As the world moves from analog to digital, many industries have adopted innovative approaches to streamline their operations and enhance their bottom line . The veterinary industry is not an exception as practices continue to find ways to streamline lengthy and time-consuming processes such as billing.
Billing is essential to running a veterinary practice because, if done correctly, it can fuel the practice’s growth and profitability. However, its bulk doesn’t have to be carried solely by the practice leader as this leads to burnout that can easily be avoided by delegating billing-related tasks to other team members, such as a virtual assistant.
While virtual assistants aren’t entirely a new concept, the increasing demand for pet services saw the development of VAs in veterinary niches, including virtual veterinary billing assistants.
What is a Virtual Veterinary Billing Assistant?
A virtual veterinary billing assistant is a person who provides administrative support to veterinary practices without physically being in the practice’s office. On a remote basis, their primary role is to manage billing and invoicing tasks, such as generating invoices, processing payments, and submitting insurance claims. Virtual veterinary billing assistants can also perform other tasks when necessary, including making and taking phone calls, scheduling pet visit appointments, and managing pet medical records.
In most cases, virtual veterinary billing assistants augment in-person billing professionals’ work. However, they can work independently as a one-person department, depending on the size and needs of the veterinary practice.
Advantages of Hiring a Virtual Veterinary Billing Assistant
Virtual veterinary billing assistants come with many advantages that make them worth the consideration of veterinarians and practice leaders. However, the most compelling reason is their overall cost. On average, virtual veterinary billing assistants cost significantly less than an in-person biller, helping practices save up to 70% on compensation. Apart from that, employment benefits are more of a welcome option than a legal mandate for virtual veterinary billing assistants – the responsibility of providing benefits is on the VA company they work with, not the practice.
Virtual veterinary billing assistants are also inherently self-sufficient because they are used to working remotely. Their independence means they can work with little supervision, giving practice leaders more time for critical tasks such as overseeing the entire practice.
Moreover, the independence of virtual veterinary billing assistants also means that they secure their work-related assets, such as a reliable computer, fast internet connection, and a productivity-inducing workspace. This nature is yet another way for practice leaders to cut down on infrastructure-related costs.
Because the VA industry is very competitive, virtual veterinary billing assistants constantly find ways to make themselves invaluable to the practice they work for. One of the common ways they do this is by adapting to new technology and software and being fast learners, allowing them to be more efficient, productive, and forward-thinkers in their roles.
This effort increases the productivity and efficiency of the practice and allows its leaders to focus on maximizing the capabilities of their virtual veterinary billing assistants instead of training them.
How to Find a Virtual Veterinary Billing Assistant
Practice leaders have a few options where and how they can find a suitable virtual veterinary billing assistant:
A good way to find a qualified person for a virtual veterinary billing assistant job is to ask colleagues and connections within the industry. These key people may be able to recommend someone that they previously worked with and can vouch for.
Online job platforms
Employers commonly use websites like LinkedIn, UpWork, and Fiverr to find candidates who fit their needs. Moreover, practice leaders can post their open positions where applicants can send in their resumes.
These approaches can help practices find a good candidate. However, they may only result in a “good” hire and not necessarily a “great” one, as practice leaders must invest a significant amount of time and effort into recruitment. These efforts include receiving and reviewing numerous applications, filtering out unqualified applicants, meeting potential hires, conducting background checks, and generating legally binding contracts.
For a great alternative, veterinary practice leaders can work with Virtual Medical Assistant (VMA) companies that provide recruitment services. Not only do these companies have access to a talented pool of virtual professionals, but they also have dedicated teams to undertake most of the usual recruitment efforts.
Apart from recruitment, VA companies also render services that streamline other processes. More often than not, these companies have industry managers whose primary responsibility is to oversee the performance of virtual veterinary billing assistants and ensure they serve their practice in the best way possible. In addition, VA companies also have a dedicated payroll team that performs the tedious and time-consuming task of processing the payment for virtual billers on behalf of the practice.
By employing the services of VA companies, veterinary practices can find the best-suited person for the job and maximize their capabilities without spending a lot of time, money, and effort.
How to Onboard a Virtual Veterinary Billing Assistant
Because the virtual workspace is new to veterinary practices, incorporating a virtual veterinary billing assistant can be a significant change. Nevertheless, understanding the best way to onboard remote talents can alleviate many associated challenges.
To foster a good working relationship between a virtual veterinary billing assistant and the practice’s existing staff members, practice leaders must spearhead an introduction to the veterinary practice, including its mission and vision statements, short and long-term goals, and any distinguishing features that give the practice a competitive edge. Furthermore, practice leaders should properly communicate the responsibility, work hours, internal protocols, and expectations to which the virtual veterinary billing assistant is subject.
Confusion can inconvenience team members in the absence of appropriate adjustments that accommodate the virtual workspace.
Appropriate adjustments are necessary to make the most out of the virtual workspace, and effective communication can help put virtual and in-person staff on the same page despite not being in the same location . To this end, practice leaders should encourage over-communication and schedule regular check-ins to discuss issues proactively and prevent them from cascading further.
Even further, working with a VA company will help make the onboarding process even more streamlined because, most of the time, companies like My Mountain Mover offer comprehensive training programs that further enhance the skills of virtual professionals. In turn, practice leaders get to focus on being more productive with their new virtual veterinary billing assistant instead of adjusting to them.
To learn more about My Mountain Mover’s services and competitive advantages, schedule a 10-minute intro call today!