What Does the Future of Laboratory Billing Look Like

While 2021 has been a year of challenges and uncertainty. As the ongoing pandemic has entirely changed the ways healthcare providers deal with patients. More importantly, it also forces lab practitioners to change the strategies for revenue cycle management.

Everyone talks about the critical financial crisis these days. But have you ever thought that you can also take advantage of this current situation?

Sounds weird?

Yes, it is. But it’s a fact. This time of uncertainty can become the time of incredible growth for your healthcare practice. You can re-evaluate your healthcare billing systems to uncover the inefficiencies that cause revenue loss. Moreover, laboratory practices are quickly pivoting and finding innovative technology solutions to address emerging healthcare challenges.

Healthcare providers, particularly in the United States investing a significant amount of money in the adoption of digital health tech. Because the pandemic accelerated the need for technology-driven solutions to keep a healthcare business successful in terms of both managing billing tasks & patient care.

Going into 2022, uncertainty and challenges still loom. But one thing is for certain: technology will continue to transform the entire healthcare industry drastically. It seems like, in upcoming years, there will be no option left other than adopting automation.

If we look specifically at the financial aspect of laboratory practice. We’ll see the trend of embracing cutting-edge technology. Those free healthcare providers from the administrative burden associated with lab billing services. Moreover, the shift towards remote working in the healthcare industry has become the major reason behind shifting the orthodox billing models to the more efficient ones. There are several recent tools that are trending in the industry right now.

In this article, I have compiled the most ongoing trends and the recent predictions of the healthcare experts. That is related to the upcoming trends, which are likely to engulf the entire billing industry.

Billing For Digital & Telehealth Services

The trend of telemedicine or telehealth witnessed a surge from last year. And it is likely to continue in the upcoming years too. Patients and healthcare providers both find it extremely beneficial to achieve health goals. Without compromising on the SOPs established to beat the pandemic.

Regardless of independent or associated lab practices. Almost every practitioner is taking full advantage of telehealth to serve patients at their full potential.

While keeping in mind the increasing trend of telehealth. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has expanded coverage for telehealth services in order to prevent the spreading of the viral disease. The concerned authorities have also released the procedural and diagnostic codes to report the remote basis healthcare services.

So, we can say that telemedicine billing has emerged as the ray of hope for the medical practitioners, who are struggling with the revenue challenges. Adopting efficient practices to improve the laboratory billing for the remote base healthcare services is the only way to keep your revenue cycle afloat.

Therefore, industry experts have predicted that telehealth billing will become an essential part of healthcare practices. As it will enable laboratory practitioners to stay financially fit by overcoming the growth obstacles and economic difficulties.

As a lab practitioner, if you are working hard to survive and thrive afterwards the current financial recession. Then you must adopt technology-driven solutions that make telehealth billing hassle-free.

Overall Trends That Will Shape the Future of Billing System:

  • The demand for mobile applications or other software. That allows easy patients’ scheduling, changing, cancellation of appointments, and access to the health records from any remote locations will significantly increase like never before.
  • Healthcare providers will look forward to the innovative medical billing tools having end-to-end encrypted firewalls. And advanced security protocols to protect the highly confidential healthcare information from mismanagement, theft, Ransome and cyber attacks. It has been also predicted that, due to the rapid shift of the manual billing systems to automated ones at a larger scale. There is a higher chance of online cyber-attacks.
  • The strongest federal or state billing and coding regulations will make the healthcare billing system more effective and secure than ever before. The security protocols for administrative workflows, information sharing and billing management are likely to be changed completely.
  • Like almost every business, sales and purchases are shifting online. The same is true when it comes to collecting payments from patients. They will demand more flexible and convenient online payment options. From which patients can easily pay their dues without paying physical visits to your laboratory practices.
  • It may sound a bit unrealistic but it’s true that tech companies are making efforts to develop the tools for the automatic assignment of diagnostic or procedural medical codes. So, in future, the coding challenges may not be an issue anymore.
  • Advanced practice management solutions offer complete interoperability, allowing laboratory practitioners to simplify their administrative tasks. Such as; patients’ scheduling, registration, medical coding, claims preparation & submission, follow up with the insurance companies, revenue collection, payment posting etc.
  • Moreover, the current situation will intensify the need for more updated communication portals or applications. That bridges the gap between laboratory practitioners and patients.

Outsourcing RCM Services Will Become a New Normal

From the last few years, the trend of outsourcing medical billing and coding services get pace in the US healthcare industry. And this trend is likely to be continued in the future too.

As we all know: the latest evolutions in terms of payers policies, federal laws, billing and coding guidelines have made lab revenue collections management extremely complicated. That requires specific skills and a considerable amount of time as well. So healthcare providers find it challenging to manage the RCM tasks effectively while staying engaged in alleviating the patients’ sufferings.

Moreover, it can be very frustrating for the lab technicians to invest a hefty amount in maintaining in-house billing. Particularly, for those, who are already struggling with the constant revenue loss. So, while keeping in mind all these benefits, lab technicians prefer to outsource billing and coding services to a competent third party. In this way, they get the following benefits:

  • Take the excessive administrative burden off your shoulders.
  • Controls capital costs associated with the in-house lab billing services. Such as: hiring and training of billing staff, monthly salaries, annual increments, employees incentives, office workspace, purchase and maintenance of advanced software/hardware etc.
  • Reduces billing errors and improves the claims first pass acceptance ratio.
  • Prevents future claim denials as well as handling the existing pile of unpaid medical claims efficiently.
  • Manage the claims backlog, listed on the aging AR reports and optimize the medical accounts receivable collections.
  • Ensure 100% HIPAA compliance.
  • Provides periodic analytic reports to keep you updated about the collection as well as pending payments.

Hence, these are the major reasons that outsourcing lab billing and coding services always make sense and this trend will continue to grow.

Final Verdict:

In upcoming years, technology will not only transform the healthcare landscape but also impacts the medical billing systems. So, in order to keep pace with the ever-changing healthcare industry. It’s very important for healthcare providers to embrace the innovations in terms of both technologies as well as billing regulations. In addition to this, they should train their administrative and healthcare staff for success.

Have you decided to outsource your lab billing and coding services? Laboratory Billings is the best option for your struggling healthcare practice. We have been serving laboratories across the United States with custom-tailored lab billing solutions for a decade now. So, get the much-needed assistance for your financial health today.