How Much Do Hospital Billing Services Cost?
Hospital billing processes can be difficult and expensive to manage, requiring you to worry about accounts receivable and the amount of time employees spend processing claims. If the process is disorganized, it can negatively impact every aspect and operation of your medical center. It also uses valuable resources. You have to hire a billing team, which includes salary, benefits, and supplying necessary equipment to do the job. Or, you have staff fitting billing tasks around their other duties.
Hiring a hospital billing service allows you to take those worries off your shoulders and provides a professional, worry-free way to bill patients. You don't have the expense of a dedicated billing team and the rest of your staff has more time to focus on patient care and other work-related tasks instead of spending time on finances.
How Hospital Billing Services Work
Medical billing services offer the complete package of billing cycle management, starting with patient registration and verifying insurance eligibility and coverage. From there, any procedures performed are coded and incorporated into the claim, which is then submitted for payment. The billing service will then follow up with the patient to make sure that payments are received in a timely manner, checking any payments received to ensure that they match with the billing. Billing services also handle and take calls from both insurance providers and patients.
If a claim is denied or not paid on time, the service will contact and pursue the payer for a set amount of time, as well as track any appeals to insurance companies. The majority of hospital billing services are willing to customize their offerings to a facility's specific needs, so it is a good idea to talk to different services about the options that they have available and compare them.
What Will I Pay for a Hospital Billing Service?
The cost of hospital billing serves varies depending on a variety of factors, such as the number of physicians, number of patients seen per day, and the services or extras you choose. The cost also varies according to how the service charges, with the two main options being as a percentage of the collections or a flat fee for each transaction.
- If the service charges a flat fee, expect to pay between $1 and $8 per claim. You'll pay a lower amount for in-bulk, i.e. a larger number of claims. Before signing here, determine whether the service separates the cost of inpatient and outpatient claims.
- If the service charges a percentage of the collections, that typically falls between 5 and 10 percent. However, the rate can go as high as 15 percent, particularly for services that don't get paid unless you do.
The cost of the service itself, however, is not the only important factor in choosing a hospital billing service. One service may cost more than another, but if their performance is going to boost your overall collections, it can offset that higher rate. It is also important to weigh any additional services or tasks offered by different companies to see what will work best for you, your patients, and your staff. Always make sure to ask for any references the company may have and to read all available reviews.
The Benefits of a Hospital Billing Service
There are numerous benefits that come with hiring a hospital billing service. In-house medical billing increases the workload placed on your staff and decreases the amount of time they have for other work-related tasks. It is a time-consuming process that can lead to unnecessary errors that get bills rejected by insurance companies. But, hiring a professional billing service reduces the number of possible errors by putting claims solely in the hands of billing professionals whose only job is to focus on the financial aspect of healthcare.
Hospital billing services also give your staff more time to focus on the medical aspect of their jobs and less time worrying about paperwork, which improves patient care. If you currently employ a dedicated billing team, you'll save salary, personal leave, benefits, and more.
Finally, your goal is helping patients; a billing service may be able to assist those without insurance with payment options. Their employees are experts in the field and have a wide understanding of available alternatives.