More physicians and medical practices are choosing to outsource their Centricity medical billing. According to a recently released report by Grand View Research, Inc., the demand is expected to result in the rapid growth of the medical billing outsourcing market — from $6.3 billion in 2015 to $16.9 billion by 2024 — surpassing demand for in-house billing.
Demand to rise 168 percent over next eight years as more physicians outsource billing
This new data echoes similar 2014 research that found that 90 percent of independent and small physician practices were planning to outsource their billing as well.
So why are so many physicians are moving from in-house to outsourced medical billing over the next decade and why does it may make sense for your practice?
Reasons for Increasing Demand
The entire healthcare industry has faced a bunch of changes over the past several years. From the introduction of the Affordable Care Act to the implementation of ICD-10, physicians are finding it difficult to keep up with all of the new regulations, especially those related to billing and coding. Below are some of the top reasons why physicians are choosing to outsource medical billing:
- Limited in-house expertise. Coding and billing — and revenue cycle management (RCM) in general — have become increasingly complex, requiring a greater level of expertise to achieve maximum reimbursement and optimal cash flows. While in-house billers and coders may process hundreds of claims each month, Health 1’s Centricity medical billing staff processes thousands across multiple specialties. Medical practices can benefit from this wider range of expertise and knowledge.
- Refocus on patient care. With changes like MACRA and the shift to value-based care, physicians are under pressure to refocus on quality metrics to prevent penalties that can lead to lowered insurance reimbursements. When billing is outsourced, physicians can focus on patient care without the added stress of also overseeing their medical billing. On a similar note, front office staff will likely benefit from reduced call volume as well since all incoming billing-related phone calls will flow to the billing company.
- Lower overhead costs, increased revenues. In-house medical billing tends to be a fixed cost for medical practices. Costs related to staffing and IT expenditures can be a significant cost for an independent practice and must be paid regardless of the amount of revenue coming in. Outsourcing billing can eliminate a portion of those expenses, shifting them to variable costs that are based on the reimbursements captured. Medical practices with high claim volume experience significant revenue growth by outsourcing, in part, because the American Medical Association (AMA) has come out with a report stating show 20 percent of claims are processed incorrectly by payers, resulting in underpayment or no payment at all. Even small practices who have a few dozen unpaid claims per month can see a vast improvement in cash flow and revenues when outsourcing.
When Outsourcing Makes Sense
Outsourcing your practice’s Centricity medical billing can be a tough decision. However, there comes a time when it makes too much financial sense not to pursue it. Making the switch can be an intimidating and daunting experience, especially for physicians who have completed billing in-house for years. But moving from in-house to outsourced billing can actually be a smooth process — not nearly as scary as many may think.
It’s important to remember that not all billing companies are created equal though. So if you currently outsource your billing and have had a bad experience, don’t settle. Look for a billing company who meets your needs, is responsive, and has a proven track record of increasing reimbursements and paid claims.
And while pricing and budgets should be part of the discussion, refrain from making that the ultimate deciding factor and look long-term instead. Paying a lower fee to a company who collects less money is not the bargain you’re looking for. Plus, the improved cash flow means physicians can now afford to pay staff to do follow-up work and go after even more of the practice’s money.
Health 1’s Centricity Medical Billing Service
If you’re interested in outsourcing your practice’s medical billing, Health 1 can help. We know that every dollar and claim counts. We understand the complexities of revenue cycle management and how accurate billing processes lead to more satisfied patients — all important factors in maintaining practice profitability.