Hiring a company to handle all of the payments and patient transactions at your medical practice is a big decision. You need to make sure that whatever medical billing service you choose offers all the features that you need. And the best way to do that is to ask questions.
How Will The New Billing System Affect My Existing Payment Processes?
Ideally, a medical billing company should be able to adapt its services around your needs. You shouldn’t have to sweep away your old system entirely and replace it wholesale with a new and unfamiliar one. There should be some flexibility in the matter. After all, you don’t want to have to retrain admin staff from scratch.
On the other hand, you don’t want to be inflexible to the point where you can’t benefit from streamlined payment services. Remember, the whole point of a medical billing service is to make your admin easier.
Is The Medical Billing Service HIPAA Compliant?
Protecting patient data is a top priority for medical clinics and practices. You must, therefore, find out more about the degree to which your medical billing service is compliant.
Remember, no medical practice or institution is 100 percent HIPAA compliant. Thanks to the wording of the regulations, there are only degrees of compliance.
Ideally, you want a medical billing company that has stringent software and encryption practices that minimize the risk of patient data loss. You may also want to probe other aspects of the medical billing service. These might include their telephone and fax security, document destruction protocols, and procedure for wiping computer memory banks.
Can I Meet The Person Working On My Account?
When it comes to hiring a medical billing company, you’re almost always relying on a person at the other end of the phone to keep the service running smoothly. Software is part of the story, but it can only do so much. It has its limitations. Having a human in the loop is vital.
You may, therefore, want to ask whether you can speak with the person who will handle your account. Doing this allows you to find out whether they have the requisite skills to get the job done. Remember, relationships with medical billing companies tend to be long-term, so you need to know if you get on with the person handling your case.
How Much Will I Have To Pay?
Medical billing companies don’t offer their services for free. There’s a fee for handling payments safely and securely. Because of this, you want to know how much a service might set you back.
Low fees aren’t necessarily a good thing. Charging very little could mean that a company offers efficient and automated services. But it could also imply missing features and poor security compliance.
It’s worth checking what functions the company performs and which they leave up to you. Ideally, you want a medical billing service to follow-up on low-ticket claims, send out statements to patients promptly, and collect all bills on accounts receivable within a reasonable time frame. Also, the medical billing service should be proactive when it comes to pursuing incomplete information distributed by the provider.
Are You Transparent About Your Performance?
Another reason for hiring a medical billing service is to improve your collection rates and overall financial performance. It is essential, therefore, that the billing service updates you with regular statements. These documents prove that they are working in your interest to add profitability to your practice.
Asking for a guarantee of transparency upfront can be helpful. The medical billing service should provide regular updates on the state of your business and the effect that their operations are having on your bottom line. You should receive clear statements showing how new billing features are helping you collect payments faster and improve customer services.
Don’t be afraid to go into detail here. Ask the medical billing service how many reports you can expect to receive in a given year. Will they issue information about your account every quarter, every month, or every week? Also, find out how you can access this information. Some medical billing outfits send statements in the post, while others provide you with an online accounts summary.
Which Associations Are You Affiliated With?
Quality medical billing companies should have a host of national, state, and local affiliations to prove their competence. Providers that have relationships with professional and regulatory bodies are more likely to stay up to date with regulatory changes.