If you're a new doctor in a private practice who is looking for a good medical billing company to take over coding and billing duties, you know that you need to find a company that will be prompt and accurate. But those aren't the only qualities you need. The medical billing company you work with has to be able to process high numbers of claims from start to finish, even if the finish means sending the accounts to collections. Here are three things to look for when you choose a medical billing company.
Current Coding Experience and Software
This is more than just a question of whether they currently have clients -- they have to use the right coding system. Using the newer International Classification of Diseases-10 (ICD-10) is not only required by law, but the codes have to be used correctly. HealthCareITNews notes the ICD-10 has "a five-fold increase" in the amount of coding necessary from the ICD-9, which increases the chances of inexperienced employees punching in the incorrect codes. Penalties for not using the correct ICD-10 codes range from simple denial of payment to criminal penalties if the codes are from the ICD-9.
The World Health Organization also notes the ICD-11 is on the way in 2018. You must find a company that is already preparing for the introduction of ICD-11 to avoid having any hiccups with incorrect codes once the new system is in place.
Responsiveness Towards Appeals
Medical billing can create headaches if the patient's insurance company still denies the claim. The billing company has to be able to respond to your inquiries quickly, and it has to have a solid appeals process in place that lets you fight for your payment without taking you away from your patients. The billing company also has to have in place a system for staying on the insurance company's case to ensure the appeals process doesn't take too long.
A Balanced Collection Process
Sometimes patients fall on hard times, but others simply forget or avoid their bills. The billing company has to offer payment plans that help patients who are in a tough spot. Billing companies that provide online options for automatic withdrawals are great for both struggling patients and those who are forgetful,
The company also has to be able to go after other patients in a professional way that works with the patient to get them to pay. Find out what sort of in-house collections the company has and at what point they send the collections to an outside company. Also find out if the collections process is one that relies on the officers being polite, as this may have a better effect on patients whose accounts are sent to these officers.
For more information about about medical billing, talk to a professional like Billing Simplified. Working with a medical billing company can save your office a lot of paperwork and time, but you have to be sure the company is up to speed. Have your list of questions ready when you call, and take your time choosing the one that you think fits your needs best.
My name is Shawna Banks and this is a blog that focuses on health issues that affect women. I became interested in women's health when my sister began having medical problems. After her condition worsened, she went to see a doctor. After her diagnosis and successful treatment, I helped her research the different kinds of health conditions that are common in women. By becoming knowledgeable about these types of problems, we can keep ourselves healthier. I hope that when you read this blog, it will help you to identify symptoms that shouldn't be ignored. If necessary, you can schedule an appointment with your physician as soon as possible.