Bill Sample / December 7, 2018 / Karin Higgins
When we started we used a very simple contract that really didnt cover much at all. When situations arose that were problems our contract was no help. We had to re-write it once we had been in the business for a while and knew what needed to be covered. So where does a new billing service start when they havent been in business long? Its hard to write a contract covering all areas and what to do when you havent experienced it yet. Most new billing services are working on limited capital and dont like to spend money on a lawyer writing a contract for them. Unfortunately many new services cut corners here to save money but thats not a good idea. Your contract should be at least looked over by a lawyer if not written by one. If possible you should try to find a general practice attorney who specializes in contracts.
Have you ever taken your car to the shop and said "Gee I dont have money to pay for that new transmission. Can I float you a loan?" or gone to the supermarket and said "Sorry I dont have enough money for this cart full of food. Can I pay you later?" It sounds harsh but veterinarians have businesses to run just like everybody else. And too many with good intentions and big hearts have gotten burned by offering "credit" or "payment plans" to non-paying clients. The result? Its virtually impossible to find a veterinarian willing to offer services today with payment tomorrow. Lets face it quality vet care isnt cheap. Think about it though--would you want it to be? Because if it was cheap--Id be worried. Because it would be your pets health that had to suffer! So how can pet owners save money on their veterinary bills? Pet insurance is one answer but there are many other tips that pet owners simply dont know about it.
All the better if he or she has some experience in the medical billing field. You can save money by preparing carefully before you meet with your lawyer. Start by making a list of things you want to cover in your contract. List all of the services you will be providing and how you charge for them. In addition to how you will charge you will want to list how and when you expect to be paid. Add the providers responsibilities to the list. List how you will receive the patient and claims information and what information you expect from the provider. Other terms you will want to cover are what happens if you dont get paid how either party can terminate the contract and what happens when you do term. There are really a lot of important issues that you need to cover - many potential situations to think about.