Quickly learn about third party billing for mental health services in our guide teaching you about the pros and cons of third party billing, what to look out for, software vs service, large vs small billing services, medical billing vs mental mental health exclusive billing, and more.
Third party billing services are everywhere. To better identify what you need, consider some of the following questions:
- Do I care more about price or convenience?
- Do I need more time or more money?
- Do I find billing easy or impossible?
Answering these questions now will help you understand what third party billing service for mental health will best fit your needs.
Third Party Billing for Mental Health Services: What To Look For
Here is a short list of some of the mental health billing service provided from third party billing companies:
- Eligibility and benefits verification
- Claims submission
- Claims processing
- Appeals and rejections
- EOB accounting
- EHR software
- Provider Portal
- Appointment Reminders
- Clinical Notes
- Client Support
- Admin Support
- and more
Not all third party billing services provide all of these services.
If you choose a software only solution, don’t expect admin support and a receptionist. But if you pick a premium mental health billing service, expect EOB accounting and credentialing and appointment reminders, for example, our billing service.
There are three possible billing scenarios:
- EHR Software only billing
- Ongoing billing service with a support team
- EHR Software AND ongoing billing service with a support team
Many companies fall in category one or two; it is rare for a third party mental health billing service to provide free EHR software and a full support team of billers to do billing for providers.
Pros and Cons of Third Party Billing for Mental Health Services
There are obvious and less obvious pros and cons to hiring or outsourcing your mental health billing.
- Hire an expert
- Get paid more per session
- Less / no denials / reduce lost income
- Get paid faster
- Save time
- Reduce stress
- Not free
- Requires trusting your billing service
- Can be hard to check (or not, depending on the service)
- Transition requirements involving learning new systems
For providers within hospitals, it makes sense to use the billing staff on hand to work with a third party billing service. For private practice therapists, though, hiring a third party billing service can be a requirement if your practice is full.
Consider hiring a third party billing service that is transparent and quick to always get back to you when you reach out via call, text, or email (that’s us).
Third Party Billing Services vs Mental Health EHR Software
EHR software is inherently provider-only. If you elect to use a EHR software for your own billing, expect to do eligibility and benefits verification, all claims follow up, and EOB accounting yourself.
Using EHR software is the most affordable way to do your billing. It also is the least convenient because you have to learn how to do all of the billing yourself instead of relying on an expert to do it for you.
You’ll do all your data submission and claims follow up and collections as well.
EHR software is useful for the smallest practices without many ongoing clients. Otherwise, we recommend hiring a support staff alongside an EHR software so that you don’t have to do any of the heavy lifting of billing.
How to Find a Third Party Billing Service
Locally, ask collegaues and attend local events.
Try Craigslist in your local area or nearest city to hire a mom-and-pop billing service.
You can also type in billing service into Google.
And of course you can reach out to us at TheraThink to learn more how we help 60+ providers nationwide with our free EHR and billing team. We provide a ton of amazing services, please do reach out to learn more.
Mom and Pop Billing Service vs Established Companies
Many people prefer to hire local for their first third party billing service because they believe proximity influences the success of their claims. This, as it turns out, is a recipe for disaster.
Mom and pop billing services without a proper system of operations, billing procedures, and necessary staff, simply cannot handle the volume of work that is required at scale to make a billing service profitable enough to continue running.
Mom and pop billing services have to charge more to stay in business and devote less time per unit of work necessary because they are not as organized.
It’s much better to have a larger staff of workers who can split the work of more providers more effectively, via batching, than it is to have one biller do your billing.
We strongly recommend against mom and pop billing services as more often than not, new providers work with us at TheraThink because they are dissatisfied with their local biller.
Local Billing Services vs National Billing Services vs Third Part Billing Services Abroad
The proximity of your billing team, whatever their size, has no influence over the success of their billing.
What is most important is their billing outcomes, regardless of what city or state they occupy.
Secondly, you need to be able to communicate effortlessly, be understood and responded to quickly, and know your billing is being address immediately.
Third, if you want to be protected by HIPAA it is important to work with billing services within the United States.
We recommend working with billing services that have three or more staff but are based in the United States. This ensures your data is secure, you will be understood, and their operations are efficient enough to provide you the outcomes you want.
Work with a billing service with a long track record of success as well.
Large National Brand vs Small Billing Services
This is a matter of getting lost in the fray or not. Some national third party billing companies are renowned.
Most often you will hire a lower price, larger brand, and they will suffer the same problem that other companies abroad will as well: they won’t communicate quickly and lose track of you.
We recommend picking a billing service with 3 to 10 employees.
General Medical Billing vs Mental Health Exclusive Billing Services
Some third party billing services specialize in and only in mental health billing, whereas other companies provide billing services for any and all medical professions.
This is a final dimension of analysis to consider. You’ll pay more to work with a third party billing service for mental health but you’ll know that they only provide services to your audience.
Likewise, if, like TheraThink, they provide you a free EHR software, it may be built for any profession, creating unnecessary confusion for you. Our EHR software is free and built only for mental health providers, so the complexity is limited and it’s fast to use.
Consider whether you want a company doesn’t specialize in your industry to do your billing. Odds are high the added expertise will improve billing outcomes, getting you paid more per session.