Removing Bottlenecks in Urgent Care Billing

Common Bottlenecks in Urgent Care Billing

Urgent Care services are characterized by a more than usual speed in attending to patients than at other healthcare providing venues. This is chiefly due to the ambulatory nature of the patients who typically walk into such facilities. There is no prior appointment (which leaves the physicians or those sitting at the billing desk with little time to prepare themselves for the patient-visit) and the usually short time for the treatment. It’s a simple walk-in and walk-out scenario, where one has to be on their toes to pick up every required bit of patient information so that a complete and accurate bill can be generated afterwards for the purpose of getting reimbursed by the patient’s health plan. This need for speed, coupled with a strict demand for accuracy and thoroughness, creates many of the bottlenecks frequently seen in Urgent Care billing. A billing staff that is slow to respond, or simply misses out on capturing all the necessary information of the patient the moment they walk in, can quickly lead to lost revenue. Gaps in information when formulating a claim can lead to the claim getting turned down by the payer or being paid less than what was rightfully owed.

The main reason for such a crisis is the lack of dedicated attention to billing affairs. Urgent Care billing demands the unflinching attention of a dedicated panel of personnel whose sole responsibility would be to take care of every step of the billing process – right from entering the patient data, through billing and coding for services rendered, to posting the payment received in the system. In reality, however, such a utopian scenario may be hard to find.

Opting for a More Efficient Billing Process

In order to ensure that billing processes get the dedicated attention they demand, a growing number of Urgent Care facilities are outsourcing their billing tasks to specialized service providers where dedicated billers and coders are being appointed to take care of every kind of billing requirement. Strategic offshore outsourcing is also an effective means to bypass the steep labor costs of the domestic market and take advantage of the remarkably lower rates offered by other countries for similar services.

The main advantage that such a delegation brings with it is getting an almost instantaneous access to a vast pool of dedicated billers, coders and other revenue cycle management personnel, without having to scour the employment market or pay through the nose for local talent. With a devoted panel of billers and coders working on billing matters, Urgent Care centers can effectively free up their resources that have been hitherto engaged in billing, and get them engaged in actual patient care and other important administrative tasks. The outcome, almost always, is a more efficient billing process where collections are high, denials are low and operational costs are extremely economical.