Medical Billing Forum

Payments => Insurance Payments => Topic started by: physicians1st on May 21, 2012, 09:24:45 AM

Title: Frustrated
Post by: physicians1st on May 21, 2012, 09:24:45 AM
My Partner and I just started a billing service company. With 15 years of experience between the two of us. We are having a hard time getting clients. we've been door to door, mails outs, registered on several different website to gain clients and nothing.   Its been 2 months since we started this journey and we are getting anxious. Please I need some encouragement and advice.   :-\
Title: Re: Frustrated
Post by: PMRNC on May 21, 2012, 10:09:52 AM
This might be good or bad news depending on how you receive it. 2 months really is not that long. First, direct mail marketing is only about a 1-2 % return.. to increase that return you need to provide more than a sales pitch.. education, tips, news and information will win over in the long run. Many providers will hold onto mailings that catch their eye or teach them something. It's also important on HOW you are addressing those mailings. Are you trying to get around the office staff/manager? If so .. don't.  NEVER side step or go around the office manager/gate keeper.. she is the trusted one in the office and the only one who knows what's going on with the money.. period. Aside from a provider's wife in the office she has the skinny on every penny going in and out. Instead of going around her, appeal to HER/HIS needs, offer up services to ASSIST her with the appeal of still receiving ALL the credit :)  I always make it known that I cannot work for a provider w/out an office manager, it's not feasible.

What is your web presence? This is extremely important today, more so than 5-10 years ago. Many times a provider will search out your direct mail looking for a website address where he can get a fresh look at your business and what you have to offer. They look for something different on your website than what you are mailing out. Again, JUST selling yourself is not enough. Offer up articles, tips, blog, social media and interaction with potential clients. Make sure you stay up-to-date with such topics as the Affordable Healthcare Act, coding issues, insurance news, HIPAA / Hitech and even EMR, ICD-10.  Your education is your best sales method, along with your experience. Make sure your materials reflect that education and experience. Use resume's they never get old and in fact many times I'm asked for mine when I speak to a potential client. Make sure your compliance plan is up-to-date. Doctors are being cautioned to ASK for this from an outsourced billing company, if you don't have one.. get one, you have to have it!

Again, 2 months is really not nearly enough time to get frustrated. Many startup billing companies will take a year or more to land that client. Not saying it's not possible to get one right away, just saying that it's not time to sound the alarm just yet.   I'm a firm believer that if something isn't working.. change it.  if you were addressing your mailings to the doctor, change it, call and get office manager names, address to them. If you are sending out survey's stop, doctors and / or staff don't want to fill out forms, same applies to websites that have long forms for doctors to complete to get to speak with someone. Make sure your phone number is front and center on every page of your website. Make sure your website is clean, fresh, professional looking. Stay away from template sites, nothing says I don't care more than someone putting up a template site where 100 other billing companies are using the same one. If you have never designed a website, HIRE someone one. Remember your asking your providers to outsource to a professional, lead by example.   If you are printing your own brochures, take a look at them, ask yourself what you would do if you received a similar brochure from an accounting firm, carpet cleaner, etc.. are you interested in their services if you were sent the same style brochure? If the answer is no, have them professional printed. If your logo is boring and dull, get a new one. Change things up.   Change and updates in this industry are incredibly important.  Another idea that works is to put out a monthly newsletter on your website, physicians LOVE free.. you don't have to give it all free. There's something very appealing about reading an article that just peaks the curiosity of the provider/office manager.. stopping the article before giving all of the information goes something like this... "To learn more about this important change, call us at 555-555-5555."   Offer up something free. I did a mailing once where I merely put "Call me for a free one hour, no obligation consultation to get to the heart of your billing problems"  I literally took about 15 calls JUST from that one mailing of 300.  I've also given away free coding books, I've taken potential clients to dinner. The old saying "It takes money to make money" is absolutely true, don't let anyone tell you otherwise they will be lying to you.  In my marketing plan I include those dinners and other cost methods but I reserve them for hotter leads. I've also gotten gift cards from Staples or office max as well as taken in pizza to a busy office staff or bringing in some chocolate at the end of a long work day.   

Don't give up.. give it more time. I had a full time job at an insurance company and used that money to fuel the start up of my company.. It was 2 clients in that I was able to leave my full time job and even then I didn't break even until I had a few more clients.   Be patient and do what you can to increase your brand name. Analyze all you are doing and put yourself into the provider's position to better understand what they will look for.   Try to stay away from the old and tired slogans "We don't make money until you do.." etc.. boring boring boring .. keep it fresh and be different. Stand out!  Diversity is another key issue. If you are offering up the same thing as your competition, think outside the box, what can you do to compete? Offer services such as credentialing, consulting, fee schedule review, coding reviews, appointment reminders, etc etc.  Another big mistake I see billing companies make is too much hype trying to sell a potential client software.. sure vendors are going to want you to sell for them and will make it a great way for you to make additional income, but save that for later.. for now be prepared to be able to work with a provider's already-in-place PM solution.  I've seen so many new billing companies actually turn away from a client who wanted to stay with their system for whatever reason (costs, support, etc) Let them stay with their system, sell them on the remote access and comfort them in letting them maintain their access and their control!  Remembering again..the OFFICE manager should retain all the credit long as you get your money every month, EVERY One is happy!
Title: Re: Frustrated
Post by: physicians1st on May 27, 2012, 10:01:26 PM
Thank you for responding and  I will surely give it more time.  :)
Title: Re: Frustrated
Post by: JenniferPT on June 21, 2012, 12:25:46 PM
Have you tried marketing yourself to a niche group?   Individual private practice mental health providers are usually clueless when it comes to billing.  They almost always go find a billing person to handle their billing and claims.  (I know, I work for a practice filled with contracted indv. therapists.  One asked me if I'd do her part time billing because she also has a private practice on the side, which I can do, because I'm contracted with the practice itself  ;D) I also do initial appointment scheduling for them, and insurance verifications.

I'd suggest and search out therapists in your area and market to them.  CPT codes are limited.  Really you would just want to make sure you find out if 90847 is a billable code and if there are any exclusions for marital counseling, specifically, and then let the therapist know that you will not do "creative billing" as some therapists do, when 90847 isn't available.  They bill it as 90806 and don't think twice.  I can't tell you how many new patients have called that said that's what their old therapist did.   As much as we want to help you, sorry, I'm not going to jail for you.   ;)  Same goes for the therapist. 

If anything it may help you get some clients, a reputation and some income. 
Title: Re: Frustrated
Post by: on June 25, 2012, 07:50:48 PM
I have been in business since 2008, and the first thing I did was post card mail outs.  I got my first client that way, plus a few calls.  I had plenty of time so I built a website with GODADDY, and if you want to wade through it yourself, it is very cost effective, much more than the mail outs.  It can also be FUN to do!

Once you get a web site and a few providers under your belt, put testimonies on your site, I find that to be very effective.  I tell my providers that I offer 50% off of one month service with each signed up referral.  I got a couple that way.

I have been told that you can also go to the yearly meetings that these providers have, such as chiro seminars and such.  Get a booth, hand out lots of free things like pens and stuff, and be on hand to answer billing questions.  I have not done this, but I just might one day.

I have also heard that you can perhaps volunteer to talk to an association, such as particular groups, whatever type of billing you are most comfortable with.  I have not done this either, but it may work pretty good.

So far, the absolute BEST has been the website.