By Anton Arbatov
When it comes to billing insurers for professional services, most physicians work one of two ways: either the hospital they serve handles the billing through reassigned benefits (billing rights), or they manage or outsource it themselves. But when a hospital contracts with a telemedicine company with geographically distributed physicians, the best thing for both the hospital and the rendering physician is for the telemedicine provider to manage the process.
It is not every hospital’s favorite thing to do – to circumvent its established and refined billing operations – but due to federal laws, and the variability of state telemedicine policy across the country, it should be considered a best practice.
Revenue cycle management is the primary form of collecting revenue for most hospitals. As a result, they are rightfully keen to control the processes associated with revenue generation, such as the billing of payors and patients for professional services.
Hospitals have traditionally used telemedicine as a way to improve specialty care available to patients. Stroke specialists are on-call to assist with life-saving decisions regarding tPA administration in hospitals around the country. TelePsychiatrists remotely fill the role of on-site psychiatric support for emergency departments that cannot staff enough mental health clinicians to meet patient demand. In rural hospitals, tele-specialists bridge the gap across multiple medical disciplines that are nearly impossible to staff in remote locations. Telemedicine is used in hospitals large and small, urban and rural, ensuring patients get the care they need, when they need it.[Read more…] about Why Hospitals Need to Rethink Billing in Telemedicine