A new report analyses the state of outsourced medical billing and uncovers areas of opportunity.
Nearly two-thirds (65%) of medical billing companies have a positive outlook on the outsourced billing industry, according to a report by digital health operating system company Tebra.
In its 2023 State of the U.S. Medical Billing Industry Report, Tebra surveyed 277 medical billing companies serving independent practices from September 2022 to October 2022 to gauge billing outlooks and trends.
In addition to most respondents saying they have a positive outlook, compared to 9% with a negative outlook, almost half of companies (43%) see outsourcing as a significant opportunity, while 42% see significant opportunities to expand services.
"Even amidst the recent tumult of Covid-19, physician burnout, and consolidation in the medical industry, medical billing companies are still a trusted choice for front-office support to independent practices, and make it easier for physicians to focus on delivering better care to patients," Kevin Marasco, chief marketing officer at Tebra, said in a statement.
"Our new 2023 U.S. Medical Billing Industry report highlights that medical billing companies will continue to thrive in this period of economic uncertainty."
Outsourcing medical billing is a strategy many providers have identified as a way to help cut costs and improve efficiency. A report by Kaufman Hall from October 2022 found that outsourcing revenue cycle functions was the most common area of outsourcing solutions for hospital and health system leaders, pursued by 27% of surveyed respondents.
Automation is part of the appeal for providers outsourcing billing, but many billing companies are still manually handling administrative tasks. According to Tebra's report, only 29% of billing companies use automation, robotic process automation (RPA), HL7 integrations, and outsourcing to manage workflows, leaving plenty of room for improvement to streamline processes.
The companies that have embraced automation have experienced growth, the report states, with more than half (52%) of "high-growth" companies using RPA and 39% using patient collections automation.
Utilizing technology to improve services will be essential in an industry that 46% of companies say has become either more competitive or presents more challenges to finding new customers over the past three years.
The medical billing outsourcing market is expected to keep growing, however, with a study published by Future Market Insights last summer anticipating a compound annual growth rate of 16% from 2022-2032 and a valuation of $55.6 billion by the end of 2032.
Jay Asser is an associate editor for HealthLeaders.
Tebra's State of the U.S. Medical Billing Industry Report surveyed 277 medical billing companies to examine the outsourced billing landscape.
Sixty five percent of respondents say they have a positive outlook on the industry, while 9% have a negative outlook.
Automation is key for billing companies to grow and attract providers, who want to outsource billing to save on costs and improve efficiency.