If you have a small medical practice, chances are that the idea of outsourcing your Florida medical billing has come up from time to time. This approach to managing the billing process certainly comes with a number of benefits, up to and including timely billing that increases your cash flow. Before making any final decisions, it pays to consider all aspects of outsourcing this part of your business operation. That includes considering some of the potential drawbacks that could come to pass.
Outsourcing and Staffing
One of the benefits of outsourcing Florida medical billing is the ability to operate with a smaller staff. The savings to you as the owner are immediately apparent. Fewer employees means that you have less in the way of payroll expenses, including salaries, wages and the accrual of vacation and other benefits. You also have less money tied up in maintaining health insurance for your employee force. Best of all, you have less concerns about employee turnover since there is essentially one less department to staff.
While this all sounds great, there are some potential issues to consider. You will need at least one employee to transfer billing data to the outsource partner. This means that your employee team will still have to include one person who is qualified with medical billing. In addition, your partner may not be able to handle exceptions on the billing. For example, if your office accepts discount health plans as well as health insurance coverage, the partner may or may not be able to allow for the discounts when billing your patients. This would mean your remaining billing specialist would have to manage those accounts manually.
In theory, Florida medical billing that is outsourced to a partner will be prepared and go to patients in a more timely manner. This is good for you, since patients who receive their bills before the end of the month are more likely to remit payments shortly afterward. As a result, your cash flow will be a little healthier and your accounting team will find it easier to settle your payables quickly and on time. Keep in mind that unless the billing company actually does get the invoices prepared and forwarded at a rate that is faster than your in house team, there will be no real impact on your cash flow. For this reason, it is important to communicate with all prospective partners and find out exactly what they can do for you in terms of expediting the billing process.
The Collections Process
When you choose to do your Florida medical billing in house, this also means your team has to take on the process of managing the collection of delinquent accounts. Your employees will be responsible for making collection calls, sending out reminders and even turning over key data to collection agencies when those bills pass a certain amount of aging. By choosing to outsource the billing, you also have the opportunity to pass these tasks on to your partner.
As part of the process, you want to make sure the collection policies and procedures of your partner are in line with your own. For example, you will want to see the text of the reminder letters that are used as part of the collections effort. You also want to have some idea of the guidelines agents will use when calling patients about past due amounts. If the process is too abrupt or aggressive, you could stand to lose patients who simply overlooked a bill for the first time in ten years. When the process is too passive, you could find that the amount of past due invoices continues to grow rather than shrink.
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