Unlike some companies claiming they are the best for all practices, Physician Billers considers each medical practice an unique factor in which both parties must be a good match for each other to create a successful working relationship. The relationship is a key to successful outcomes in all aspects of billing services including operational procedures, customer support and infrastructure support. There are many things to consider and we suggest making sure that the company you choose matches your practice's needs in the following areas:
1 – Ability to maximize and stabilize revenues
All billing services naturally say they will maximize your revenues, but how confident are you that the companies you are considering can actually do it? Take into consideration every aspect of the billing process as well as the personnel who perform the work. Outsourcing your billing service can be beneficial in stabilizing and maintaining your revenue cycle on track because you will not experience stress of trying to maintain the cycle after your specialist leaves unexpectedly. Check into the company's reliability of processing your billings without a delay.
2 – Follow-up Protocols
This may seem similar to the above, but it is so important (in our opinion) that it deserves its own category. How do they perform insurance and patient follow-up functions, and how in-line are these processes with your ideal expectations? You will want your billing service company to be as dedicated to the follow-up protocols as you would expect of your own staff.
3 – Stability, Size and Level of Experience
Look at the entire industry and everything in between. Are you dealing with a boiler-room shop and the associated risks? Are you better suited by a large corporation? Is the company subject to the expectations of investors? Are they interested in profits more than serving you? Are they going to be around to serve you in the long term?
It is important to note not only the experience of the company, but also the experience levels of the actual specialists, supervisors, and managers who will work on your account.
Did you know some billing service companies perform billing functions overseas? Are you comfortable that your future earnings are handled by overseas billers? Physician Billers has not and will never employ overseas billers primarily because it adversely affect timely and easily-understood customer support and patient relations.
No answer is right or wrong, but just make certain that what the company offers matches your expectations and needs.
4 – Systems Support
We suggest you choose a company that can provide a practice management system that comfortably suits your practice needs such as appointment scheduling, data transfer, patient tracking, and reporting. The system should be readily accessible and user-friendly. You also want to make sure that you have an Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system. The good system plus happy staff equals steady revenue is the formula you should keep in mind.
5 – Internal Structure
The internal structure of the organization should be conducive to both maximizing reimbursement and to customer service. Determine if they use billing "assembly lines", or if they have a one-on-one or small team approach. Make sure the company structure makes sense to you and meets your expectations and needs.
6 – Billing Service Internal Procedures
You can often tell a lot about a billing company by their internal procedures and protocols. Believe it or not, many don't have any. Ask what type of quality control initiatives they have in place. See if these initiatives are formalized.
Ask yourself if your practice is going to have to completely change the way you function just to accommodate your billing service, or if they are willing to work with the way you operate. A billing company should have options which integrate seamlessly with your practice's processes and not require significant change or realignment. Remember the formula mentioned above.
7 – Customer Service and Patient Relations
Of course, all the companies claim they have the best customer and patient relations services. Ask about customer service and patient relations policies. Ask for and speak to references. Most importantly, make sure you can access the specialists who actually perform work on your behalf. Also, make sure that data regarding billing is available to you at all times. This level of transparency ensures that you can audit your billing service and maintain complete control over your practice.
Billing service companies treat patient billing and calls in different ways. Check into the procedures and tactics used to collect payments from your valued patients. They should not only be effective, but should also reflect the manner in which you want your patients treated.
8 – HIPAA and OIG Compliancy
Make sure that your billing service has a formal and correct HIPAA and OIG compliance policy. This is essential in ensuring security for both you and your patients so never overlook this important factor.
9 – Cost
What is the overall cost? Review details closely. What is included and what is buried in the fine print? Are things like software, training and postage included? Are there startup fees or any hidden costs? Do fees seem exorbitant or perhaps even too good to be true? Sometimes you get what you pay for (good or bad). Make sure to compare apples to apples. What good is it if you pay a billing service 2% less, but collect 10% less revenue?
10 – Ask the hard questions
Billing service companies should feel comfortable answering any question you may have so please feel comfortable asking the hard questions! Physician Billers believe in long term, mutually beneficial relationships with our medical practice clients. And that starts by making sure we are the right match for the practice. Please do not hesitate to contact us today to see how our answers stack up. Ask the hard questions. Narrow the field.
Physician Billers, Inc. is affiliated with American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), a health information management professional association. Physician Billers employs coding specialists certified (CCS-P) by AHIMA.
Physician Billers is a professional medical billing company that offers comprehensive medical billing services for doctors and practitioners nationwide. Physician Billers is committed to conducting business in a effective and professional manner by helping our medical clients eliminate revenue difficulties associated with insurance claims. Check the services we provide.
Physician Billers provides customer-care oriented, full-service billing and Accounts Receivable Management services to medical practices nationwide. Our specialized services are focused on one goal - maximizing medical provider reimbursement.
Physician Billers incorporates the latest technologies in providing services which are integral and of tangible value to medical providers. Our clients range in size from solo-practitioners to larger clinic-based group practices. Click to see The Difference.