The Emergency Department is probably the most fast-paced department in any hospital or clinic. After all, it’s where most of the life-or-death cases come in. There are so many things to take up the time of your doctors, nurses, and administrators: everything from patient care, to resupplying, to organization.
If you want to make the hospital’s workload a bit lighter, it’s a good idea to consider outsourcing your billing. Medical billing and coding is a demanding, time-consuming task, regardless of the size of your hospital or ED Practice. Outsourcing the billing can save you not just time, but money and legal/regulatory headaches as well.
Below is a list of the benefits of outsourcing hospital ER billing:
#1. Fewer Errors
To reduce the number of errors, many practices opt to outsource the billing and coding process to an entity that specializes in the art and science of medical billing and coding. Medical billers focus exclusively on the filing of claims, so there is no pressure on them to treat urgent patients or save lives. They can take that workload off your back, freeing up your doctors, nurses and administrative team to focus on what matters most.
They’ll be able to give the claims due attention, which will in turn reduce inconsistencies and errors. In the long run, you’ll end up with fewer denied or rejected claims.
Bonus: Medical billers can help you to maximize reimbursements on your claims, which will benefit the hospital.
#2. Better Focus
Your hospital ER department receives a steady stream of people in need of medical attention. If your doctors and nurses are focused on caring for patients, how can they take the time to manage the financial side of things?
Typically in a hospital-based environment the providers would be employees and not involved in the financial aspect at all. Does that mean all the work should fall on the administrators’ shoulders?
They too are tasked with improving the clinical and administrative efficiency of the emergency care department, which also lends itself to patient care.
By outsourcing your medical billing, ALL of your resources can stay focused on your practice’s goals.
This will facilitate growth and lead to higher reimbursement down the road. Best of all, you can free up the administrators to focus on the more important tasks of keeping the ED running, expanding, and reaching new clients.
#3. Cut Expenses
The expenses of a hospital never end. From salaries to supplies to equipment to support services, it can often feel like your hospital is bleeding money.
Hiring an external medical billing partner can help to increase your reimbursements on insurance claims, leading to better financial stability. At the same time, they can also help to cut the costs associated with medical billing.
Paying a flat rate or percentage per claim or per month will be much cheaper in the long run than hiring someone to do the work in-house. An in-house biller must be paid not just a salary, but needs benefits, an office, equipment, and software to do their job.
Typically, the thought is that having an in-house biller gives you more control over the billing, however, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Partnering with a company that specializes in ED Billing far outweigh the negatives.
As the client, it’s imperative that you effectively communicate to them what your expectations are before entering a relationship with them. Often, external providers can deliver a much more objective view of your practice while offering a much more in-depth view of your reporting and analytics.
#4. Enhance Patient Satisfaction
It may be hard to remember that a hospital is as much a business as a restaurant or a retail store. If your customers (patients) aren’t happy with your service (healthcare), you could end up losing their business. A hospital must place as much emphasis on customer satisfaction as any commercial business.
When patients call to discuss the billing, they’ll be able to talk to medical representatives provided by the billing service.
This will reduce the burden placed on your hospital staff. The medical billing representatives will be able to answer questions, handle complaints, and provide the service your customers need without the pressure of trying to run an ED at the same time. Your customer satisfaction will increase when you have the right team in place to address your customer-care issues.
#5. Better Cash Flow
If you don’t have the time to code and submit new claims as they come in, you may end up with quite a backlog. Or, what about when it comes time for your medical biller’s state-required vacation days? Who’s going to file the claims then?
If you don’t get the claims filed promptly, you could have a lot of your cash flow tied up in pending or waiting-to-be-filed claims. With a medical billing service, the claims are filed expediently and completed as quickly as possible. This allows for a continuous flow of claims in and out, leading to better cash flow.
This steady flow of cash makes it possible for you to avoid any interruptions in revenues for the hospital or EM department.
#6. More Revenue
Outsourcing your medical billing will help you to cut administrative costs, which in turn frees up extra money to invest in your practice. Perhaps you’ll be able to hire a new doctor, more nurses, or purchase much-needed equipment. The more you can invest in the infrastructure, the better. After all, with more staff, you can treat patients more efficiently. With better equipment, you can offer a wider range of services, meaning more patients.
Cutting overhead costs is the key to staying not just solvent, but competitive in the modern medical world. The money you save by outsourcing your billing can be invested into making your hospital ED the cutting-edge healthcare provider it has the potential to be.
#7. Ensure Adherence To Compliance
The healthcare industry is constantly changing and improving. Medicaid, Medicare, and third-party payers are always trying to find a way to better serve people.
However, those changes can be difficult to implement in your hospital. The more things are improved, the more you must adapt to the latest changes in the billing process.
Instead of hiring a full-time staff member to keep up with the new regulatory changes, it’s better to partner with a firm that stays “In the Know.” Medical billing companies stay current on the latest changes in billing requirements and regulations. Outsourcing your medical billing will put the work in the hands of a company that knows exactly how to make your submissions as clean and correct as possible.
#8. More Consistency
Is it possible for one in-house medical biller to keep up with all the latest changes in medical billing, or to stay on top of the massive pile of paperwork that comes across their desk? Possible, but not easy. You may have to create a whole department for medical billing just to keep your ED running.
Or, outsource it. The flat fee or percentage will come out to a much lower cost, and you get much better consistency of filing and following up on claims with a medical billing service. After all, the medical billing service provides you (the client) with the same quality of service you provide your patients.
Their goal is to deliver consistent results with every claim they file.
#9. Comprehensive Services
With a medical billing service, you get more than just someone to handle the paperwork. Medical billing services can take care of things like:
- Credentialing, and pre-certification
- Prompt claim submissions
- Charge entry, coding, and claim scrubbing
- Follow-up and collections
- Appeals, follow-up, and tracking of denied/rejected claims
- Patient statement organization
- Payment posting, verification of deposits, and EOB reconciliation
Simply put, the medical billing service handles the nuts and bolts of the billing process from beginning to end. Want to find out more about how outsourcing your medical billing can save your hospital ER time and money? Contact DuvaSawko at (888) 311-8760, and talk with one of our representatives. We’re happy to explain all the ways we’ll make your job as a healthcare provider a whole lot easier.
The bottom line is that the decision is generally financial in nature and hospitals recognizing they don’t have the core expertise with coding/billing professional claims because their expertise is in Facility Claim coding/billing, which is totally different in many aspects.
Coding is different, claim is different, AR follow-up is prioritized differently due to much higher $$$ claims being pursued. ER pro-fee coding/billing is typically de-prioritized by in-house staff as evidenced by the financial outcomes.