10 Questions to Ask Your Prospective Billing Company

November 2010
Management Home Page

By Diana R. Brooks, PSA Business Development Coordinator


1. What is included in the bid and what will be provided at an extra expense?

Credentialing, implementation, refund processing and postage are just a few examples of what some billing companies charge extra for.


2. What day of the month are reports published and how will I retrieve those reports?

Monthly reports should be distributed by the 5th of every month, at the latest.


3. How are interfaces developed and maintained?

Billing companies should have an internal team dedicated to developing and testing interfaces.


4. What edits engine is in place to help keep my claims from denying or being filed incorrectly?

Before data is dumped into the billing system, an edits engine provides a buffer, prior to filing, for claims that may be missing data or have the incorrect data included.


5. What options are available for patients to pay their bills?

Online, phone, and by mail should be available. In addition, some billing companies also provide online inquiry and insurance update options to patients.


6. What is the company’s experience in pathology/laboratory billing and how many clients do they have?

Many billing companies provide services for several specialties. Rather than looking at their overall client volume, find out how many they bill for are specific to pathology and clinical laboratory.


7. How many employees will staff my account?

Ask to see the calculation they use to determine how many billing personnel will work your account. Compare quantity and quality of staff across all billing companies that are being considered.


At least 1 highly-qualified billing manager should oversee your account. Billing companies should also provide oversight from an administrative and audit standpoint (companies that staff CPA’s should receive extra points).


8. Can they provide me with at least 10 referrals of practices who currently utilize their services as well as practices who have recently switched to another company?

It is certainly important to know what current clients think, but it’s just as important, if not more important, to know why other clients left.


9. What other services are offered outside of billing?

Business savvy billing companies can provide marketing support and business support services to help increase revenue for your practice as well as save on current expenses.


10. How will the billing company support me in regards to new industry regulations and protocol?

Billing companies owe it to their clients to stay on top of recent industry developments, such as PECOS, PQRI, NPI, and HITECH, and provide updates and feedback as necessary. If you are researching small, local billing companies, keep in mind that they may not have much expertise in the pathology/laboratory industry.


PSA is a leading provider of business services and support to pathology practices.  For more information on PSA, please contact Diana Brooks at 800-832-5270 x 2988 or dbrooks@psapath.com.