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How a Billing Service Can Address the Labor Shortage in Medical Offices

The healthcare industry is experiencing workforce shortages in every area, from providers to ancillary staff that support providers and in all areas of revenue cycle management (RCM).

These shortages are especially detrimental in RCM because it is challenging for offices to find the experienced, certified staff needed to keep cash flow intact. Recruiting coders, experienced billers, aging specialists, and credentialing and contracting specialists present unique practice challenges.

This article explores how partnering with a billing service can address the labor shortages in medical offices. Learn how Larsen Billing provides access to RCM talent that will improve your office workflows, reduce claims denials, and increase your revenue.

Challenges in Filling RCM Positions in Medical Offices

Hiring RCM positions is difficult because talent is hard to find in the current climate. In addition to locating qualified team members, hiring costs are high. Medical practices have opportunities to outsource this talent, and they need an RCM company that can deliver talent, partner with them, and preserve their bottom line.

Even before COVID, a shortage in RCM talent was an issue. But as the pandemic affected supply chains globally and domestically, these labor shortages became more prevalent. They had an even more significant and detrimental effect on medical practices of all specialties.

There is an industry-wide demand for billers and coders. Part of that is due to an increased demand for elective surgeries, which has seen an upward trend over the last year and a half. However, beyond regular medical practice and the need for routine medical care, we see certain specialties and niches that require a specific talent. When you work with a billing service, they have the resources and network to recruit the talent needed for a medical practice specialty.

Providers and office managers must take advantage of outsourcing for specific roles within their medical practice to meet their goals and achieve the best outcomes, both as a business and from a patient-centered approach.

Strategies to Acquire RCM Talent for Medical Practices

Many medical practices need to fill RCM roles within their staff immediately. However, some practices opt for a short-term solution, while others seek more effective, sustainable talent acquisition methods. The following are two approaches to finding RCM staff for your medical practice.

Short-Term Strategies

When filling gaps in office staffing, many medical practices implement short-term solutions. This often means cross-training existing staff to fill multiple roles. However, these staff doesn’t typically have the background and experience with the specialty. As a result, practices don’t save money (as intended), but they lose it. Cross-trained staff don’t understand the nuances of claims management practices as RCM specialists do, like coding, billing, and getting the claims paid the first time. These staff also become overwhelmed with too many responsibilities, leading to lost revenue. Practices need qualified, experienced staff to execute RCM tasks and effective pathways to find them.

Long term

Partnering with an RCM company or billing service is the longer-term, more stable solution. In addition, a billing service has access to technology platforms that have already been implemented. This results in lower costs for practices to use the RCM company’s software for billing, reducing your bottom line by having access to these technologies as part of the service.

Technology can also improve your workflows and efficiencies. As a result, RCM billing and coding experts don’t burn out as quickly as office staff managing multiple roles without the proper training or expertise to do so effectively.

Increased efficiency and reduced burnout results when RCM staff have the tools, technology, and resources to do their jobs well. Instead of investing in billing software and technology for your practice, you can access these solutions when you partner with a billing service to staff coding and billing positions.

But tools and tech are just one piece of effective workflows. For example, the individuals managing your billing service play a huge role in your teams’ success. Managers ensure accountability: teams promptly produce quality work. But they also ensure the staff is happy in their work, which will ultimately produce better outcomes for all parties involved.

Benefits of Outsourcing RCM Staff

We’re in an era of labor shortages wherein medical practices cannot find the talent to run their practices effectively. Outsourcing RCM staff provides immediate access to experienced individuals who can effectively and efficiently execute your claims management processes.

Below we outline the top benefits of outsourcing a billing service to gain access to RCM staff.

Talent Recruitment

The RCM staff are an extension of your practice, but the billing service is responsible for putting that talent into your hands. When you partner with a billing service for RCM recruitment, the service is responsible for

  • Attracting the talent
  • Maintaining individuals in their roles
  • Managing day-to-day outcomes

Because your billing service manages these responsibilities, you don’t have to, immediately saving you time and money.

Larsen Billing specializes in talent recruitment and management. Our expertise allows us to deliver better outcomes for your practice: lower days in accounts receivable, higher net collection rates, and a happier, more efficient in-house staff.

Cost Reduction

Outsourcing can reduce overall claims management costs and tends to improve margins in your practice. In addition, when you take advantage of outsourcing RCM staff, you don’t need more space for in-office staff, so you’re not spending money on larger buildings, more infrastructure, or technology.

At Larsen Billing, we’ve already built in the workflows, processes, and IT infrastructure that practices won’t have to recreate. Practices can use our services as a package deal versus creating and managing those systems within their offices.

Outsourcing streamlines every aspect of your RCM practices, delivering significant cost reduction.

Flex Up and Flex Down

As your business demands grow, a billing company can flex up, growing to meet your needs. For example, when your patient volume increases, your billing company can put more people on your account to manage your claims. You don’t have to find new talent, hire and train them, and incur the associated costs.

Your Revenue Isn’t Dependent on One Person

When practices rely on one in-house biller, problems arise if that biller has a personal issue or decides to leave unexpectedly. This means your cash flow comes to a halt. With a good billing service, even if a team member experiences difficulty, other team members can quickly step in and help. In addition, a strong billing service provides peace of mind that your cash flow will not be affected if someone on the team is struggling; they can quickly readjust to protect your bottom line.

Maximize Revenue and Charge Capture

Your primary concern is patient care. But there’s a business side to every medical practice. You want to do what you can to maximize revenue and charge capture, and that’s accomplished by having certified coders and experienced billing staff.

RCM experts can ensure your claims are billed correctly and paid the first time. Accurate coding, billing, and claims management reduce denials and the resource waste of submitting claims multiple times.

Access to high-level talent helps streamline your RCM process and increase your cash flow.

Get the Talent You Need with Larsen Billing

Staffing shortages will continue to be a problem, and the need for outsourcing and working with a billing company is growing among medical practices. To your success, you must work with a strong RCM company and tap into the talent, resources, and efficiencies gained. Reach out to Larsen Billing to learn how to optimize your RCM practices starting today.