When you decide to outsource your medical billing, you need to do your research to ensure that you connect with the right company for your facility’s needs, such as claim processing, offered services, staff training, AR management, and analytic reports. When you find the right billing company, all of these needs – and more – will be fulfilled.
1. How Quickly Will They be Able to Begin Processing Claims?
Prompt filing is critical to ensure your facility receives its reimbursement in a timely manner. Billing companies usually start processing claims within 30 to 60 days after signing a business agreement, but each company varies with its timelines. Check with multiple companies and find out if they are well versed with your facility’s billing software, or if they are familiar with other practice management software if you happen to be transitioning from one to another. Either way, you need to find a company that can work with your existing tools, or can transition with your facility as you make changes. This will ensure that they can start processing claims sooner than later.
2. What Services Do They Provide?
Revenue cycle management should be handled by experts who are familiar with all aspects of medical billing and coding. You will want to sign with a billing company that is familiar with all components of revenue cycle management, and identify your expectations about which tasks you want to oversee in your facility, and which services you want the billing company to provide.
Some billing companies may not offer coding services, while others offer coding and charge entry, but do not handle patient accounts. Because each billing company offers something different, you need to find the company that offers exactly what you need, and can be flexible by offering à la carte services if you choose to handle some billing tasks in-house.
3. What Training Does Their Staff Receive?
During your search, ask each billing company if the billers and coders are certified by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC), which offers training and certification for professional coders (both inpatient and outpatient), billers, auditors, and more. The training AAPC offers is industry-driven and current, and falls in line with how billers and coders should be managing their role within a billing company or healthcare facility. Training that is central to AAPC demonstrates that a billing company understands the importance of compliance, regulations, professionalism, and above all else – accuracy, which ensures that their clients are receiving timely payments. Ask about continuing education for a billing company’s team – for instance, how often their staff are trained, recertified, and provided with up-to-date industry information.
4. Who Will Handle the Current Accounts Receivable (A/R)?
Choosing a billing company is an important decision, especially if you have old claims that date more than 180 days. When you sign an agreement with your selected billing company, set your expectations about who will handle old claims – your facility, or the new billing company. The best option may be a fresh start with your new billing company that begins with newer claims of 90 or less days. Your billing company consultant will guide you in making this decision, and how older claims can be managed. During the transition, you may be operating with two medical billing processes simultaneously as older claims either roll off, or are closed out through successful collection.
5. Will Monthly Financial Reports be Provided?
Medical billing companies have high-quality software to facilitate accuracy in reporting and provide a big picture of the revenue health of a healthcare facility. A billing company worth its weight will provide your facility with access to not only monthly reports, but access to dashboards that can create a central hub for analysis and interpretation. Look for a billing company that offers dashboards, summaries, trending reports, and also advice on how to use the reports to make changes or focus on process improvements for the revenue health of the facility. Worthy medical billing companies understand the importance of metrics and performance, and will work with you to set standards that are easily monitored.
When you make your decision to sign with a billing company – you will find that the best company will answer these questions quickly, accurately, and give you the confidence you need to transition to outsourced medical billing. The revenue health of your facility depends on the quality of your billing company – so do your research, and choose a company that is not just a business partner, but a team member who truly accepts your facility’s mission and vision to offer the best services to its patients.
Coronis Health allows you to remain independent and focus on caring for your patients, while we handle your medical billing and revenue cycle management. Are you ready to learn more? Contact us to request your free financial checkup.