In our new blog series, "Your Billing Company & You," we’ll be framing the relationship between providers and billing companies as just that…a relationship. We all have experiences in relationships, whether with friends, family, or romantic partners. Thinking of being in a relationship with your billing company is a useful exercise that can help you see them in a new light. This is relevant to all providers, whether you’re thinking of signing with a new company, maintaining your relationship with your current billing company, or considering “breaking up” and moving on to something new. Regardless of where you're at in your relationship, we’ll have some useful information for you!
"Can we talk?" In a relationship, few phrases can set you on edge like these three words. But honesty and open communication are crucial for maintaining a partnership that can go the distance.
Below are 4 points to consider talking to your billing company about in order to establish clear expectations on both sides:
Start a conversation about the level of transparency the billing company will allow into how they work your claims. Most billing companies will give you information about how they track your claim payments, but a truly excellent billing company should offer transparency every step of the way. How do they track claims that are still in process? Do they do their due diligence to get you the reimbursement you deserve? The billing company's willingness to answer these questions can provide a better idea of how transparent they're willing to be. If they are unwilling to share this information, it could be an indication they'll be more likely to hide issues from you that bubble up.
Set up a regular call with your billing company, either weekly or biweekly. These check-ins will help you maintain a good rapport and allow both parties to plan for questions, as well as provide the opportunity to follow up on high-priority issues. These check-in calls will encourage transparency for both parties all around.
If you decide to leave your billing company, you should know what access they’ll give you into how they’ve been billing your claims, or if that information will be unavailable if you transition billing to a different partner. This documentation can cover everything from sample claim forms to a master charge list (e.g. a list of services you render, rates, and coding that maps to those rates). Make sure to ask if you'll have access to this documentation from the very beginning, as any hesitancy on the billing company's part to share it could be cause for concern.
SERVICE LEVEL AGREEMENT
A service level agreement (SLA) is also something you may want to bring up, especially during initial conversations. An SLA is a contract with your billing company that specifies the level of service they will provide, as well as the timeframe in which it will be provided. This agreement will help you to hold them accountable for following up on claims in a timely manner, and also allow you to forecast expected reimbursement.
Check out "6 Questions You Should Be Asking Your Billing Company," a webinar created by Chris Reilly, Kenneth Throop, and Kaity McCraw from our Implementations team to learn more about how you and your billing company can work together to achieve success.
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