Is Medical Billing and Processing Distracting You From Your Patients?

Written by Small Business Magazine on December 12, 2013. Posted in Medical billing outsourcing, Medical billing software, Medical coding and billing

Advanced billing

Did you know that, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), medical coding employs an estimated 179,500 Americans? Medical coding and billing can be extremely complicated, and often distracts doctors and physicians in small practices from diagnosing and treating patients. What exactly does a medical billing and coding specialist do, and how do small practices benefit from using third-party medical billing services?

What is a Medical Coder?

Most companies staff separate employees to handle medical coding and billing. Why? Medical coding often requires a stringent certification exam. Coders will translate doctors’ diagnosis and medical tasks to ICD-9 codes. The ICD-9 codes may be used to document patients’ medical history, determine insurance coverage or reimbursement, and ultimately invoice patients for visits and treatment.

Medical billing specialists, on the other hand, will interpret these codes to format and print invoices. Billing specialists will also follow-up on payments, take care of collections, and make alternative payment arrangements if necessary. Specialists may focus on a particular area of expertise, such as MRI billing or orthopedic billing, or take care of all patient information and payments for a particular practice. Some companies will combine these positions or responsibilities.

Why Do Small Practices Benefit From Outsourcing?

Maintaining accurate health records can be challenging and time-consuming, especially without qualified employees. Small or private practices can benefit from out-of-house medical billing and processing for the following reasons:

  • Third parties save time. Seeking out and screening qualified candidates can be challenging, especially when staff must have certain experience and certifications. Instead of focusing efforts on hiring and evaluating prospective employees, doctors’ offices can focus on seeing and treating patients.

  • Outside medical billing services bring expertise. Standard practices are changing. Many hospitals and practices are converting to electronic medical records (EMRs). Small practices do not have to worry about the details and new technologies associated with these shifts. Medical billing services provide the software and dedicated and experienced staff

Running a small or private medical practice takes a considerable amount of time. Make sure time is dedicated to the things that matter most (patients and treatment!) by taking advantage outside medical billing services. Outside services can help process general or specific billing, such as physicians billing or MRI billing. More:

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