the need for human coders to constantly perform redundant tasks that computers are capable of handling. Likewise, AI makes medical billing more efficient by increasing accuracy and reducing errors. Note that AI doesn't mitigate the need to review coding results. Always ensure accurate coding by double checking.

Emphasize Accurate Records

Some of the inefficiencies of medical billing are directly traceable to inaccurate patient information. Establishing office policies that emphasize accurate records can go a long way toward reducing those inefficiencies. For example, your practice could adopt a policy of verifying patient information on every visit. It only takes a few seconds and can be done as patients check in.

Similarly, encouraging patients to create their own online accounts on your practice portal gives them the opportunity to update personal information on their own. Online accounts are proving immensely helpful to practices of all sizes.

Upgrade Collection Procedures

Most patients are subject to a copay, even with health insurance. There are also those patients who pay the entire bill out of pocket. Whether your practice is having trouble with copays or self-pay, it is a good idea to upgrade collection procedures to account for modern billing. Just as an example, many practices now require that all fees be paid at check-in. Doing so eliminates having to follow up on collections after the fact.

Outsource Medical Billing

This final suggestion pertains mainly to smaller practices and those independent practices that operate outside of the medical group setting. In such cases, a practice may simply not have the resources to handle medical billing as efficiently as possible. What is the solution? Outsourcing to a company that specializes in medical billing.

Outsourcing does cost a fair amount. But the amount of money saved by not handling it in-house would be comparable. Practices outsource HR functions like payroll and benefits, so outsourcing medical billing isn't such a radical idea. A lot of smaller practices do it. Even larger clinics and rural hospitals are known to outsource medical billing.

Medical billing does not have to be an exercise in inefficiency. It doesn't have to be sluggish and burdensome. Increasing efficiency is a matter of bringing software, training, and procedures into the modern era. We have the tools to make medical billing more efficient. Practices just need to take advantage of those tools.

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