Medical Billing Definition
Medical billing is considered a significant pillar in healthcare revenue cycle management and the service provider's prime pain spot. Medical billing in healthcare is a challenging and lengthy procedure that requires utmost precision in collecting patients' vital data. It is essential to efficiently record all information about the patients' services for obtaining medical care. By doing so, the medical billing is free of errors and helps optimize the revenue cycle management.
What Is the Medical Billing Process?
It is an extensive and challenging process of claims submission and consistently following up with the respective insurance companies with regard to the submitted claims to collect payments concerning the medical services rendered by the healthcare provider.
Whatever medical care is provided gets translated into a claim through medical billing. Once the claim is prepared and submitted, it is required to consistently follow up the claim with the healthcare insurance company to ensure the healthcare provider receives proper and timely reimbursement for the performed medical services, thereby enhancing the revenue cycle performance of the healthcare.
What Is the Difference Between Medical Coding and Billing?
Both are two different processes and play a key role in helping healthcare providers to receive their payments.
The various medical statements are carefully examined in medical coding, and specific codes are assigned using several standard classification systems.
Whereas medical billing uses those codes generated to create and submit claims and regularly follow-up on those claims to help the healthcare providers collect the payment from the healthcare insurance companies for various medical services performed.
What Are the Possible Medical Billing Challenges
Being the backbone of any providers' revenue cycle management, medical billing in healthcare must be accurate and efficient. There are some major challenges faced in medical billing. Let us discuss below those challenges and how to overcome them during the medical billing process:
•Incomplete And Inaccurate Patient Information:The insurance company could reject a claim due to insufficient or incorrect patient information. Even a small error such as a blank field or a mistake in spelling a name could easily cause claim rejection. If each recorded information is carefully double-checked to increase the accuracy and if an appropriate software for medical billing is used, you could minimize the errors.
•Insufficient Documentation:Relevant and proper documentation is a must for any insurance company to pay for the submitted claims, and they wouldn't hesitate to reject the claim if it has insufficient documentation. It is necessary to adeptly train the staff on the claims submission process and make use of the right software for medical billing, which helps in easy documentation check and submission
•Uncovered Services:Due to a change in employment or other such reasons, the patient has no clue that a specific service is not under their insurance coverage even until the time of payment. It could be avoided by consistently verifying the patient's eligibility and benefits during every visit.
•Multiple Claims:Specialty providers like Nephrologists find it annoying to file numerous claims at once for dialysis. It is tedious, and there are higher chances for errors. Using a mass claim creation tool can efficiently carry out multiple claims.
•Missed Prior Discussion with The Patient:In general, the patient has less knowledge about the medical billing and if any of the services they require needs referrals or authorization. They are not aware of out-of-pocket expenses. It creates an unnecessary commotion during the final billing time. To avoid such issues, it is better to discuss the patients' financial responsibility in advance.
•Inaccurate Coding:Inaccurate coding is one of the significant challenges and could be due to various factors. Choosing effective medical management, which provides coding automation, could easily avoid this inaccurate coding.
What Are the Types of Medical Billing Systems for Healthcare?
Right from submitting the claims with the frequent follow-ups with the healthcare insurance companies, right until collecting the reimbursement for the healthcare providers, medical bill plays a pivotal role in optimizing the revenue cycle's performance. In case of delays during claim submission, it strains the provider's revenue and significantly affects patient retention. In that case, improving the medical billing systems of the healthcare provider is essential.
There are three different systems to perform healthcare's medical billing process. They are:
•Closed System: Digital tools such as Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) are used to track health records and mainly focus on a singular practice.
•Open System: Contrary to the closed system, Electronic Health Records (EHRs) transfer the patients' entire health data to more than one practice.
•Isolated System:In this system, the patient's medical billing is personally maintained through Patient Health Records (PHRs) as they directly record the information as per their convenience.
What Is Medical Billing Outsourcing?
Medical billing outsourcing is the most feasible approach for efficiently managing the revenue cycle. It is beneficial in maintaining the long-term viability of healthcare practices. By Outsourcing the Medical Billing, the vendor manages the complete medical billing process and allows the healthcare providers to focus on clinically serving the patients. The number of patients, patient retention, staff changes, and other critical activities are consistently managed and efficiently achieved. Medical billing outsourcing greatly favors the providers and enjoys consistent revenue while efficiently utilizing their resources.
When Should You Outsource Medical Billing?
You should outsource the medical billing:
• When you don’t have sufficient time or dedicated staff available
• When you require quicker reimbursements
• When you want to stay in control but avoid micromanaging
• When you would like to keep the hidden costs at bay
• When you want to minimize the errors and maximize the revenue
• When you would like to stay updated with ensured compliance
• When you need expert consulting
• When you want to increase patient satisfaction and maintain patient retention
Future of Medical Billing:
Though we cannot precisely know, there would be a steady rise in medical billing job opportunities. With the significant automation of the Business Intelligence in Healthcare, medical billing is empowered. It could be sensed that there would be a high demand for experts in medical billing.
The number of people who might require medical care will surely rise, which means an increasing demand for medical billing-related services and numerous claims to be handled. Hence, qualified experts with thorough knowledge of medical billing would be sought after by the healthcare business.
• Medical billing is a complex and overwhelming process. But it can be handled seamlessly with knowledgeable expertise and experience when you understand the complete medical billing process.
• Upon understanding the process, it is essential to identify the other significant issues that might impact the medical billing process.
• It is essential to invest in proper and thoroughly trained staff to carry out each task skillfully to stay at the right place.
• Double-check your claims before submission to rule out the chances of errors or missing documentation.
• Always keep the patients well-informed about their financial responsibility.
• Make use of the advanced technology and use the recent billing software.
• Stay up-to-date and well connected with your insurance carriers.
• Never hesitate to seek the help of a reliable and expert medical billing company.