Taking care of non-medical obligations at your practice can take a toll on you. This is why it’s crucial to delegate billing, collections, debt recovery, and coding tasks to a medical billing company. This way, you get to concentrate on what’s important – patient care.
Unfortunately, not just any medical billing service will get the job done. To hire a reliable medical biller for your practice, you’ll need to do your research and ask the right questions.
To help you make the best decision when choosing a medical coding company, here are seven crucial things to consider.
The medical coding company’s years of experience in your specialty should be at the top of your list when making the hiring decision.
The best thing is that a company with years of experience in your medical area will understand your practice coding needs and bill accordingly. Such a firm will also have enough experience managing the workload in your practice.
Besides, hiring an experienced company can save you costly mistakes caused by mismanagement of the billing process.
Further, a company that has been around for years will probably have a reputation to protect, meaning quality services. Similarly, such companies have references from past clients, which you can use to make an informed decision.
2. HIPAA Compliant
HIPAA compliance is considered important for any company dealing with confidential patient information. Ask the company to share with you the measures they have put in place to ensure HIPAA compliance.
Moreover, you should also ensure the company has all the required certifications to operate as a medical billing firm.
The employees too should have the needed certifications and training. For instance, professional coders should have the Certified Professional Coder credential provided by the American Academy of Professional Coders. The Certified Coding Associate is another coding-related credential administered to coding specialists by the American Health Information Management Association.
Ensure the company you hire keeps its lines of communication open. Can you contact them in case of an emergency? Are they willing to contact you directly when something related to your account comes up?
On the same note, determine the kind of customer support the company provides. Are they willing to send their representatives in case of a problem? Also, will the company provide system support if you need to change your existing system to interface with theirs?
A suitable billing company should be open about their dealings. They should be transparent about how their system works. For instance, you should know how long it takes for the bills to be processed and for payments to reflect in your account. The company should also provide you with a summary of the reports you can expect to get and how often you can expect such reports.
Additionally, the company should let you know of any extra charges. For instance, if the company offers some of the tasks related to billing, such as sending out patient statements or following up on denied claims at an extra cost, they should let you know right from the start.
Before hiring a company for your medical billing needs, you’ll need to do proper research on them. Part of this research involves checking the company testimonials, recommendations, and references.
Remember, satisfied clients are a reliable indication of quality services.
Also, part of the reason why you’re hiring a billing company is to improve your financial performance. So, don’t hesitate to ask for references or contacts of past clients if you want to know customers’ experience with the company.
6. Industry Affiliations
Reputable medical coding companies have affiliations with local and national bodies.
A medical coding company with relationships with professional bodies in the industry is more likely to be competent and compliant with the required regulations.
Besides, such a company is more likely to stay up to date with technological and industrial changes.
When choosing your medical billing specialist, you must ask about the cost.
It’s also essential to compare the cost of different medical coding companies against their services. This comparison will help you select a provider who’ll give you value for your money.
Also, ask the providers about their pricing plans. For instance, are they going to charge a flat rate or in terms of a percentage of the collected charges? A percentage rate may favor you, as the cost will decrease when your collections increase.
Further, don’t forget to ask about additional costs. Some firms may charge extra for services such as following up on low-ticket claims, contract termination, or working on accounts receivables.
However, when making your hiring decision, don’t choose a company just because its prices are low. Less experienced companies or those without recommendations may charge less to attract customers. Similarly, companies with higher costs may not necessarily provide the best services. So, consider other factors detailed above, even as you choose your biller based on the price.
In closing, use these seven tips to help guide you when choosing a medical billing firm. Also, take your time and evaluate your options. This will ensure you get a medical coding specialist who suits your billing needs.
The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.