As the world continues to deal with the public health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, medical billing services are offering an excellent way for practices and healthcare organizations to focus on patient care. Over the last year, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought tremendous challenges to healthcare providers with immense pressure to deal with the virus. With massive shifts in traditional patient care models, scheduling, technology needs, and high volume care, the need for medical billing solutions has risen even more. With all this upheaval and confusion, many practices are looking forward to partnering with a professional outsourcing company to assist with revenue cycle management.
Ever since the hit of the pandemic, insurance claims, and revenue cycle management have been more complicated and demanding. Now when In-house billing teams are so busy taking care of the patients and managing other important facilities, it calls for a third party to look after the revenue cycle part to ease the load. In need of assistance, many healthcare providers are turning to outsource medical billing services to help them navigate these shifts successfully. Without this help, many healthcare organizations may see significant financial damage and may not be able to effectively harvest cash flows.
“Medical billing and coding is the building block of the healthcare revenue cycle, ensuring that the payers and patients reimburse providers for their services delivered.”
The impact of COVID-19 on revenue cycle management
The sudden COVID-19 outbreak led to an additional impact on those practices that were managing the medical billing in-house the most. With patient care becoming the priority, managing the revenue cycle has become extremely challenging during the pandemic. More than ever, practices are in need of clean up accounts receivable for past services provided and ensure accurate charge capture for all services. Additionally, the increasing healthcare costs and medical billing complexity were already leading to a rise in outsourcing of medical billing services. Now that COVID-19 has presented even more challenges to healthcare and healthcare revenues, more healthcare decision-makers are faced with finding ways to reduce overhead costs, one of which is outsourcing to healthcare BPO.
Healthcare providers all around have been forced to rethink the most basic elements of their billing and coding in order to keep the revenue cycle on track. Right from addressing the new and emerging codes to how to keep the workers safe while still keeping medical coding and billing processes flowing has accrued as a big challenge for practices. Consequently pandemic has brought the following shifts:
- Remote billing & coding functions: Healthcare providers all around the world are moving to shift billing and coding functions to a remote scenario. Keeping in mind the severity of the pandemic, many organizations are having billing and coding performed remotely to keep workers safe and slow the spread of the virus.
- Medical Codes Are Shifting: As the medical codes are shifting in response to the pandemic, it has brought the challenge of keeping up with the new codes. For example, the American Medical Association has updated CPT code sets to make two code additions i.e. code 99072 for safety protocols and 86413 for lab tests, that are used to report medical services used for the ongoing pandemic.
- Telehealth & Telemedicine rising: Owing to the pandemic, changes are being implemented in policies for expanding medicare coverage for telehealth during the pandemic. These include no location boundaries or geographic restrictions, an expansion of provider eligibility, and more discretion with cost-sharing. These ongoing shifts & changes are directly impacting the medical billing services functions on a large scale.
The Importance of Medical Billing & Coding Outsourcing in a Post-Pandemic World
Medical billing & coding services are becoming a need or an hour, where outsourcing is now getting mainstream. By outsourcing services, you can have greater cost savings and outcomes with streamlined processes, superior systems, state-of-the-art technologies, and skilled resources that are well-versed with medical billing processes and have rich experience. In today’s complex and evolving healthcare marketplace (especially in the post-pandemic era), the need for successful management of medical billing and coding is proving to be a strategically advantageous point for healthcare practitioners.
Several doctors, healthcare centers, hospitals, practice managers are quickly embracing billing and coding outsourcing as a lifeline to spruce up bottom lines. Professional and HIPAA compliant healthcare billing companies are a boon to help healthcare organizations take care of their billing process including patient demographics data entry, pre-verification services, medical coding, charge entry, claims submission, denial management, etc.
