Medical Billing Outsourcing Overseas Doesn't Work
While this might seem like a bold statement coming from us, that we have self-serving motivation, the truth of the matter is this: we were market leaders in overseas medical billing outsourcing over 10 years ago.
We get your challenges: fee schedules have come down, that’s why we treat YOUR billing like it’s OUR billing. It’s too important to not get right the first time and that’s why we think this discussion of outsourcing your medical billing is so important. In the past we’ve done it, we felt the pain. We’re offering it here as a lesson learned.
Medical Billing Outsourcing: Our Experience Overseas -
We tried, we really did. We took the time, made the investments, it just didn’t work.
We sent staff members to the Philippines to train the outsourcing team there. One of the first issues we encountered was the timezone offset: these people are working from 11:00 PM at night until until 9:00 AM in the morning, it’s the Graveyard shift. No one, anywhere, does their best work on the Graveyard shift. In fact it’s been found to be the “associated with an increased risk of certain cancers, as well as metabolic problems, heart disease, ulcers, gastrointestinal problems and obesity.” (citation)
At some point the weeks of training has to be done and we had to bring the trainers home. The overseas team was on its own and became the public-facing first responders for our medical billing. Our idea was sound, theoretically, but the reality of the “total picture” or being able to see the entire process in motion was much more challenging.
What it came down to was this: while they could handle the basic medical billing functions OK but when it came to collection status and appeals, to trying to teach California Work Comp laws, to combatting and defending against insurance adjusters, lien reps and attorneys (the litigation piece) there was no way to get them proficient enough to meet our needs and, more importantly, the needs of our doctor and hospital clients.
It’s one thing to learn the theoretical approach and quite another to have the “lived” experience of having spent decades in the medical billing and collections industry.
The reality is that the litigation piece made up 35 - 40% of our work at the time. You can teach a person one defense only to have the insurance companies and their attorneys come back from another. Our doctors wanted these cases litigated to protect their long term interests and in order to do that we had to bring it back to the States, to beef up our in-house team.
After 3 years or so of experience we learned the value of having our closely held, highly trained team. It took 6 - 8 months of double duty but people, doctors and patients, were happier. Many times the patients would refuse to talk to overseas operators and the doctors definitely heard about it. What had been confusing and painful became understandable and business-like.
It was a painful and expensive learning experience but it made us the excellent company we are today. We have seasoned, in-house litigators who are capable of handling even the most complex cases.
What we found was the following:
- Healthcare is a highly emotional topic for patients especially when they owe money.
- Patients need and want a clear, understandable explanation of benefits in a way that they can get their head around their situation in order to put it in perspective.
- Anyone who offers medical billing outsourcing needs to have a accumulated a massive amount of institutional knowledge in order to address as many possible situations that might arise
- Poorly run billing companies lack the depth necessary to problem solve and often work from scripts without a true, intimate knowledge of the medical billing industry (Look at Yelp and just go and read their reviews.)
Local Medical Billing Outsourcing = Good; Overseas Outsourcing = Issues…
Make no mistake here, there’s a very important distinction that needs to be made: we are in the business of helping Doctors and hospitals outsource their medical billing. What we are cautioning against is the use of overseas-based medical billing outsource companies.
We have learned some crucial lessons in our 25+ years in the medical billing industry. First and foremost is the need for specialization. This business is too complex to be done properly in any other way. If someone is telling you that they are experts in everything then what they are really saying is that they are experts at nothing.
We specialize in helping Medical Doctors and specialists with their billings and collections. Here are they types of doctors we specialize in: Orthopedic Surgery, Allergist, Pain Management, Gastroenterology, Internal Medicine, Plastic Surgery, General Surgery, Family Medicine, Chiropractic, Physical Therapy, Podiatry, Ambulatory Surgery Centers, Dermatology, Laboratory, Cardiology.
These are the kinds of practices that, due to their having unique processes and procedures outside of our area of expertise, we cannot help: home health care, chiropractors, psychologists, ophthalmologist, dental practices.
Solution? Bring the outsourced medical billing back in house, to the U.S.
What we found out, through painful and hard won experience, is that the patients got frustrated with the overseas billing staff. The overseas billing staff don’t know the healthcare industry intimately or personally but instead had a lot of surface knowledge and could go no deeper when they confronted a lack of knowledge or a confounding circumstance. Additionally a lot was lost in technology, particularly voicemail trees that used automated prompts instead of allowing human problem solving to be used. When patients get frustrated the doctors and office managers were certain to hear about it.
What we realized was that the relationship to the patient was too important to be trusted to anything less than the very best, most highly trained and skilled communicators. Our medical billing staff were the only ones that we could manage and depend upon in
We get understand this fundamental truth: There are too many moving parts. From fee schedules having come down, CPT codes are a moving target, changing regulations and statutes, all of these things affect medical billing directly and the profitability of doctors and hospitals.
Our solution? We treat your billing like your own. Why? Because if you become a client we consider you our partner, an extension of our own company. Your success becomes our success.
We use highly trained and actively managed U.S.-based real human beings. That’s right live bodies in our own facility who will hand hold patients through process. No more patient complaints during office visits. Think about it: spending time with patients discussing their health and not their billing.
We pulled back from overseas-sourced medical billing and you can, too. It’s just too important and complex to outsource to medical billers in India or the Philippines where the business is about volume and not about excellence. Overseas medical billing companies are motivated to take specialties they aren’t familiar with in an effort to build up their numbers.
Is your company outsourcing and you don’t know it? We know that some companies are putting on a U.S.-based “face” to their operations with the appearance of U.S.-based physical addresses and phone number. Once they receive an incoming call those calls are “flipped” or transferred to an overseas operation.
Our Goal: to LOVE you, to CARE for you, to make you and your patients FEEL SPECIAL
We really know the field, inside and out. There is no substitute for our decades of first hand experience.
Ideally we retain clients for the entire lifetime of their business. That’s why our goal is to love the opportunity you’ve given us so much that we care for and nurture it so that you and, very importantly, your patients feel special, taken care of and treated with professionalism and kindness.
We would love the opportunity to show you first hand what our dedication to excellence looks like. It all starts with either a call to (949) 863-0022 or completing this Request a Call form.