In the first six months of 2015, e-billing by private healthcare providers increased by 28%, compared with January to June 2014 and by 50% on the same period in 2013. The latest insight into billing behaviour was released by Healthcode, the official clearing company for medical bills to private medical insurers (PMIs) which processes around £3bn worth of medical invoices annually.
The surge in billing volumes was particularly marked among independent practitioners which grew by 81% in January-June 2015 compared with the first six months of 2014. Invoices from independent practitioners represented nearly 40% of the total. This reflects the growing adoption of e-billing by consultants: the number of users in this group have grown by 64% in the last year.
e-billing in the private healthcare sector saw another landmark in March 2015 when over 425,000 bills were processed and cleared by Healthcode, the first time that monthly total had exceeded the 400,000 mark.
Healthcode’s analysis reveals patterns in billing volumes across the sector. June saw the most activity with more than 430,000 bills, up 11% on May. April was the quietest month and bills were down by 10% month-on-month, however this coincided with the Easter holiday and reflects a similar trend in 2014 and 2013.
Reflecting on the latest billing statistics, Healthcode’s Managing Director, Peter Connor, said: “The upwards trend shows private practitioners are fast recognising the business benefits of billing electronically, especially for their cashflow. Because e-bills are validated on submission, they are less likely to be queried and can be settled faster. Users receive instant confirmation that a bill has been received by the insurer or if there is a problem they need to correct.
“And in the current climate of concern about data protection and cyber security, it’s also reassuring to know that e-billing is the only secure way to send bills to an insurer because Healthcode systems are encrypted to online banking standards.”
Pete Crutchley of medical billing firm, MHM commented: “When I talk to consultants about their private practice, I advise them to think of it as a business. In business you don’t succeed without healthy cashflow, no matter how hard you work, so submitting bills and getting paid must be a priority. By adopting e-billing, my clients have been able to invoice and get paid more quickly and reap the financial rewards of their hard work and clinical expertise.”
For more information about how to bill electronically, register on the Healthcode website or contact Healthcode for more information on 01784 263 150.