If you operate an orthopedic practice or as an orthopedic surgeon, you have probably noticed by now how important yet time-consuming the medical billing tasks are for your practice. Not only are they incredibly complex and require highly specialized talent to accurately manage, but failing to accurately bill your patients and their insurance companies can leave you with denied claims, patients that leave your practice, along with lost revenue and shrinking profits. In many cases, this revenue is income that cannot be retrieved.
While the billing is so incredibly vital to running an efficient and profitable orthopedic practice, many orthopedic surgeons insist on managing their billing with in-house billing specialists or worse, any available office or administrative staff. This is a bad idea for a long list of reasons, a few of which we’ll get into later on. The short answer is that you need someone experienced and with sufficient training to manage your orthopedic practice’s medical billing services and collections efforts, so that you and your staff can stay focused on what it is that you do best, provide care to your patients.
What Are Orthopedic Medical Billing Services?
Similar to just about any other type of healthcare provider or practitioner in the healthcare field, orthopedic surgeons need to bill their patients and their insurance companies in a timely fashion, so that they can receive prompt payment for services rendered. While they have already provided the services, treatments, and products during the appointment, this means it’s crucial to the ongoing operation and profitability of the practice to bill accurately so that claims are not denied and revenue stays consistent.
Outsourcing your medical billing means you and your practice partner with a company or firm that assigns a billing professional, or team of billing professionals, to your practice. They will be responsible for your billing from that day forward, in accordance with your contract with the billing company, and will manage the billing for all of your accounts and patients daily. You will directly communicate with them and learn more about them as a member of your skilled team, and they will learn more about the billing processes in your practice, being able to offer suggestions for continuous process improvement.
Most orthopedic practices traditionally handle their medical billing by using in-house billing staff, or even any available office or administrative staff. This is a bad idea for a few reasons, none of which are particularly minor. First of all, without dedicated staff assigned to your billing work, you risk inconsistent performance. Secondly, when there is a problem, and there almost assuredly will be, having multiple people across multiple shifts all having their hands in the billing work can make troubleshooting or investigation nearly impossible.
Outsourcing orthopedic medical billing services means that not only can you take all of the actual billing work off of the plates of your existing staff, but you also allow them to narrow their focus on the duties and jobs you hired them for initially. This means that since your staff isn’t spread thin trying to do a job they aren’t necessarily trained specifically to do, they can focus on providing an increased level of care for your patients, which means those patients stay happier for longer. No matter how your practice normally handles the billing, outsourcing can improve it almost instantly.
Why Partner With Orthopedic Surgeon Medical Billing Companies?
If you have considered outsourcing your billing services to a billing service provider but just never made the move, you may be wondering why other practices have done it. Not only can this help you understand the challenges that your colleagues and competitors are facing, but it can help you understand the potential solutions that are available to your business. If your practice is struggling with particular problems it can also be beneficial to know that your practice isn’t the only one facing such challenges and that there are options that might add value to your operation, starting day one.
Here are some of the potential reasons that you might consider outsourcing your medical billing needs to a billing services provider:
- Your practice is having issues with staffing and needs to lighten the load office-wide
- Your practice has a high aging rate or has collections reports showing collections rates are below 98%
- The practice is brand new and you understand it’s easier to start with experience than to learn from mistakes, particularly with billing services
- If you are unclear about the process or any part of the billing cycle, and need help understanding and managing it for your practice
- If your practice is still involved in getting official credentials
- If you have inaccurate claims and posting in the practice when billing services are managed in-house
- Your practice needs help to resolve claims errors, denials, and rejections
- Your practice needs to shorten its billing cycle overall
- Your office manager isn’t credentialed or trained for medical billing
- The constant need for training and compliance updates places a financial or time burden on your practice that just isn’t worth it
Is Working With An Orthopedic Surgeon Medical Billing Company A Good Fit For Your Practice?
If Your Practice Is New
Starting your practice from scratch means you have a unique opportunity to start off learning from other people’s mistakes, namely, running your billing in-house. Too many practices start with the “let’s get up and running and worry about billing later” plan, which always turns out to be trouble, and it can cost you months of revenue.
If Reports Show Collections Below 98%
Sometimes even though office staff can handle most of the billing work, some things fall through the cracks. One of them is the error rate and collections rate. Many claims cannot be collected or paid because they are denied for one of the countless errors. If your collections reports show that the collection rate for your practice is less than 98%, or if your aging report indicates more than 10% of the items are over 30 days overdue, having an outside firm handle your collections could be a smart move.
If You Have An Established Practice Losing Patients
For established practices, patient levels should stay relatively consistent year-round, which means your revenue should also remain relatively steady. However, if you’ve noticed a drop in revenue lately and a little more time in the schedule each day, your practice may be losing its patients. Accurate billing is one of the biggest reasons that a patient may leave one practice for another, and if your staff just can’t handle the billing work and there are too many errors, your patient list will start to reflect that. Partnering with someone to handle your orthopedic medical billing services can let your staff focus on your patients, and the care being provided to them.
AMS Solutions Can Handle All Of Your Orthopedic Medical Billing Services
There is almost no reason to keep your orthopedic medical billing work in-house, and if you have been thinking about outsourcing, there is no better time than now. You can start to see better revenue levels, increased payments due to decreased errors, and more time for your staff to focus on their patients. Reach out today for more information about how AMS Solutions can help your orthopedic practice streamline its billing work.