It seems like every month people hear about a few hospitals being forced to close or cut back services because of losses. Part of that can be related to the fact that they have to treat every patient that comes through the door, regardless of ability to pay. Some of it might be the low reimbursement rates from the government for Medicare and Medicaid patients. Regardless of the reasons, every hospital desires to cut costs and save money without affecting patient care. Using automated physician billing services can really make a difference in the bottom line.
Even just a few years ago, most hospitals employed a physician as an employee of the hospital. In the last decade or so many have gradually shifted to an independent contractor model to save costs. When the physician is an employee, the hospital must carry some of the burden for malpractice insurance not only for themselves, but for employees as well. Shifting doctors to independent contractors frees a lot of these costs from the hospital to the doctor. Many doctors like this as well, as they can negotiate their rates for services rather than be paid a fixed fee. They are also free to associate with multiple hospitals, which gives them the possibility for many more patient visits.
None of this would be possible without automated accounting systems. Hospitals must now track both doctors and patients, pay doctors for their services, and additionally collect money from both patients doctors when necessary. Most physicians utilize finance software as well to track what they are owed by both the hospital and the patient. The usage of hospital billing has skyrocketed in recent years because it really keeps everyone on top of payables and receivables that are due.
The main benefit of all of this is to reduce costs and increase revenue for all parties. Where a few years ago someone might be able to slip through the cracks and not pay the bill to a physician or a hospital, automated hospital billing services make that a virtual impossibility now. The software automatically ages accounts with a due balance to 30, 60 and 90 days due. It makes it easy to see which accounts are likely not to pay and then send them to collections in a timely manner which decreases losses.
The efficiency of the modern services makes a difference as well. Some patients may see 5 or 6 doctors in a single hospital stay, and interact with at least as many different departments. Modern accounting services are able to cross reference every interaction a patient or a physician has and dramatically reduce billing errors such as under-billing or double billing for the same service. This results in fewer hours wasted trying to resolve problems, and more time spent running a hospital.