Free Standing Emergency Rooms Billing Services And Your Need To Outsource
Freestanding ER may be a new trend in the healthcare industry, but they have been around for ages. The purpose of freestanding emergency departments is to provide emergency care beyond the four walls of a healthcare facility.
Emergency room billing is a major contribution to a hospital’s total workload, and managing patient care and physician billing duties can be hectic and challenging. This is why most organizations outsource this aspect, saving them time and money.
However, outsourcing emergency room billing is not as straightforward as it seems. Let’s take a look at the challenges and benefits of outsourcing free standing er billing.
Understanding Freestanding ER
Freestanding emergency rooms are standalone ERs that are not connected or in the locality of a hospital. However, they are owned by a hospital or an organization.
Having been around for nearly 50 years now, these freestanding emergency departments are easily accessible in communities.
To ensure the highest quality of patient care, freestanding emergency departments are equipped with advanced and innovative medical technologies. FSERs are also staffed by highly skilled providers, including trained paramedics, nurses, physicians, and other support staff.
Since these departments are designed to handle a diverse array of medical cases effectively, patients who visit freestanding emergency rooms can expect a high level of patient care to be delivered.
However, patients must remember that these freestanding emergency rooms may have distinct billing practices. For instance, most Freestanding ERs may not be directly affiliated with most insurance networks.
Awareness of any insurance implications and services provided can help patients make informed decisions when seeking medical assistance in a freestanding emergency room.
Differences Between Hospital ERs and Freestanding ERs
To fully understand what is a freestanding emergency room, you should learn about some differences between hospital emergency rooms and freestanding ERs.
While both ERs are open around the clock, seven days a week, one notable difference is the geographic location.
Hospital ERs are generally located in urban areas, mainly in general hospitals, which can be inaccessible to certain communities. However, freestanding ERs are strategically placed in areas where they can be accessible to communities.
Another difference is that patients have access to a wide range of specialists when seeking medical assistance in a hospital ER, but that might not be the case in a freestanding ER, although patients receive comprehensive care in both facilities.
FSERs have short wait times compared to hospital ERs, and their billing practices can also vary. Hospital ER billing is generally integrated with the hospital billing system.
Common Issues With Outsourcing Freestanding ER Billing
Here are some common issues with outsourcing free standing ER billing:
Privacy Concerns: Sensitive patient information must be kept confidential according to HIPAA regulations. Healthcare providers must partner with outsourcing billing services with robust security measures.
Hidden Fees: Some outsourcing billing partners may impose hidden fees once you enter a contract. Ensure that you research thoroughly and partner with a billing service that helps you minimize operational costs.
Slow Response Time: Slow response time from your outsourcing billing partner can have severe financial implications. Timely billing is critical for maintaining cash flow.
Benefits of Outsourcing Freestanding Emergency Room Billing
While there are certain drawbacks of outsourcing freestanding emergency room billing, the advantages of doing so outweigh the issues.
Let’s dive into the benefits of outsourcing ER billing for healthcare organizations.
Reduced Administrative Burden
Outsourcing is a great way for healthcare providers to offload some billing responsibilities, including claim submission, payment posting, and following up on claim status.
All of the organization’s resources can be focused on more practical objectives by outsourcing freestanding emergency billing, including investing time and effort in more patient-focused activities.
Fewer Billing and Coding Errors
Billing and coding errors can be a major concern for any healthcare organization, causing the internal staff and providers to divide their attention between providing high-quality patient care and addressing billing issues.
Outsourcing medical billing for your freestanding emergency department to qualified medical billers will ensure billing is performed in compliance with current industry laws and with the help of technological advancement.
This would improve the overall accuracy of billing processes and reduce claim denials.
Improved Cash Flow
Improved cash flow is one of the biggest benefits of outsourcing freestanding ER billing. For one, it can help you avoid a significant backlog created by not developing and submitting medical claims on time.
When the claims are filed and developed on time, it will improve cash flow. Consistent cash flow results in improved income streams for the facility.
Delivering high-quality patient care is the primary goal of every healthcare facility. By outsourcing your freestanding ER billing practices, providers can give patients their undivided attention, improving patient satisfaction.
Mitigating Compliance Risks
Healthcare facilities need to stay updated on coding requirements to reduce coding errors. Errors in coding can not only be costly but also result in severe legal penalties.
However, if you outsource billing and coding of your freestanding ER department, coding and billing experts well-versed in coding and other healthcare regulations will perform accurate coding, helping you avoid legal repercussions and mitigating compliance risks.
What is a freestanding ER room?
Freestanding ER departments provide patients with emergency care similar to hospital ERs, but they are not located inside or attached to a hospital. Instead, they are located close to communities to make ER services accessible to patients. Freestanding ER departments are open throughout the day, unlike urgent care centers.
Are stand-alone ERs more expensive?
While the cost of care depends on the type of procedures and services rendered to a patient, freestanding or stand-alone ERs can be more expensive than hospital ERs.