I wanted to talk today about offices that thinking about referring insurance and collections to a third party. While there are benefits to doing so, there are also several things to watch out for.
During my time as a consultant, I have had a few offices that were under the impression that the third party was doing the follow-up with the insurance companies on outstanding claims. They also thought the third party was doing the work necessary to get the information requested and then re-submitting the claims. Then what happened in each office was that they quit looking at the Insurance Aging Report and assumed that everything was being handled.
Fast forward six months, and now their outstanding claims have quadrupled. When investigating the outstanding claims for those offices, we discovered there were many notes from the third party back to the office. Those notes talked about what follow-up was needed but, since nobody at the office realized they needed to do the follow-up, many claims were then well over a year old. This also caused a big jump in their over-90 accounts receivable.
That doesn’t mean your office should not outsource to a third party. Just keep these tips in mind:
- Make sure the work is being done by the third party
- Make sure they are totally HIPAA-compliant
- Make sure they are a reputable company
- Compare the cost of doing it in-house vs. outsourcing
Benefits of Outsourcing
One of the main benefits of outsourcing is that you do not have to have a person dedicated in-office for insurance and collections. That reduces stress and allows the staff to focus on other things like filling the schedule and having more time to explain necessary treatment.
Another benefit is that training a team member on proper insurance billing and follow-up can take years to fully understand. Just make sure that, whatever you decide, you still remain in the loop with regards to your claims.
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