But that’s not all. Medical billers also see chances for growth in:
- Service expansion
- An upcoming, improved economy
- More stability and clarity regarding compliance and regulations
- New ways for company differentiation
For example, a billing company looking to attract more customers and improve revenue cycle management may look into cloud-based medical billing, a new complimentary service type, like medical practice marketing, or upgrade to a more compliant system for its billing process. It could also provide a special discount or charge for new clinics with lower billing volumes or invest more in managing its own online reputation.
The fact is, there are many ways a billing company can grow — you just need to find your organization’s sweet spot.
Overarching healthcare trends
The billing industry is also heavily influenced by the larger healthcare landscape, which has transformed drastically over the last decade.
Just over 45% of medical billing company respondents identify high-deductible insurance plans as a significant opportunity for growth. With these plans, patients cover more of the costs upfront, paying either the entire fee or a copay before meeting their deductible. Thus, this model may simplify the billing structure and improve cash flow.
In addition, medical billers are noticing an increase in patient-centered medical homes, new accountable healthcare organizations, the popularity of bundled payment programs, and merit-based incentive payment systems.
The vast majority of respondents felt that all of these trends would result in at least modest growth over the next 3 years.
Current and upcoming market challenges
Yes, many medical billers are optimistic. But that doesn’t mean there’s no risk in the industry. A shrinking customer base, an uncertain economy, and increasing competition are all challenges that companies face today.
Medical billing consolidation
The most prominent risk today in the medical billing market is mergers and acquisitions. Over 40% of companies identify the purchase of practices and clinics by larger entities as a significant threat.