What does it mean to outsource mental health billing? Many mental health practitioners are taking advantage of this service in order to reduce stress, save time and streamline their practices. Gone are the days when you could simply write out a bill for services, send it to your patient and get paid directly. Now there are insurance companies involved, which means billing codes, claim forms and other bureaucracy standing between you and your getting paid for your service.
If you are a mental health practitioner, things can get even more complicated. Certain insurance companies may deny mental health claims or have very specific requirements for honoring them. It’s too much for a practitioner to handle on their own, so those with mental health practices usually either hire billing specialists to join their staff or train existing office personnel on how to do billing.
However, there is also a third option, which many mental health practices may not be aware of. That option is to hire a third-party billing service to handle their medical billing — in other words, to outsource the process. When you outsource your mental health billing, you just send the billing service the information they need and they do the rest, making sure claims are filed correctly, dealing with the insurance companies directly if need be and ultimately getting you paid promptly.
This can lift a tremendous burden off you and your staff, as you no longer have to worry about hunting down various claims or wasting hours tied up on the phone with insurance company representatives. But is outsourcing medical billing really the best option for your mental health practice?
Mental Health Billing Outsourcing vs. In-House
To help you decide whether or not it’s right for you and your practice to outsource medical billing services, let’s look at some of the reasons to outsource medical billing vs. keeping it in-house. First, let’s address some of the advantages of keeping mental health billing in-house:
- Cost: Some may believe that keeping billing in-house will be cheaper since you are not paying a third party for a service you can do yourself. But, in fact, if you are paying for in-house billing personnel and for the software they use, you are almost certainly already paying more than the cost of a good third-party billing service. Even if you don’t hire new billing personnel, the cost of training your staff is something you need to consider, plus the time that staff will lose working on billing instead of handling other aspects of keeping the practice running smoothly.
- Control: Some practitioners like the idea of having complete control over their billing. They want to be able to know exactly who gets billed, how the forms get filled out when it all happens and so forth. While this is understandable, having that control can create added stress, and a good third-party billing company should be able to produce any information you need of this nature whenever you need it.
- Proximity: If you do your billing in-house, any questions you have about a billing situation is one that you can address by walking right over to the billing desk. You don’t have to wait to try to get in touch with a third-party billing specialist. Of course, there is always the risk that your in-house biller will not know the answer to your question.
So what, then, are the advantages to outsourcing your medical health billing? There are actually quite a few:
- Time: Time that you and your staff don’t spend working on medical billing is the time you could be spending on something else, like treating your patients, scheduling appointments or growing your business. Trying to find a particular claim or trying to get off the phone with a representative for the insurance company could take all day, which is not something you can afford. When you outsource your billing, you can use your time productively while knowing that all of your billing is being managed remotely.
- Money: The cost of managing an in-house billing operation vs. third-party billing aside, there are often bills that go uncollected because the practice just doesn’t have the time or want to expend the effort of chasing them down or dealing with the insurance company in order to get paid. These lost claims can add up to big money. Outsourcing your medical mental health billing can mean a higher rate of return for services, which is even more important in the mental health field than many other medical specialties.
- Flexibility: Are you tempted to refuse to accept insurance from a number of different providers just to avoid the headache? You’re not alone. Your patients are usually not in a position to change their insurance, which leaves them with the decision to either pay out of pocket, find a practitioner that takes their insurance or go without needed mental health services. Only one of these options helps you, and it’s often not the option your patient can afford to choose. If you know that you have an expert in your corner to deal with billing services and insurance claims, you may be more comfortable accepting more forms of insurance, which means more patients and more business.
- Get Paid Faster: Managing billing usually takes more time for an in-house billing operation than a business whose sole focus is getting you paid. You may even wait for a lot of bills to come in before making the effort to collect. With a good outsourced billing option, bills go out faster, so money comes in faster. This can be a huge benefit — especially if you are trying to grow a young mental health practice.
Outsource Medical Billing Services With BPS
If the idea of having more time and spending less money on billing, getting paid faster and having a more streamlined business operation sounds appealing to you, get in touch with BPS Billing. BPS Billing has been managing the needs of companies to outsource mental health billing for decades, and we’re ready to put our knowledge and experience to work for you.
We process claims daily and we don’t get paid until you get paid, so you can send us all your billing with the peace of mind of knowing that you’re going to get paid fast, and you won’t have to go to war with any insurance companies to do it. You’ll have access to an at-a-glance dashboard where you can see the revenue coming in and retain control and awareness over the process — you just won’t have to do any of the work.
BPS Billing will assign an individual account manager to your practice, so if you do have any questions or concerns, we can resolve them for you fast. It’s not quite as fast as going across the hall, but it’s close — and we’re confident we’ll have the answers you need.
Our services are HIPAA-Compliant and our staff is fully trained on ICD-10 codes. Our services are suitable for small or single-practitioner practices, large practices with multiple practitioners and hundreds of patients, as well as all sizes of practice in between. This also makes our services a perfect scalable solution for an expanding business. Our services for you can grow as your business does.
We think once you have enjoyed the benefits of an outsourcing billing solution you’ll wonder how you ever managed without one. Let us show you what we can do for you and your practice.
For a free demonstration and quote on our services, just contact BPS Billing online today.
“An easy to use work-flow system that helps maximize our revenue and provides accountability while reducing administrative overhead. The system provides reports usable for both the program management and finance offices.”
Written by: Monica Tujak, Senior Director – Finance for Catholic Charities of Fairfield County, Bridgeport, CT