How to Overcome Staffing Shortage in HME Billing

The Current State of HME Billing

It’s not a secret anymore. HME providers across the U.S. are struggling with severe staffing shortage issues. The labor crisis is for real, and health care practices are having a tough time battling it. This is most acutely felt in the HME billing area, which requires trained and skilled personnel in order to ensure speed and efficiency. Finding the right personnel for HME billing has always been challenging. In the wake of the pandemic, matters have only gotten worse. Let’s see why.

The Covid-19 period, especially during its worst days, has seen many people working as medical billers leaving their job to join a different industry, or simply quitting or going into early retirement. As a result, a large vacuum has been created in the billing & coding area of health care practices, one that is extremely difficult to fill up anytime soon. Skilled and experienced billers have never been more difficult to find than now.

To make matters worse, minimum wages have gone up in many states since the pandemic. As a result, recruiting new personnel has become a more expensive affair for most providers. The current state of inflation has already made life difficult for all of us. The battle to fight the price rise is raging, and in this context, hiring new HME billing resources is something that everybody should think twice about.

A viable solution to Mitigate the Crisis

In the face of things, it is no wonder that a rapidly growing number of HME businesses are outsourcing their billing operations to offshore, third-party billing service providers. The strongest catalyst for this move is the economical angle. Strategic offshore outsourcing allows providers to get all their billing done at a fraction of the usual cost. Most such service providers offer billing services at a highly affordable hourly rate, or for a low, fixed percentage of all collections they succeed in generating in a month.

Another major advantage is the instant access to practically hundreds of fully trained billers and coders who are willing to start working on your account. No more scouring the job marketplace for suitable candidates, no recruiting hassles, no training sessions, no providing of paid employee benefits – the list of benefits go on. Once the contract is signed, transition of billing operations from your office to your new billing partner can happen in as little time as 2 -3 weeks. And of course, providers also benefit from the general ameliorative effect on their revenue cycle that such professional and specialized intervention brings with it. Now, is it not something that will not attract any HME business?