7 Reasons Why Cardiovascular ASCs Should Outsource Their Billing
Cardiology is one of the fastest-growing ambulatory surgery center (ASC) specialties, and we're seeing the development of new cardiovascular ASCs nationally. Fueling the rise of cardiology in the ASC industry is the addition of different types of cardiovascular procedures to the ASC Covered Procedure List (CPL) over the past several years. These include diagnostic and interventional coronary procedures, peripheral vascular interventions, and placement of pacemakers and defibrillators. Some of these procedures have been on the receiving end of increases in Medicare reimbursement.
As cardiovascular ASCs continue to demonstrate their ability to perform safe, high-quality procedures that deliver great outcomes, there's every reason to believe the momentum behind the specialty will continue. This will likely lead to more cardiovascular surgeons developing ASCs and bringing their procedures to surgery centers and hopefully contribute to new procedures being added to the ASC CPL and increases in Medicare and commercial payer reimbursement.
To take advantage of the outmigration of cardiac care, cardiology ASCs will need to consider what services to perform in-house and where they may be best served by outsourcing. One service cardiology ASCs should strongly consider partnering with experts is their revenue cycle management. Outsourced ASC billing can deliver significant financial and operational benefits that will help set cardiovascular ASCs up for sustainable success.
Here are seven ways cardiovascular ASCs will benefit from outsourced billing.
1. Reduce staff recruitment and retention challenges. Finding staff knowledgeable in ASC billing is difficult. Finding staff knowledgeable in cardiology ASC billing is even more challenging. Outsourcing can overcome these obstacles while greatly reducing the number of staff a cardiology ASC must recruit and retain.
With ongoing access and support from a team of ASC revenue cycle experts, a cardiovascular surgery center can eliminate open in-house business office positions, reliance on part-time and as-needed business office staff, and overtime expenses. If an existing business office staff member leaves the ASC or wants to reduce their hours, the billing company can take over the available work.
In addition, by eliminating in-house business office positions, leadership can allocate more time, energy, and resources (e.g., salaries, benefits) to recruiting the clinical and operational staff needed to physically work at the surgery center.
2. Improve physician recruitment and retention. Outsourcing billing typically leads to a noteworthy boost in an ASC's financial performance. For current and future owners, this improvement will likely translate to increased distributions, possible investments in new clinical technology that can help physicians expand their surgical volume and strengthen outcomes, and higher value of ownership shares — all of which can help attract physicians and keep them focused on bringing appropriate procedures to the center.
3. Efficient and effective clinical expansion. Growing clinical operations is easier,less expensive, and generally more successful with outsourced ASC revenue cycle management. As a surgery center grows, it will not need to allocate time to finding, hiring, and training new billing staff. A center can also take comfort in knowing its outsourcing partner will deliver the necessary revenue cycle services to help maximize the bottom-line benefits of expansion.
4. Get paid appropriately for implants. For cardiovascular surgery centers to perform procedures involving expensive implants, capturing and negotiating reimbursement for those implants is critical. Outsourcing billing can help ensure an ASC is paid in a timely manner for implants used. In addition, an ASC billing company will provide an ASC with managed care contracting negotiation support that helps ensure payments cover the costs of the implants.
Outsourcing can also help an ASC monitor changes to passthrough codes to better ensure the center is maximizing their reimbursement potential.
5. Reduce leadership workload. Outsourcing billing can greatly decrease the workload of ASC leadership and staff. This translates to more available time that can be spent in other areas critical to operations and growth.
6. Analyze performance to support growth. An ASC billing partner will use technology suchas next-generation analytics to dive into the cardiology ASC's revenue cycle performance, focusing on key performance indicators crucial to growth. The billing company will benchmark the figures against the individual ASC's performance and externally against similar clients, helping to identify where opportunities for improvement are possible and warranted.
7. Develop and execute marketing plan. With much less time spent on internal revenue cycle processes and management, administrative staff can allocate more time toward developing and executing a robust marketing plan. Such a plan can help with physician and staff recruitment and attracting patients to the cardiology ASC and/or its affiliated practices.
Achieving greater cardiology ASC success with outsourced billing
This list scratches the surface of how outsourcing revenue cycle management will make it easier for a cardiology ASC to succeed. In today's highly competitive environment, ASCs must pursue improvements and enhance their operations or risk falling behind. Supplementing and complementing these initiatives with outsourced ASC billing can put cardiovascular surgery centers in an even stronger position to achieve short- and long-term success.