Communicating with Your Biller
Hiring a biller can feel intimidating. You’re trusting someone with a financial aspect of your business. Letting go of that responsibility can be scary, but if communication is clear and respectful from both sides you can end up gaining more authority, control and visibility over your practice’s financial health while getting to spend more time with your patients. Practice Solutions has been operating for over five years, but our billers have been in the insurance billing industry for much longer. We understand that letting go of your billing can be scary, which is why we believe in transparency and relationship based billing. We wanted to share some of the wisdoms that we have learned yield a successful relationship between clinicians and their billers, and how you can employ these practices to choose the right biller for your practice!
Develop a Base Knowledge of Billing Terms
We don’t expect you to know everything about billing right off the bat- in fact, our company exists because we know that it’s difficult to know everything about billing! It’s a skillset that isn’t taught to you in your educational journey of becoming a therapist, and can involve a lot of experience learning. We do, however, think that it’s important for you to learn some basics, and we try to provide you with all the resources that we can.
Practice Solutions is all about educating on billing! We believe that the best way for you to have peace of mind in working with a biller is for us to be completely transparent, and for you to have a base of knowledge that allows you to fully comprehend what your biller is telling you. We have lots of educational blog posts that you can read for information (here’s a good one to start: Common Insurance Terms and Acronyms), we send out regular emails to our clients with educational topics, and you can always ask your biller to define terms or explain information further for you if you don’t know what something means.
Our expectation is that you learn enough to be able to have a coherent conversation with your biller. We do not expect you to learn all of the technical terms and processes that go into billing- that’s why you hired an expert! Our aim is for you to have just enough knowledge to understand and trust that our billing experts are doing the best they can for you and your practice, and for you to be able to make informed decisions.
Outline Clear Expectations, Goals and Benchmarks
Expectation setting is one of the most important pillars in any working relationship. It is almost impossible for someone to meet expectations that they don’t know are expected of them. We have a contract that outlines the expectations that are required of our billers, as well as the expectations we have for your practice to maintain a positive working relationship - paying invoices for services, completing your notes, and upholding professionalism. Meeting your biller is a great time to communicate any expectations that you may have, and for you and your biller to have a healthy conversation about those expectations. We do our best to accommodate within reason.
If you have goals for your practice, share them with your biller! Firstly, sharing goals with others can motivate you in achieving them. Secondly, by understanding your goals your biller can work within their scope to try and help you achieve them. And thirdly, we love celebrating with you when you achieve your goals! Particularly any goals related to billing are important to share with your biller so that you both can be aligned in accomplishing your goals.
Establishing benchmarks is a helpful tool in understanding progress. Practice Solutions uses an aging report as one of the benchmarks to determine the “billing health” of a practice. We set an aggressive goal of aiming for all aging claims to be under 60 days. Our billers are happy to explain the benchmarks that they use! Make sure that you understand what those benchmarks mean, and let your biller know if there are any particular benchmarks that you are concerned about.
We find that the practices who establish regular communication with their biller often experience the most growth and have the greatest satisfaction with billing services. Each practice is different in the frequency of communication that they require. Practice Solutions billers provide a biweekly report to all customers of all billing activity that was completed on the customer’s billing day, and providers who thoroughly read, acknowledge, and ask questions on the report are typically the most successful. Some providers establish monthly meetings with their biller, some have weekly or biweekly phone calls, and some practices are content with the bi-weekly billing report.
Evaluate your needs, and establish regular communication with your biller accordingly. We would love for you to think of your Practice Solutions biller as a member of your team.
Understand Each Others Personalities
We recommend that you get to know your biller on more than a business level. At the end of the day, we’re all human! We mentioned previously that we love celebrating your goal achievements, and that we value relationship based billing. We think that billing is more than a transaction. It’s a relationship that involves trust, understanding, and compassion. The more that we can get to know you and you can get to know us, the better the connection. When you and your biller understand each other as people, the billing communication comes a lot easier.
If you are looking for a trusted member to add to your team who can handle all of the billing activities for your practice, reach out to Practice Solutions today!