Patients expect bills when they visit their doctor. Whether their visit is to see a family physician, a mental health professional, or a physical therapist, patients know that they will have a financial obligation. The bills are unwanted, but they are expected. On the flip side, doctors expect payments when they see their patients. Whether the patient is young or old, new or returning, or pretty healthy or very ill, doctors provide a service, and they expect to get paid. The payments are necessary to keep an office running, but they are, unfortunately, often paid late.
What Is Your Office Doing to Collect Timely Payments?
A billing service can help your office get the payments they need in a more timely fashion. Rather than relying on antiquated methods for insurance filing and patient billing, doesn’t it make sense to contract with the best billing service that provides a proven record for increasing timely patient payments? Contracting with a trusted billing service provider also increases customer satisfaction because these larger computerized firms have the means to keep all billing and personal information more confidential and safe.
Therapist billing software services, for example, can instantly file the necessary paper work for any and all insurance filings. A faster insurance company response can lead to a faster patient payment. Instead of waiting months to see what services are going to be covered before paying, a patient can more quickly find out the details of the insurance coverage. Once the insurance coverage has been established, the patient is more likely to complete his or her end of the financial obligation.
If, however, a medical office waits to generate all insurance filings and patient bills until the end of the month, as was done in the older, less digital methods of filings and billings, payments will likely be made even later than expected.
Electronic Claims Make Insurance Filing and Billing Faster
Statistics provided by the American Medical Association (AMA) indicate that the cost difference between filing a traditional paper billing statement and an electronic statement are significant. The cost of processing a clean claim, one that is sent by paper and returned by paper, averages $6.63. An electronic claim, on the other hand, averages only $2.90. This significance is obviously multiplied by the hundreds of claims that are filed on any given day from any given office.
Electronic claims also make Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance much easier. Without a paper copy, or several paper copies, being mailed and distributed, electronic filings create less physical evidence that can be misplaced or miscommunicated. In addition to providing HIPPA compliance and being less expensive, electronic filings also significantly increase the remittance process. In fact, electronic claims are paid within seven business days 70% of the time. Paper billing, however, only sees a seven day pay turn around 30% of the time.
Seen as a whole, the AMA suggests that the process of using electronic filing can save every physician a total of nearly $9,000 a year. These savings are determined by the reductions in staff cost for a traditional billing service paper file, the paper itself, and the elimination of costly human errors that are created by hand billing systems.
More Patients Mean More Billing Services Will be Needed
As new national healthcare laws continue to provide even more coverage for even more Americans, it just makes sense that the medical care industry will be processing even more bills. With more insured individuals, the number of insurance filings will also continue to grow. Electronic filing will make these increases manageable.
If your office is not already using electronic billing and insurance filing systems, now is the time to switch. Through thorough research patient care offices across the country are finding the medical billing service that works for them. With options that range from purchasing a software package that current office staff use to outsourcing the entire process, medical staffs are making decisions that are saving them time, energy, and money.
What are you waiting for? Isn’t it time your medical office, whether it’s a family physician, a physical therapist, or a mental health provider, make the move to an electronic billing service to help process and receive payments faster?