Four Steps You Should Take When Choosing a Billing Partner
Brian Flynn, Vice President, Business Development, Nobility RCM
When you decide it’s time to identify a new billing partner, the options can seem endless and overwhelming. But a “one size fits all” solution rarely leads to ideal outcomes because medical billing needs can be sensitive, and providers have diverse priorities influenced by the practice’s size, scope and stage of its own life cycle.
Before considering a new medical billing partner, taking a few critical steps can help to ensure the process is productive and the final selection is one that benefits all parties involved.
Step 1: Understand and communicate your goals to prospective billing partners.
The best way for a medical billing partner to customize its solution for your practice is to first understand your specific goals and objectives. What kind of HR footprint does your practice have? What elements of the billing process challenge you most? What are you ultimately wanting to accomplish with your medical billing partner?
Step 2: Secure recommendations from industry colleagues and ask for the rationale behind the recommendation.
Your peers often face the same challenges as you, so if they are satisfied – or better yet, ecstatic – with their medical billing partner, this partner may provide services that also align with your goals. But it’s not enough to simply ask for the name of a company; the most important question you can ask is, “Why are you recommending this billing partner?” Putting the “why” behind the endorsement gives you context and proof of performance.
Step 3: Identify billing partners that can show evidence of performance and are financially stable.
Financial stability is a crucial factor because the billing partner you choose will be managing your revenue. If the biller isn’t financial healthy, it stands to reason that the service it provides to you won’t improve your financial position either. Billing partners able to demonstrate a long-term commitment to remaining in the market will promote continuity for your practice, and those that can produce data to showcase performance – essentially walking their talk – will likely be a stronger and more valued partner for you, now and in the future.
Step 4: Speak directly with the company’s operations and billing personnel.
A billing partner should be a natural extension of your practice. When assessing if a billing partner is the right fit for your existing staff and your specific needs, you can get a much better sense of how your respective organizations will interface by opening the lines of communication to all stakeholders on the front end. This dialogue enables you to find out what the billing partner’s contingency plans might be to ensure there’s no disruption to the work on your account, get a preliminary glance into the communication style of the billing partner, and gain intelligence on other tangible and intangible dynamics.
Though the process can be time-consuming, undergoing a diligent and thoughtful assessment of a prospective billing partner is a worthy investment. Taking an investigative approach is the best measure to ensure your partnership is successful.