During the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic, many medical billing companies moved to a work from home model in a hurry. The rush home was accompanied by resources and advice on how to make the temporary situation work for your company. Yet, here we are nearly 6 months later and many billing companies are debating whether they ever want to go back to the office. Why pay for the overhead if employees are happy and productive at home?
If you are looking to move to a fully remote medical billing company, there are several aspects to take into account that you may not have considered in the short term rush to get home. How are you going to communicate as a team? How are you going to track productivity while working remotely? And how are you going to stay HIPAA compliant? We will share what is working for us, and others we know in the industry.
Slack – Let’s admit it, we are all sick of emails. They are tiresome to organize, difficult to search through, and have simply gotten out of hand. If you are looking to go remote for the long term, use some kind of messaging system other than email, like slack, or teams. We personally use slack, and it allows us to share things quickly and have private threads when necessary. This will allow your staff to have the quick conversations they used to have face to face without filling up inboxes with more emails that will go unread.
Video Conferencing – Now that we can’t meet in person we need a new way to see each other’s faces. We make use of both Zoom and GoToMeeting, although there are many other options as well. Even though we aren’t in the office every day, we still want that personal connection of seeing each other’s faces, as well as our clients, at least virtually. This has become extremely important especially as we onboard new clients that we have never gotten to meet in person.
Medical Billing Productivity
ActivTrak – This software, once installed on your employees’ computers, will let you know what your team members are up to at any given time. It will show you productivity, and allow you to see how efficient your team really is. Some employees will balk at this idea, but if they are working on a company-issued computer it is only fair to ask to see where they are spending their time. This will also help with compliance if an issue ever arises.
Call Recording – We have always used a call recording software for all of our insurance company calls. This software has become increasingly important in recent months, as we can’t walk over and help someone on a call. If you have ever questioned whether or not someone actually called the insurance company, or what the insurance rep truly said, then this software is for you. There are a ton of options in this space including TalkDesk, RingCentral, PhoneBurner etc. This will help you monitor your team and give them a back up to rely on if any issues arise.
eBridge – In order to stay compliant, you will need to find a way to store your documents that doesn’t rely on paper. A great, HIPAA compliant option is eBridge, a platform we often use to access files for our clients. There are other options such as Dropbox, and google drive, but make sure that the platform is specifically HIPAA compliant, or has been de-identified before using one of these more mainstream options.
Secure Email – This is one of the most important parts of any medical billing company’s compliance plan, but when remote it becomes even more crucial. Find a secure email vendor that will also allow you to receive faxes to your email. This will allow some of your more traditional clients to continue to send you information without requiring your staff to print.
Once you have these pieces in place you are well on your way to becoming a successful remote team. While these are the primary drivers of our success as a medical billing team, we are also big fans of Trainual, for documentation of all of our processes, Canva for all things creative, and Evernote to work on projects together. Experiment with your team and get their feedback, discover the best combination for your medical billing company.