I am working with a couple of offices right now where the Office Manager or, in some cases, even the doctor, is doing the billing. As a small business owner myself, I understand being hesitant to hire someone to do something that you feel like you can do yourself without any extra fees.
Confidence is then boosted in the area of billing because of what the EMR salesman tells you - basically that the billing does itself. While most EMRs do have a pretty good practice management component that makes getting charges out pretty easy, that does not mean the billing will take care of itself.
If the person designated to do the billing doesn't have time to review contracted rates, check charges regularly, validate vaccine reimbursement, file appeals and check up on every office visit you see, you will likely see a financial benefit with a billing company that far exceeds the cost of the service.
Below I have resurrected an old post from April, 2016 to help me make my case. As always, reach out to me at email@example.com with any questions.
From April, 2016:
I have a client right now who is trying to decide between hiring an in-house billing staff or continuing to outsource to an outside medical billing company. Here are the reasons I believe he should continue to outsource his billing – these reasons are true for anyone in a small practice that cannot support a full-time team of at least three billing staff members.
Access to the Best. A small practice benefits from the staffing of a billing company. A great billing company has industry experts who get great results and you will benefit from this expertise. A small practice likely cannot support full-time positions for people with such expertise.
Get Paid More, Faster. Industry experts will have fewer claim errors and will know the best codes and modifiers to use to bring in the most for your practice.
Staffing Issues Are Not Your Concern. Whether someone wants to take a vacation or they leave the company for a better opportunity, it is up to your billing company to handle the transition and you do not have to. When a billing person on your staff goes on vacation and they are part of a one- or two-person team, that vacation may lead to cash flow concerns. If you have a billing company, though, they will have plans in place and the staffing to deliver continuous collections for your practice.
Up-to-Date Regulatory Information. A great billing company constantly seeks out the latest information on coding and can ensure this is incorporated into your practice.
Some physicians believe that they are giving up some control if they hire an outsider to do one of the most important functions of their practice, but the right billing company should be able to give you access to information, expertise and insights that you would not be able to get from a small team in your office. As the client, you decide what information you need to see to feel like you have control of the financials of your practice and let someone else worry about the daily oversight of the team producing those results.