- February 2, 2023
- Posted by: Steve Smith
- Category: DME Billing
DME Billing Roadblocks You Need to Understand
Ask anybody involved in the business of prescribing, manufacturing or selling DME (Durable Medical Equipment) items or supplies, and chances are more than three-fourths of them will tell you about the many difficulties they regularly face in maintaining a consistent collection rate with their DME billing efforts. Billing for healthcare products and services is a pretty complex affair in itself. With DME billing, things go up one notch higher. Let’s take a closer look.
One needs to remember that DME items can be either purchased or rented. This adds an extra layer of complexity to the DME billing process as the associated coding needs to be modified accordingly. Another DME billing caveat is remembering to bill for not just the main device, but also for supporting supplies that are required for its operation. To give an example, it would be an unfortunate overlook if somebody bills only the glucose monitor and forgets about the test strips.
To put it simply, billing for DME products requires a great deal of accuracy and considerable amounts of coding knowledge, not to mention the varying reimbursement requirements of different payers. The problem is, finding competent personnel to take care of these requirements can be a real challenge. This is especially true when one considers the general dearth of skilled labor in the market today.
Aiming for a Better Billing Process
With a view to improving efficiency, minimizing errors and increasing collections, a large number of DME providers are enthusiastically outsourcing their DME billing tasks to specialized billing agencies. When done with some amount of strategic planning, outsourcing of billing operations to an external billing partner – especially if that partner is located in a foreign country where the cost of labor is cheap but the local talent pool is plentiful – can bring about fantastic savings for the provider.
One of the biggest advantages that DME practices can reap from an outsourced scenario is instantly improving the overall efficiency and effectiveness of their billing operations. This is largely owing to the fact that professional billing agencies employ highly streamlined processes that invariably result in big improvements in the overall quality of a practice’s billing operations.
Moreover, providers are usually required to pay for actual hours of work done, based on a pre-determined fixed hourly rate. And this can add up to an optimal operational expenditure. It is important to remember that this also comes with an absence of all other forms of cost which are normally associated with a conventional, in-house setting.