Top 6 Questions to Ask a Medical Billing Service

by Jack Oliver

Are you and your team feeling overwhelmed by the medical billing and coding process? Are you tired of being denied claims from insurers or having to comply with new legal requirements? Perhaps it’s time to consider hiring a medical billing service to manage this vital component of your medical practice and streamline your revenue cycle.
What is a medical billing service?
A medical billing company or organization that offers Medical Billing Services handles the billing component of medical practice. This involves managing the insurance claims process, ensuring accurate medical coding, and streamlining the overall revenue cycle of medical practice, clinic, lab, or other related entities. Medical billing services are HIPAA-certified, as they handle a wide variety of personal health information, often have experience with different electronic health record systems, and can also provide input on specialty practices.

How can a medical billing partner streamline your practice management?

Working with a medical billing partner has numerous advantages that ultimately come from streamlining your medical practice operations. By outsourcing medical coding and billing to a one-stop agency, you can avoid hiring multiple staff members to handle various aspects of the billing process. This saves you time and money while ensuring that your practice’s billing is properly managed by an experienced agency.

In addition, a medical billing partner can dedicate their resources to the success of your practice in terms of accurate coding and billing, resulting in fewer rejected claims, as well as quicker claim submission. Instead of claims piling up in your office, which is tantamount to leaving money on the table, a medical billing partner is able to handle the claims process quickly and accurately. Medical billing partners also stay up to date on the latest regulations or other legislative initiatives that affect the billing process, so you don’t have to worry about using an outdated processor unknowingly ignoring new requirements.

Your medical practice won’t get very far if you’re constantly dealing with rejected claims or if your staff is overwhelmed by the time and effort required for a tedious billing process. Monitoring financial results is critical and serve as a guide to determine the performance of your medical practice, so it’s vital to stay on top of how your resources are being utilized. With a medical billing partner, your revenue cycle is optimized by professionals, plus you can gain insight into the financial health of your medical practice that you probably wouldn’t get from in-house staff.

Top 6 Questions to Ask a Medical Billing Service

How much experience do they have in my specialty?

A large and well-respected medical billing service may claim decades of experience, but do they recognize and understand the nuances of your particular specialty?

For example, a radiation oncology practice has a very different set of needs and challenges than a dermatologist. The medical billing service you partner with should be able to adapt to the particulars of your practice seamlessly.

Part of this question might involve asking about the relevant certifications that the billing service employees have for your field.

2. What kind of reports will my practice receive?

A consolidated reporting system is one of the most important benefits of working with a medical billing partner, as they have the resources to make that information available to you.

Different types of reports can provide different insights into the success of your medical practice, or the data can reveal points of improvement. This type of information is a great resource for making informed decisions about the future of your medical practice.

Clearer, more accurate data about your financial performance can be one of the biggest advantages of working with a medical billing service, but if you don’t find out what types of reports they provide, you may miss out on this benefit altogether. Ask specific questions about the types of reports the vendor offers and request samples of their practice dashboards and reports. Ideally, a demonstration or recorded walk-through of the reporting system would be ideal.

Consider whether you have special on-demand reporting needs that the billing service should be able to meet. Establish a clear understanding of what you will need in terms of financial reports and make sure they will be available.

What is the onboarding process like?

One of the most difficult aspects of engaging a medical billing service – or any outside contractor, for that matter – can be the onboarding process.

Not only are you going to be transferring reams of data and adapting to new systems and rules, but your staff, who may be somewhat uncomfortable with the move to an outside firm, could be overburdened with the responsibilities associated with the transition.

Look for a billing firm that is willing to work with you and your staff to reduce the stress and difficulty of the transition. Make sure they are willing to formulate a plan that minimizes disruption to your organization and team.

4. What parts of the revenue cycle do you manage?

Some medical billing companies can handle the entire revenue cycle and all follow-up responsibilities. Others offer simpler billing services. Make sure you understand the difference and determine what your medical practice needs most. Do you want a comprehensive medical billing company or do you just need some extra help?

Evaluate what your practice needs and what it does well on its own. Then, make appropriate arrangements to meet the unique requirements of your practice so you’re not paying for services you don’t want or need.

5. What is your approach to working with my medical practice?

This question will help you understand the mindset that the medical billing service will have when potentially working with your practice.

Are they more independent and unavailable, or do they offer a phone line for questions and maintain accessibility to you? They should be as invested in your success as you and your staff and ideally act as an extension of your internal staff.

6. Who can I ask for referrals?

A prospective medical billing company may say they will be able to increase your financial performance, but can they back up that claim? An effective and reputable medical billing service should have testimonials or case reviews available for you, as well as more than one happy client available for comment.

Ask for references – ideally in your specialty – who can speak to the medical billing company’s reliability, their efficiency and your overall experience working with them.

Partner with NCG to streamline your medical billing and coding.
At NCG Medical, we specialize in customized medical billing and revenue cycle management designed to fit your individual needs. We take care of your practice management so you can take care of what matters most – your patients. Our team of experts has over 40 years of experience that your medical practice can leverage as a loyal partner for your success.

Our customized solutions can improve revenue management cycles and ensure your practice receives the most streamlined reimbursement process. Contact Us

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