Bill Sample / December 8, 2018 / Karin Higgins
You need an understanding with your providers as to when you are going to be paid for your services. Doctors are often not the best businessmen and are sometimes not very good about paying bills on time. Especially when you are first starting your business it is vital that your provider understands when you expect payment and that you have something well written to protect you if you end up with someone interpreting the language of your contract in court. Each year you are in business you find additional things that need to be added to your contract. New situations arise that you realize should be covered in your contract. So how do you cover everything that needs to be covered? You need a list - actually several lists. You need a list of what you feel the providers responsibilities are. You need a list of what you feel your responsibilities are.
When we started our Medical Billing Service in 1994 there was very little information available on medical billing services let alone medical billing service contracts. In fact some of the information indicated that you really didnt even need a contract if you didnt want one. That couldnt be further from the truth! Having a contract for your Medical Billing Service is very important to protect both you and the provider. Many new billing services ask us for a sample contract or a copy of our contract. Using a sample contract or somebody elses contract is not a good idea. It would be like taking somebody elses will whiting out their name and writing in yours. The only time it will hurt you is when you die and then your family could be in trouble.
But we basically searched until we found a sample very simple contract and modified it for our use. For several years we told ourselves that it was fine and if it wasnt working out for the provider then it wasnt working for us either and we should move on and find new clients. It took us a long time to realize that in several situations our simple contract was actually the reason things were not working out. When you first start your medical billing business you have no idea of the things that can go wrong in a relationship with your clients so you do not know what needs to be included in a contract. Our first contract did not even specify the responsibilities of either the provider or ourselves. It is amazing we were able to find providers willing to sign our contract.