Efficient billing is critical to the success of a medical business, which makes hiring the right medical billing company a top priority. A Google search for “top medical billing companies” yields nearly 50,000 results—so how do you hire the right billing or medical revenue service collection agency?
Having been in the business for over a decade, we have some thoughts to share that we think will be useful. Whether you want help with your entire revenue cycle, billing only, or you just want to hire a medical debt collection agency to salvage your aging A/R accounts, these tips should help you out.
What Are Top Medical Billing Companies Anyway?
What makes the best medical billing company for you will depend on your needs. Google will prioritize the “top” medical billing companies as those that pay the most for that phrase in the ads, which clearly has no particular benefit to you. Search engines also provide results based on statistics like how much content is on the website and how recently and regularly it was posted—again, not your priorities.
When you are searching for a medical billing or debt collection agency, the internet is certainly a useful tool for finding businesses. Moreover, you can learn a lot from a company’s website, so that is a great place to start. But there is a lot more information you need.
Get Clear on What You Want
If you aren’t familiar with medical billing services, it is likely that you have no idea what all they can do for you. But before you begin having discussions, it is a good idea to consider your needs. In fact, our first tip is to get clear on what you want.
Here are several questions to ask yourself:
- Are you satisfied with the amount of reimbursement you receive or do you want more? (We assume you want more!) One of the top benefits of an efficient billing system is that we get more claims paid. So, you get more money for the same amount of work.
- Do you want old A/R accounts managed? Most medical billing companies don’t want to take on old accounts because it’s more work. However, we have been successful at collecting on accounts up to a year old. That’s money you’ve earned, but would have otherwise lost.
- Do you need help with credentialing? The process of getting approved to be in network or contracted with the various insurers is time consuming and can be aggravating. Is that something you want someone else to take care of for you?
- How involved in your financial status do you want to be? Some companies only offer monthly reports, which makes some practitioners uncomfortable about not knowing what’s going on with their revenue cycle. Make sure any billing company you hire has a system for reporting all the metrics you want to monitor in a schedule that works for you.
Questions to Ask a Medical Billing Company
There are some things that should be obvious for any billing agency or medical debt collection company to do. In addition, asking about them can give you a better sense of how they operate. These include:
- How secure is your data management?
- Are you fully HIPAA compliant?
- Will you work with my software or do I have to buy yours?
There are also some more nuanced questions you should ask to make sure that the company you are talking with will be able to provide everything you need.
- How do you manage denied or rejected claims? (Not just “do you,” but get them to explain their process and commitment level.) Many millions of dollars are lost every year due to unprocessed denials and rejections. Make sure they have a system for tracking claims that ensures all claims are followed up on through payment.
- How long have you been in business? A medical billing company should be able to serve you for years once you have given them your business. An inexperienced company is not likely to be able to properly handle your claims. Hence, unsuccessful dealing with insurers and government payers.
- What size is your billing staff? It’s a nice idea to do business locally, but a small company with only one or two actual medical billers puts you at risk. If one person becomes ill or quits, there is no one to process your claims. Resulting in your revenue flow slowed down, lost revenue due to expired claims and no one being available to follow up on rejected or denied
- What kind of training do your billers receive? Medical billing and coding is a complicated process and requires every detail to be correct or claims don’t get paid. Ongoing training is needed because the rules and regulations change so often.
- What kinds of reports will you give me and how often? The answer to this question should satisfy your particular interest level. If you want weekly updates, that’s not too much to ask. Up-to-date financial metrics will affect many business decisions and you shouldn’t have to wait to get the information you need.
- What kind of support do you provide and who can I talk to when I have a question or problem? This is a key question and if the answer is you can fill out a ticket 24/7, that is not likely to lead to a satisfactory business relationship. Make sure you can reach a live person who can answer the questions about your specific account, not just someone who will read general information from a script.
There are more questions you could ask, and maybe this list has inspired some ideas of your own. However, hopefully this will help you feel prepared to talk to medical billing companies and find one that meets your needs.
Medcare MSO is an experienced full-service medical billing, A/R management and revenue cycle management company. Our commitment is to provide customized services and exceptional customer support to each of our clients. We have developed a highly efficient system for managing claims. Give us a call at 800-640-6409 or click to get a demo today. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have!