As you decide between doing billing yourself, hiring a biller, or using a software, such as Healthy Bytes, there are a few key questions you should ask yourself:
- How much time do you want to devote to billing? Would you rather spend your time seeing more patients, networking or working on marketing?
- How comfortable are you with billing codes? Do you want to learn them?
If you’re seeing 1 or 2 patients a week and you’re already comfortable with the coding, it may make sense to file claims yourself. This is particularly true if you see the same types of patients every time (e.g. only diabetes or only those from BCBS). It may also make sense for you to do your own billing if you only take 1 insurance company and have time to learn the coding. Just make sure you build in time for checking benefits and filing appeals if something ever goes wrong with a claim.
If you see a more diverse set of patients, a biller or software platform that works with multiple payers will be the right choice.
Look for billers that specialize in nutritional counseling, as it’s nuanced, and filing claims as you would for a doctor won’t always go through. There are great billers out there- 1) check for nutrition experience 2) cost per claim and 3) reporting capabilities. Many services tend to come with minimums, so check for monthly fees and make sure you have a high enough volume to justify a full-time person if you choose to go that route.
Billing payment software is a nice middle ground for most practices. It comes with the ease and flexibility of a biller with some added bonuses including ease-of-use, real-time reporting, and nutrition expertise from filing hundreds of nutrition claims.