Choosing a Billing Service or Vendor: Asking the Right Questions

May 10, 2011

Here are some questions you may not have considered, to ask of both the vendors and current users.

Whether choosing a financial and billing system for use in-house, or deciding on an outsourced billing service, here are some questions you may not have considered, to ask of both the vendors and current users.

Questions for Billing System Vendors:

What are the skills and leadership of the management team?

Do they maintain corporate core values, and do those values match your own?

What makes vendors with high success rates successful?

What types of system improvements are planned?

What’s the process for getting client feedback and input from users? Do they take advice from their customers?

What’s the company’s reputation in the marketplace in terms of customer service and support

How responsive are they in answering day-to-day questions?

How well does that vendor support its users?

What type of IT system do you need in addition to the software?

What upgrades are in process and how often do they upgrade?
With all the needs and changes happening now, you should expect a full upgrade on radiology systems at least twice a year, according to Delena Supinski, Regional Account Executive for Technology Partners doing business as Imagine Software.

How do they handle the changes or the upgrades? What are they doing to get ready for ICD-10?

Questions for Billing Services:

Do they really understand your business?

Do they network with the Radiology Business Management Association and other groups?

How do they train their employees? Will they show their training materials to you?

What types of continuing education do they get?

What’s the longevity of their staff?

How are they empowering their staff?

What software vendor do they use, and how long have they used it? What version is the software?

Do they have IT specialists to help import information from a RIS?

What’s their turnaround and days outstanding? How quickly do they anticipate turning claims in after they receive the claims and demographic data?

What contracts to they have set up with their partners to get claims turned around clean?

How well do they enforce their HIPAA policy?

Are they up to date on all any regulatory/coding changes?

Are they up to date with changes in the marketplace?

Do they have radiology-certified coders on staff? “We feel that using radiology-certifid coders has made a big difference in the ability to collect – if it’s done right the first time, there’s no redos,” said Molly Sauer, Executive Director of Diagnostic Radiology Consultants, P.C. in Michigan.