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    Outsourcing Medical Billing Tip: Best Practices For Reference Checking

    Posted by Carl Mays on Sat, Dec 20, 2008 @ 01:02 AM

    outsourcing medical billingThe path from deciding to outsource medical billing to selecting your medical billing company requires a well planned selection strategy. A cornerstone of this strategy is well thought out and executed reference checks.

    There are many critical stops to make in the journey towards your medical billing company selection. Reference checking is one of the most important stops along the road. There are several steps that must be taken to ensure through reference checking.

    Although today's write-up is geared towards creating an effective interview guide, this is far from the only ingredient of a successful medical billing services company selection. Other critical ingredients include outlining the minimum requirements of an acceptable reference (e.g., does it need to be in your state, what specialties are acceptable, etc), deciding if you want to speak with a former client, outlining the roles of the people with whom your wish to speak (e.g., lead partner, practice administrator, day-to-day billing contact, etc), creating the interview guide, call the references, and making the final go/no-go decision.

    Your interview guide will allow you and not the references to determine what topics are addressed in the reference calls. If you do not drive the calls, you may well end the process still unsure about your final decision. To kick-off the interview guide creation think about the worst things and the best things that could happen as a result of outsourcing medical billing. Keeping your mind on these best and worst cases develop questions that will help you determine where between these two extremes your potential medical billing company operates.

    Narrow questions are typically much better than broad questions for reference checks. Broad questions such as "Did you billing improve after you outsourced?" will not give you specific enough data to make an informed decision when your reference checks are completed.

    To insure you have the information you need at the end of the interview process use narrow questions such as "What were you days in AR before you outsourced and how did they change 3 months after you outsourced?" This gives you specific and actionable data.

    Have you ever taken notes during a call and afterwards had trouble deciphering them? If you have you are not alone. A good way to combat this is to leave about a quarter of a page after each question (and sub question) to make sure you can write the answers on the same page with the questions. You have one final to-do before you start making calls. Review your questions with the following thought in mind "Will I be able to make a go no-go decision after these calls?" If not, what questions are you missing? Once you know that you have all your questions in order start scheduling your reference checks.

    It is critical not to allow a good meaning but talkative reference to keep you from getting all of your questions answered. Make sure they know you have a pre-determined list of questions you need to address. Find out how long they have to speak with you and keep an eye on the clock to make sure you get all of the information you need. You should leave the door open for call backs by letting references know you may need to speak with them again.

    You may find that one of your references brings up a point you had not considered. If they do, add the relevant question to the end of your interview guide and call back any individuals with whom you have already spoken to get this additional information.

    Following the process outlined above will insure that you gather the factual information required to make an informed decision about your medical billing service.

    Copyright 2008 by ClaimCare Medical Billing Services

    Tags: medical billing services, selection process

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