Making a decision to outsource your billing vs. doing it in-house requires a clear understanding of the entire billing function itself before you can make a choice. Businesses have many challenges and knowing that the services you provide are charged and managed correctly is paramount. Whether you are dealing with various insurances, direct access patients, providing cash based programs or other similar types of billing, you need assurance that you are doing it right and in compliance with established guidelines.
What makes it difficult to make the choice is how much you know about the billing process. If you do not understand the billing process then it is difficult to hire someone to do your billing in-house or to outsource because you won’t have the skills or knowhow of what to expect or how to hold either accountable. It’s easy to find someone or a company to talk the talk but how do you know if they can walk the walk.
Hiring a competent business management consultant who is intimately familiar with physical therapy operations will help you to make informed decisions that will fit your style. The more informed you are the better decisions you will make. Many private practice owners need assistance in running the business side of the practice and that includes understanding billing and collection policies and procedures – and there is a lot to know! A consultant can help you set up efficient billing and collections processes in-house or help you choose and appropriate billing company for your practice. This is a very important decision.
The “entire” billing process includes but is not limited to:
The billing process ends when the claims are paid!
Based on the assumption you have the best business practices in place and/or that you have done adequate homework in choosing a competent billing company let’s take a look at some of the positive things that each choice offers:
In-house billing – You control the day to day operation
Outsourcing billing – You leave the billing process to a professional service company
The major complaints of doing in-house billing include time to manage the staff, the cost of the staff – payroll and benefits, not knowing how to hiring the right staff, lack of proper training, out of control A/R, lack of time for meetings, and not being sure that your staff is consistently up to date on changes and compliance issues in the industry.
Here are some suggestions for doing your billing in-house:
The major complaints of outsourcing your billing include unreliable companies, not knowing if billing and posting payments are done daily, no reconciliation processes, lack of communication, not knowing where your money is- out of control A/R, not getting outcome reports that allow you to run your business effectively and little to no feedback from the company.
Here are some suggestions for outsourcing your billing:
Whether you do billing in-house or outsource, here are some tips for holding both accountable:
Regardless of which way you go you must have highly efficient systems in place to insure that you are paid for the services you provide, you are compliant and you always know where your business stands financially. Take the time to learn what tools will help you the most. Don’t rely on others to run your business unless you have the tools in place to insure accountability and reduce your liability. Use the best resources to help you make your decision.
Diane McCutcheon, President
DM Business Management Consulting Services, Inc.
Account Matters – Billing & Collection Services
4 Charlesview Road, Suite 4
Hopedale, MA 01747
P: 508-422-0231 F: 508-422-0234