Healthcare practitioners often interview many medical billing specialist when trying to fill a staff opening. However, it can be difficult to distinguish a top biller from one who is merely competent, especially with the limited time physicians have to conduct interviews. Nevertheless, the importance of this decision to a practice’s success requires the selected candidate to have adequate experience in the right activities. For example, candidates who have worked in a doctor’s office for years don’t any experience in actual billing if they only did data entry during that time.
Identifying the best medical billing specialist requires assessing their skills in the following areas:
Analytical ability is a key characteristic of the best billers. One way to identify them is to look for billers who spend hours resolving a slight billing discrepancy without getting distracted by unrelated emails or phone calls. This tendency may appear to be inefficient, but these discrepancies are often a symptom of a larger systemic issue. Correcting a small procedural problem often results in a significant increase in revenue over the long term.
Analytical skills are also important for determining why a claim was denied, since denials aren’t always accompanied by a detailed explanation. Medical billers must be able to apply their previous experience with similar claims and make the changes needed to receive payment for the resubmitted claim.
Passionate About Medical Billing
Top billers have an obsession with their jobs. They are particularly tenacious in collections and will exhaust every possibility for collecting payment before moving on to the next case. They often appear quiet and reserved on the surface, but this demeanor can hide a strong passion for their work. An introverted nature often indicates a biller is working hard to recover a practice’s money. A proactive approach is an indication of a biller’s motivation, which will help to eliminates small problems in a practice’s billing process before they become big problems.
Billers must be self-motivated while still remaining part of team. They often must work autonomously when solving a problem such as a denied claim, since it may be impractical to ask other team members for help during office hours. That doesn’t mean that billers should never check in with their supervisors, but they should be able to keep their workflow moving without assistance.
The high degree of focus that the best billers have on a practice’s bottom line allows them to remain effective when playing prolonged tug-of-war matches with insurance companies, which is often necessary to secure a practice’s money. However, billers must also be able to multitask without losing focus, since they routinely work on many claims at once. Focused billers also know the difference between what a practice’s revenue should be and what it actually is. They understand that revenue is what pays the practice’s bills, including staff members’ salaries.
Technical knowledge is one of the most obvious requirements for medical billers. They must remain current on revenue cycle management (RCM) and billing codes, both of which are regularly updated. Continuing education is essential for maintaining a practice’s revenue after a major rule change.
Communication is another vital skill for the best billers. It may appear that medical billers typically work by themselves without interacting with anyone, but this isn’t the case. Billers must regularly communicate with a variety of individuals in the normal course of their duties, including patients, insurance providers and members of their own healthcare team.
M-Scribe Medical Billing Services can provide your office with the top medical billing specialist your office needs to thrive. We are a national leader in medical billing, including auditing and coding. Call us at 770-666-0470 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out what we can do for your practice.