Overworked, Understaffed Billing Departments Spell Big Trouble for Medical Clinics

10 Sep

Medical billing is a tough job. And while medical billers do not treat patients, their performance is directly tied to the success of any medical clinic.

So why is medical billing such a tough job? To begin with, the rules related to medical billing are constantly changing. New coding systems and compliance regulations can lead to delayed or denied claims that significantly reduce an office’s cash flow.

The number of things that can go wrong when it comes to billing is another never-ending battle. Even if a billing staff is able to keep up with new rules and regulations, there are plenty of other issues to deal with. These include things late payments and rejected claims.

All of these things would be a challenge for a huge medical billing staff but the fact is that most medical offices are not able to hire the amount of staff it would take to handle all of these issues. This leads to another issue: staff turnover. Medical billers are under a great deal of stress and this leads to low morale and high turnover. Hiring new staff is not only expensive and time-consuming, suddenly you have put another task on your medical billing staff’s to-do list: training.

While an under-performing medical billing staff can be detrimental to a clinic’s cash flow, it also can mean the loss of current patients and the inability to attract new ones. Look at reviews of medical clinics on the internet and you are likely to read statements along the lines of: “Love my doctor, nurses were great but the billing department was the worst.”

The fact is, many patients will decide not to come back to a particular clinic solely because of their experience with the billing staff. Further, these patients certainly won’t be referring family and friends.

With the rise in social media and online reviews, one patient disgruntled with your billing practices or staff can be broadcast all over the internet. The cost of these reviews cannot be underestimated. Statistics show that 90 percent of people read online reviews and 88 percent say they trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.

Staff turnover can have huge financial repercussions for a medical clinic. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to hire and retain quality medical billers. In light of the difficulties related to medical billing, it may be in a medical practice’s best interest to outsource these duties. Only then can a medical clinic be sure that the health of their clinic is not being compromised due to an overworked, understaffed billing department.


Need billing services or consulting?  Call or text Billing Buddies at 612-432-2366.  Or, email Bonnie J. Flom at bonnie@billingbuddies.com.  We have 24 years of medical billing experience.



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