With all these challenges and complexities caused by the pandemic, you can benefit by partnering with a medical billing outsourcing company in the following ways:
- Improves the billing process: The pandemic has made the entire revenue cycle management more daunting & complicated. While the in-house teams are busy taking care of the covid patients and dealing with the ongoing shifts, this has caused big technological and communication challenges for billing teams that needed to be resolved by management. In this case, many organizations are turning to outsource billing services to help them navigate these shifts successfully. Without professional help, you would face significant financial damage and be unable to effectively harvest cash flows. Outsourcing can help you manage COVID-19 cash flow and claims appropriately while complying with the latest policies and medical codes.
- Better technological integrations: Due to the pandemic, medical organizations have also been pushed towards technological integrations, which calls for outsourcing. It is no more secret that technology is aiding organizations in making strong financial gains. Since many healthcare organization’s in-house billing teams are unable to do the strategic and technical work necessary to integrate these innovative tools effectively, outsourcing medical billing services can help you easily adapt, tweak, and customize technological capabilities. Doing so can augment output dramatically. These tech innovations and tools can greatly impact the billing process with auditing and quality control, helping catch human errors at early stages.
- Enables focusing on patient care: With hospitals laden with covid patients, it is essential for them to focus on patients’ care and safety before anything else. Amid this, taking care of the billing and claims processes may kill a lot of valuable time for hospital staff. By redirecting medical billing responsibilities to the outsourcing partner, hospitals and clinics can shift their focus from managing complicated billing questions and serve the patients. This way, healthcare staff can be relieved of navigating between payers, regulatory requirements and ongoing coding changing and concentrate fully on treating patients.
- Have less or no billing errors: With the billing process becoming more complex after the hit of the pandemic, billing errors are common that often leads to claim denials and revenue loss. On the other hand, experienced and well-trained medical billers have extensive knowledge and experience in handling complex claim submission processes. Reputed medical billing companies ensure that their team undergoes a rigorous training process and successfully completes the required assessment ensuring accuracy and submissions in a timely manner. Medical billers not just reduce errors, but also reduce the number of rejected claims and edit claims for errors before sending the claim to the payer.
- Keep up with New Billing Codes: With telemedicine services rising, medical practices need to use the codes for telemedicine services while dealing with the COVID-19 crisis. Furthermore, new codes are being introduced for the treatment of COVID-19, as well, which requires you to stay up-to-date with the latest code amendments. Therefore, Outsourcing your billing and coding can help you deal with patients while your service provider can efficiently handle the coding for you. Quality medical billing and coding companies are well-versed in all the latest changes, ensuring that coding is handled correctly to ensure you get paid for the services you provide during the coronavirus outbreak.
- Keep non-essential staff out of the premises: While social distancing is crucial to maintain these days, if you have on-site billing and coding staff, they may have to come into the office because they need to use the office-based software to handle the billing and coding needs of the office. Keeping as many people at home as possible is essential to stopping the spread of the virus in the current situation, and outsourcing your billing and coding can provide an excellent way to do so. On the other hand, you can be assured that your billing and coding processes are handled efficiently to keep your practice going through this crisis.
Keeping your practice financially healthy is critical, during the COVID-19 situation. Having your medical billing services outsourced, you can know that your practice has a partner during these challenging times. As healthcare providers need to keep a track of all the coming changes in the pandemic closely and manage complex billing processes, outsourcing services to a partner dedicated to monitoring industry changes is a viable option for hospitals, health systems, practices, and care providers.
At SunTec India, our professionals are up-to-date on the latest telehealth guidelines, coronavirus codes, and can ensure that your practice gets paid for the services you’re providing to patients. Our expertise in revenue cycle management and skilled team of billing experts can prove beneficial in both strategic and tactical ways. If you’re looking for assistance and a cost-effective way to streamline billing and coding for boosting your bottom line, SunTec India can be the right fit.
Being one of the top medical billing companies in India having 20+ years of experience and expertise in medical billing and coding procedures, we provide comprehensive medical billing and coding services that include patient demographic data entry, pre-verification services, medical coding, charge entry services, claim submission, medical log indexing, payment posting, follow up services and denial management services.
To learn more about how SunTec India can help your practice, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org