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Inbox Health National Survey of medical billers reveals key challenges and investments resulting from the coronavirus pandemic

Findings show reduced patient collections at independent practices are posing a threat to medical billers, but layoffs are not likely for most as key investments are being made to improve patient engagement.

New Haven, CT, May 11, 2020:  Medical billers that support independent medical practices have a front-row seat to the industry’s unprecedented financial struggle due to the coronavirus pandemic. In a new survey by Inbox Health, medical billers revealed that the lower revenues from the elimination of elective procedures and routine care has been amplified beyond the doctor’s office to pose a serious threat to industries that support them. 

Inbox Health conducted a national survey of medical billers, with responses from billers that together support approximately 1200 independent medical practices in the US. The survey found that the majority of respondents found COVID-19 to be a threat to their business. 53% of independent medical billers reported that COVID-19 has posed a serious threat to their business, while 30% saw it as a minor threat. 8% view the pandemic as no threat at all, and 9% not sure of its impact at the time of the survey.

This data aligns with the sentiment of independent medical practices who have been disportionately and most directly affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Larger medical billers are not immune from the downstream effects of COVID-19, as billers that represent more than 100 practices anticipate a reduction in patient collections between 10-25%.

Inbox Health surveyed medical billers across the United States, with responses from medical billers in each region including the Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest and West. Survey respondents provide support across 22 different medical specialties representing broad coverage of the total medical community. 

Respondents were taking, or planning to take, a variety of steps to prepare for the effects of the pandemic, with the vast majority (85%) increasing support for telehealth and 50% reducing overhead costs. A large number (37%) were automating new processes and workflows, and almost as many were creating new patient payment plans (33%) and implementing new remote payment options (28%). Only 16% of respondents planned to suspend payment requirements for the duration of the crisis.

“As practices are forced to cut costs to survive, they are increasingly examining which costs can be eliminated or reduced,” said Amy Koon, CEO of Keystone Medical Management. “As a billing company, we strive to remain a critical partner by ensuring expertise in implementing telehealth, creative and sustainable payment options for patients, and providing reliable, yet flexible, communication and workflows to support the practice through a rapidly shifting landscape of revenue challenges.”

“Medical billers are resilient.” said Inbox Health CEO Blake Walker. “The current pandemic is disportanetly affecting independent practices and the medical billers that support them. This survey helps us understand the degree of the threat, the steps billers are taking to maintain operations in the face of ongoing business constraints presented by COVID-19, and how we can help.”

For more information about the study, please contact marketing@inboxhealth.com

About Inbox Health

Inbox Health is transforming the Medical Billing world one patient at a time with personalized and intelligent interactions that deliver a clear and convenient billing experience for every patient. Founded in 2014, Inbox Health is quickly becoming the industry standard for medical billers and practices that want to increase collections and shorten revenue cycles while reducing administrative costs. Inbox Health is a venture backed software company supporting billers across the United States. The Inbox Health platform automates the patient communication process using bi-directional correspondence, proprietary algorithms, machine learning and artificial intelligence so every patient understands their medical bills and has access to different payment mechanisms, and medical billers and providers achieve optimal patient receivables. Learn more at Inboxhealth.com

Inbox Health is a registered trademark of Inbox Health, Inc.

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