Outsourced Medical Billing vs. In-house

by | Published on Sep 7, 2012 | Medical Billing

Share this:

Medical billing is one of the most significant business functions of a medical practice. Efficient billing practices save costs and generate revenue. One of the most debated questions is whether physicians should outsource medical billing or perform the operation in-house. The fact is that technology and government regulations keep changing and medical practices have to constantly weigh their options and decide what is best for them.

To perform billing and coding in-house, additional space is necessary to set the entire infrastructure. Requirements would include an expert team with in-depth and up-to-date knowledge of medical billing and medical coding practices, equipment and software, and reference material. Registration with a clearing house is also necessary. The main argument in favor of in-house medical billing is that it gives the practice more control over the process and eventually, collections. Issues can be tackled as they happen and appropriate changes implemented.

However, in reality, there are many problems associated with in-house billing. Outsourcing medical billing and coding is proving a far better option. There are many reasons why.

  • Cost savings: Cost is one of the main factors influencing the decision to outsource. The salaries of the medical billing employees, paying for their healthcare, other benefits and training costs, office space rental costs, software, hardware and material costs, and other miscellaneous expenses, all add up to a huge amount. Small and medium-sized practices find this difficult to handle.

An established medical billing company would have an efficient medical billing management infrastructure in place – an experienced team of medical billing and coding staff well versed in professional medical coding practices, the necessary equipment, and advanced technology. If the practice already has medical billing software, a reliable service provider can even work with that. Outsourcing therefore offers all-round cost savings, even after paying for the services rendered.

  • Reduced administrative burden: Managing an administrative team can prove a big hassle for a busy practice. A key billing employee could decide to quit suddenly and throw things out of balance. If the employee is one who is not properly trained, there could be coding errors resulting in improperly submitted claims. All this would affect AR to a great extent.

Outsourcing is the way to overcome such issues. A team of trained and certified billing experts verify all patient demographic information, insurance eligibility and benefits to ensure proper claim submission. The team follows up on payments and rejected claims with clockwork precision, ensuring steady and timely reimbursement for the medical practice. Outsourcing medical billing allows physicians to focus on their core tasks and provide better patient care.

Choosing the right medical billing services is crucial. With the right medical billing company, medical practices are assured of efficient and accurate services to boost their bottom line. Things to look for when selecting a service provider include solutions in custom TAT, regular feedback and reports, and stringent QA and confidentiality. A reliable company would not even require a long-term service contract.

Julie Clements

Julie Clements, OSI’s Vice President of Operations, brings a diverse background in healthcare staffing and a robust six-year tenure as the Director of Sales and Marketing at a prestigious 4-star resort.

More from This Author