What Are the Pros and Cons of Outsourcing Behavioral Health Billing?

Healthcare billing is a crucial part of every healthcare organization, no matter the size. What some organizations may not realize, is that there are many different options when it comes to mental health billing software, and there is no one size fits all. There are pros and cons of outsourcing behavioral health billing depending on your organizational needs, so you have to look at your individual circumstances when making the decision to keep billing in-house or outsource it to a 3rd party service. 

At Lightning Step, we offer both services to our clients. You can choose to keep your billing as an in-house service by using Lightning Step’s RCM billing services, which make billing a seamless process for your accounting resources to manage themselves. If you’d prefer to outsource your billing needs, then Lightning Step also offers an outsourced healthcare billing solution that will handle all of your billing needs without putting any extra work on your team. 

What to Consider When Deciding Between Outsourcing vs. In-House

When deciding on your medical billing software needs, it’s important to take into consideration:

  • Team Size: Is it viable for you to keep your billing in-house and have enough team support to manage the process?
  • Costs: Would your organization benefit more from outsourcing your behavioral health billing services in order to cut costs and relinquish some of the responsibility that comes from in-house billing?
  • Technology: It’s important to ensure that the billing service that you choose has the most up-to-date technology in order to serve your needs.
A team working on a document together.

The Pros and Cons of In-House Behavioral Health Billing Services

Pros

  • Processing Control: Create charges automatically and create claims with the click of a mouse.
  • Direct Claims Oversight: Submit your claims directly to insurance companies without the added middleman of a third-party biller. Our autofill and scrubbing process means you don’t have to be a billing expert to ensure that claims are correct and ready to be paid. Keep track of your claims easily with our state-of-the-art Claims Dashboard. Your claims dashboard lets you easily see your drafted claims, claims in progress, and even your rejected claims. When claims are paid, they show up right on your dashboard so you can post payments to client profiles. 
  • Access to Team: Having your billing team in-house means you have direct access to the team within a close proximity, should any issues arise that you need to address with them. 
  • Short Sales Cycle: With this kind of in-house control, you can shorten your sales cycle in no time and generate the best ROI for your organization.

Cons

  • Staffing: It’s important to remember, that although our medical billing software makes the process so easy and seamless, if you’re leaning towards keeping your behavioral healthcare billing services in-house, then you need to have a team that you can depend on to manage the process.  
  • Higher Costs: Depending on your organization, it can sometimes be less attractive to have to pay the expenses of a billing team’s salaries and cover their benefits, in order for them to manage the mental health billing software.  

Lightning Step’s RCM and Billing Services really go hand-in-hand. By focusing on building a rock-solid RCM, we’ve created a tool that benefits our internal billing team just as much as it can help yours. Even better, it lets us innovate the RCM faster because our in-house billing team uses our software every day.

Daniel Christian, VP of RCM, Lightning Step

The Pros and Cons of Outsourcing Behavioral Health Billing Services

Pros

  • Relationships with Payers: At Lightning Step, we have a close relationship with payers that help us to navigate processing denials. If a client doesn’t meet specified criteria, claims will be denied for a number of reasons. The Lightning Billing team has been doing this for decades and is the most well-versed team in the business.
  • Timely Filing: When you choose an outsourced partner, you are not depending on your in-house team to file work on time. This can cause issues if claims are denied due to a time frame constraint. Outsourcing billing means you are depending on a seasoned team that are aware of all deadlines and operate within them.
  • Reduced Costs: Depending on your organizational needs, outsourcing your billing services is often a more economical way of serving your healthcare billing needs. You do not have the overhead of in-house employees, but rather a set fee for the services that you require. 

Cons

  • Control: While it is well suited to most organizations, some managers that are more hands-on may find it difficult to relinquish some of the control that comes with outsourcing your billing needs. 
  • Fees: If you don’t choose the correct outsourced billing partner, you may be liable for hidden fees that are within the small print. It’s important to make sure the partner you choose has a trusted transparency policy. At Lightning Step, we pride ourselves on our transparency as a billing partner and will always ensure that you’re clear on fees and services provided.  

Billing With Lightning Step

Billing doesn’t have to be intimidating, at Lightning Step we have teamed up with Waystar clearinghouse to put the power of revenue cycle control in your hands. We have built our technology to be an all-in-one solution whether you choose to use our services as an in-house billing team, or outsource your billing needs through Lightning Step. Regardless of your decision, you will be receiving access to state-of-the-art technology, first class customer service and a team that has been in your position and understands the pain points that come with behavioral health billing.

Daniel Christian, VP of RCM
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Daniel Christian, VP of RCM
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