Laura Lang, OD, has been a co-owner with her husband Ryan Lang, OD, of Lang Family Eye Care in New Berlin, Wisconsin, for the past six years. From day one of opening her practice doors she has outsourced the claim filing and billing to a third-party service.
Dr. Lang says that she realized this was the right choice for the business when she was still at Illinois College of Optometry and had just a brief time to learn about the business side of optometry.
“When it comes to filing medical claims, there is so much to learn in order to get correct and maximum reimbursement. As an OD, business owner and mother of three, I knew I didn’t have the time to learn everything there is to know about claim filing, so I decided to leave that up to the experts,” she says.
Medical billing is complex
The decision to outsource made the entry into medical services easier because she knew from the start that she had help at this level. “Outsourcing our billing allowed us to delve comfortably into medical optometry instead of shying away from it and accepting only vision care plans,” she says. That, in turn, allowed her business to grow at a faster rate. With so much competition in retail with online eye exams, online eyeglasses and online contact lenses, Dr. Lang’s practice is able to set itself apart in a unique way. “I’m proud to say that we have become quite the urgent care resource for ocular emergencies in our area and see many of these types of patients every day,” she says.
Focus on her strengths
“As a business owner and OD, I wear many hats, and the list of responsibilities is long,” she says. She really did not want to add “claim filing expert” to the list. It would have taken time at the start and on a continual basis. She also realized that hiring an employee dedicated to billing in a practice is a unique skill. That expertise can be hard to find, and she was hesitant to create a model where her business and revenue becomes very reliant on an individual employee who could end up leaving or isn’t working up to par.
“We knew outsourcing with a billing company was the most reliable and profitable way for us to maximize insurance reimbursements. During my clinical rounds, I was able to witness other practices utilizing third-party billing services in their practice, and I noticed the positive impact it was making,” she says. Lower accounts receivable
From a cash flow perspective, the main goal for any practice is to maintain a low accounts receivable number. When Dr. Lang first opened her practice, she started with a billing company she no longer uses. “We were a pretty small account for the big business and weren’t a priority for it, so our AR wasn’t as low as we expected it to be when outsourcing our billing services,” she says.
Then she made the switch to VisionWeb, and it “was like night and day,” she says. The switch resulted in lowered accounts receivable immediately. Indeed, the company says that its successful submission time is two times faster than the national claims rate. Plus, she has a dedicated account manager who is always attentive and ready to answer questions. The account manager helps with logistics such as training on pulling benefits and coding diagnosis codes to get the maximum reimbursement.
In addition to these benefits, not having to spend time on the phone with insurance companies is a huge time-saver for Dr. Lang and her staff. “VisionWeb gives me peace of mind that my claims are being paid and gives me the freedom to focus on patient care and growing my business,” she says.