The reality is that while many chiropractors would like to believe that they can totally rely upon the healthcare billing companies with which they work, that in fact is not always the case. The Comprehensive Error Testing Program, responsible for measuring improper payments in the Medicare Fee-For-Service program, reported in 2018 that there was a 41% error rate on claims for chiropractic services. Therefore, chiropractic care providers need to be very careful when choosing a medical billing company to work with.
Different healthcare billing companies will inevitably offer different package deals and benefits. But there are certain issues that providers should keep in mind when making a final selection. Below are just a few of the considerations that chiropractors and especially owners of chiropractic practices should make when selecting a medical billing company to work with.
It's crucial for patients to be able to fully understand what they are being billed for and why -- as well as why some, but not all, services are covered by their insurance providers. Some healthcare billing companies are simply more transparent than others, and this can greatly change the way that patients perceive your practice. If they receive bills that they don't understand and are simply expected to pay them, they may decide to switch practices entirely. If a patient receives a bill but is unable to access the line by line itemized version of that bill, they cannot easily dispute it if they feel they were billed incorrectly. The goal should be to ensure that your patients are never billed incorrectly, but if it does happen due to human error your patients and clients need to be able to research their options easily.
This is also important for you as a healthcare provider. When using medical billing software, you need to be able to easily troubleshoot and understand what you're looking at. The more transparent medical billing companies are, the simpler this is.
2. Ease of Use
This applies more to your office staff than it does for your patients, but it's equally important. Office staff at chiropractic practices need to be able to juggle scheduling appointments for patients and speaking to both patients and representatives from insurance companies about billing issues. If healthcare billing companies provide you with systems that are difficult to understand, this can become difficult quickly.
Not only do healthcare billing systems and healthcare billing software need to be as simple and straightforward as possible; there also needs to be a training system in place for office staff. This way, they can serve patients as efficiently as possible, and you don't have to worry about patients leaving your practice because they don't feel properly tended to.
Working with medical billing companies isn't free, and nor is the software you can access through them. You need to ensure that you're working with a company that fits within your practice's budget. In many ways, however, the technological ways of the future have made it easier for medical billing companies to cut costs.
Rather than relying upon paper products for billing, which can make matters more expensive rather quickly, companies today should rely upon online portals. This can help clients view their bills and can help your practice use its own portals to communicate with the billing company itself. Insurance verifications, for example, can be sent with a simple click of the button. This cuts costs for you as well, as less company time and energy is spent on the system.
4. Customer Care
Inevitably, either you or your clients will probably need to talk to customer care at some point or another. Make sure that you're talking to professional customer care teams when you have questions or concerns. The last thing you want is to be faced with an automated phone system when you need a complex problem solved.
Choosing a medical billing company to work with can take time. But if you do take your time, you and your patients will be much happier in the long term.