1. What type of experience do you have in the medical billing field?
In other words, does the medical billing company you are looking at have the right experience for your specialty? Can they identify and understand the coding nuances associated with your type of practice? It is important to have a follow up with the insurance carrier and other payers, so make sure you ask what type of follow up they provide with them. If there is an event of a denied claim, what steps do they take if that event occurs?
2. Where is your work being performed?
Private patient health information today can be transmitted around the world instantly and directly. It can be remarkably easy for your medical billing to be sent to a facility thousands of miles away without you even knowing about. Even more surprisingly, billing companies can now be based on a loose network of home-based employees. Locations of the medical billing companies can have an impact on the quality of work, so it is important to make sure you understand where these services will be performed and by whom. Out of all your options, the safest option is usually to go with the traditional office with in-house staff and face-to-face accountability before company management.
3. Are you HIPAA compliant?
Most people in the healthcare industry today have at least some common familiarity with HIPAA, which is the new standard for health information protection and security. However, since about anyone can say they are HIPAA compliant, you still want to make sure that the billing company partner you are interviewing has a complete understanding of the HIPAA requirements. It should be easy to see if the potential partner has a broad understanding of what HIPAA compliance really means, as well as its impact on delivery of medical billing services. Are they able to discuss the specific steps that can be taken in response to HIPAA?
4. What other steps have you taken towards increased security?
Healthcare professionals and medical billing companies are required to take certain steps to secure patient information by the HIPAA, but there are many other investments a billing company can make to reach a more significant level. What are some other steps the billing company has taken or could potentially take beyond standard HIPAA compliance?
5. What are some specific processes and procedures you can discuss?
Some of these companies have certain solutions to meet the needs of your practice, but are they clear and flexible enough on exactly how they will work with you for each of the services you require? There must be an understanding of what responsibilities each party will have in the partnership and the specific steps each will take throughout the process.
6. What are potential costs and fees?
There are several different approaches to rate structures and fees in the medical billing industry. A full and clear expectation on the rates and how fees are calculated should be known before practices enter into an agreement. Your best bet is to look for a service that sets its fees up front and in writing to avoid potential surprises in the partnership.
7. How will you keep my practice informed with the steps you will be taking?
All or most companies should provide your practice with standardized regular reports-at least on a monthly basis to keep you informed. What are other types of reports this medical billing company is prepared to offer you, as well as how is the information communicated? Are reports able to be customized to your practice’s specific areas of worry or concern? Some companies may be hiding something if they are not receptive to open exchange of information, or they may not be too comfortable with an open relationship.
There are many options that you need to consider in picking the right company. When you evaluate your options, take a look at these questions and use them as a guide. Remember, the more information you have, the better prepared you will be when it comes time to make that final decision.
Stephanie MacLeod : The company that may be right for you can be located at Capstone Physician Services. They are a privately owned healthcare management services organization that will go over and beyond just your medical billing. Check out there website: http://www.capstonemedicalbilling.com