By: Letitia G. Ash, President Medcorp
It has been estimated that coders will need to focus 16 hours of training and another 10 hours on practice implementations in order to be able to code in the coming ICD-10 format.
So if you haven’t started preparing for ICD-10 and you don’t have the time to obtain training for your staff in the next 30 days, it may be a good idea to consider the option to outsource your billing to a company that’s prepared to handle the anticipated 55,000 new codes.
It’s important to make sure you choose a billing company with the certification and knowledge of practice management billing, along with ICD-10 procifiency.
Why Outsource Your Billing?
If the billing is handled in-house, then the cost of keeping those employees on staff such as salaries, benefits and other expenses is more likely higher than the cost of paying a billing service company. Making the switch could be money well spent.
There are several questions to consider when deciding on whether or not to outsource:
What financial benefits is the practice currently getting that it likely wouldn't get with a third-party biller?
What benefits does the billing partner offer that the in-house staff cannot?
How will your practice pay a billing service, and what hidden expenses could go up over time (such as postage or processing fees)?
Remember to consider all of these questions. In addition, many billing service companies are paid a percentage of collections, so you must keep that in mind as your practice grows so will the cost of the billing company’s services.
Some physicians go into private practice because they want to be in control of everything. Others simply want to provide patient care. The daily financial tasks are a distraction for them. Keeping all aspects of the business in-house gives practice owners the ability to oversee operations on a daily basis. When it comes to the practice's finances, some physicians may not be comfortable with giving up that control, while others would gladly hand it over.
In recent years it has become much harder to handle a practice's billing due to new government regulations, payer practices, and, soon, the upcoming conversion to ICD-10. A practice needs to assess how ready the staff members are to handle all of these changes. If they aren't ready, does the practice management have the time and ability to bring their staff up to speed?
Letitia G. Ash, President of MedCorp/MASH Computer Care & Consulting,LLC can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.