Moving to a New Medical Billing Company
Doesn’t Have to be Painful
By: Pat Kroken, FACMPE, CRA, FRBMA
MSN Director of Education and Corporate Communications
Bridging The “Gap”
The “gap”—the scary phase when revenue from the old billing company is winding down and the new billing company is ramping up operations. In the past a group could experience severe revenue declines for 90-120 days during a transition and before collections normalized under the new billing company.It could even mean securing a line of credit to meet physician payroll.
That experience, which may even have happened in an “old school” transition more than a decade ago, can make a practice hesitant to change billing companies even when they are unhappy.
Times have changed and the gap has been minimized by several developments:
- Advances in technology have made it easier to establish interfaces and downloads
- Automated billing processes have improved claims processing efficiency
- Payors utilize a higher volume of electronic payments, which shortens turnaround time and improves cash flow
- The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) streamlined communication between billers and insurance payers
The real secret, however, is tight management of the transition process and success depends on effective communication between the medical practice and the billing company.
Setting up for success
Organization is key and a billing company should be able to articulate how new client transitions are coordinated. For example, MSN Healthcare Solutions has a dedicated and experienced onboarding team that focuses solely on ensuring a smooth transition. That team is made up of both IT and revenue cycle operations professionals who bring a detailed implementation plan. Then the MSN team stays engaged for several months after the official hand-off to make sure all processes are working as they should and cash flow is stable.
Clients are provided with a transitional cash flow projection for planning (and MSN performance regularly exceeds projections). The revenue gap can all but disappear when professionally managed.
Teamwork is essential
MSN Healthcare Solutions provides the roadmap and oversight, but the practice must also commit to the success of the onboarding operation. It is important for the group to assign a responsible practice representative to coordinate information gathering and assist with setting up hospital/healthcare system communications.
Our mutual goal?
Minimal financial disruption and a smooth transition.
Patricia Kroken, FACMPE, CRA, FRBMA,
has an extensive background in radiology practice management and directs education and corporate communications for MSN Healthcare Solutions.
She worked as a consultant for radiology practices, billing companies, software developers, and hospital radiology departments for 20 years before joining MSN.
She is a regular contributor to the RBMA Bulletin and a frequent speaker on topics related to radiology practice management.
Pat can be reached at email@example.com