Medical Billing Forum

Starting a Medical Billing Business => Starting Your Own Medical Billing Business => Topic started by: williamportor on June 16, 2014, 04:02:19 PM

Title: Doctor List
Post by: williamportor on June 16, 2014, 04:02:19 PM
Hello- I started cold calling doctors (MDs) out of the phone book recently. The problem is 90% of the MD's are affiliated with either HMO's, Hospitals, or really big clinic's who do their billing. Is there a source one could use to find doctors in smaller clinics? I tried buying a mailing list, but it turned out to be trash. Any suggestions would be helpful.   
Title: Re: Doctor List
Post by: kristin on June 16, 2014, 07:35:34 PM
This is probably not what you are going to want to hear, but here goes...

I am the office manager for a solo practitioner, and I have always done her billing. The very last thing I want is unsolicited phone calls during office hours when we are busy with patients. And I get quite a few in one week. We don't need a billing service, we don't need a debt collection agency, we don't need a new copy machine, etc. In fact, if I were in the market for any of those services, and numerous others I didn't mention, I would find one on my own, by asking for referrals from other practices, by going online and looking at websites for various companies, contacting the local Chamber of Commerce, etc.

There is truly nothing more annoying than having to put a patient on hold on the phone, or have to leave a patient in a room during a history taking to answer the phone, and find out it is a cold caller. So my suggestion is if you are going to cold call, do so after hours, when you can leave a message on the practice voice mail. That way, you are not interrupting the doctor/staff during valuable patient hours, when what we want to focus on is the patients. It really is the equivalent of how people hate getting telemarketing calls when they are at home.

As far as obtaining a list goes, I have no idea where you could get something like that. What you can do is research the practices you are thinking of calling by looking at their websites, and see if they appear to be truly solo, or are part of a hospital, etc. Probably it is even better if they DON'T have a website, and are solo/smaller, because that means they are more "old school" about things, and have not signed on with a larger entity. Using the phone book, you can probably figure out who is solo/smaller, and who is not.

Finally, and this is just from MY experience, I work for three billing companies(two small ones, one large one) doing remote billing in addition to my full time job. Not one of those billing companies has ever gotten a client from cold calling. It has all been from knowing someone who needs a biller, then onto referrals from satisfied clients, and also from actually stopping in offices and dropping off information about their services. They all gave up cold calling early on, it just didn't get results.
Title: Re: Doctor List
Post by: Michele on June 17, 2014, 09:23:25 AM
Actually, kristin gave some good advice.  It was interesting to hear her viewpoint too.  But don't take it as 'what you don't want to hear.'  She actually gave you great insight into what you are up against.  And after 20 years at this I would say that is what we have found to be true as well.  The only time we cold called on the phone is to smaller mental health practices who don't usually have a receptionist/secretary and who are known for having an answer phone.  We would create a short, to the point message letting them know about us and asking them to call us if they were interested in hearing more.  That got good results.  If we were targeting larger medical offices (not the big ones, but ones that had staff - solo MD w/an NP, etc.) we would physically go in to the office usually bringing a handout with information about a current issue.  Also candy is a huge hit.  Even some of the hardest office manager's will soften at the sight of chocolate.  :)  When we brought info it would be something like:

"Did you know that Excellus BCBS is now requiring taxonomy codes on all claims?  They started it on Monday (they really did in our area!).  Here is some information regarding that."  Then hand them a flyer telling them about the problem and of course your information is on the form as well explaining what you do and that you can help them if they are having a problem with this new requirement or any other billing issue.

Hope this information helps!

Title: Re: Doctor List
Post by: PMRNC on June 17, 2014, 01:49:06 PM
As for lists, you have to rely on the same lists that are everywhere and don't buy them, as they are a waste of money. Use a contact management program where you can filter your lists so that you only get the main practice. For example if you have a practice located at 123 Elm, you can customize your list from whatever contact management software you are using to pull only ONE record for that office. Makes it much easier. A good contact management software will also let you add opportunities, notes, track what you mail them, who you spoke with .. etc. I use ACT. Love it.

You can also ask your friends and family for their PPO directory and some carriers have them online. Using yellow pages is also another option.
Title: Re: Doctor List
Post by: williamportor on June 23, 2014, 05:41:23 PM
Thank You for the input everyone. One last question in this area: Since I live in the countryside, work from home for a law office, and have no car... going from one clinic to another with chocolates and flyers is not possible. Would setting up a stand at medical conferences and 1-2 ad's in trade journals such as Internal medicine coding alert and/or Neurology coding alert be a better idea?? I'm trying to find a way market our services on a rather limited budget. :)
Title: Re: Doctor List
Post by: Michele on June 24, 2014, 09:19:23 PM
I have not ever set up at a medical conference but I would think it would be a good thing.  Anybody else try this?  Same thing with ads.  Sounds like a good idea but again, I haven't personally tried it.
Title: Re: Doctor List
Post by: PMRNC on June 25, 2014, 11:04:48 AM
Most of the big ones won't allow you to and those that do want a vendor fee. I've seen billing companies have much better success preparing their own mini seminars or round tables. SOME times BCBS will allow their advertisers first dibs on free vendor booths at their seminars too.

You can talk to your local library, fire house, American Legion, VFW and I've even seen a biller hold a mini seminar at the golf course country club gave all attendee's free golf round :)

The thing about those medical conferences is that most doctors go go to them are doing so out of clinical educational reasons, they usually don't go there with any intent to be solicited. JMHO.
Title: Re: Doctor List
Post by: DMK on June 25, 2014, 01:27:14 PM
When the doctor I work for goes to his continuing education seminars lunch (or a snack) is usually "sponsored" by someone who provides products or services for this specialty.  The sponsor gets a few minutes to say a little spiel about their product or service, or they just have handouts available at the snack table.

I went to one seminar and the specialty association had sponsored the seminar.  They then proceeded to harangue anyone who wasn't currently a member.  I refer to them as the "knee-breaker" association now and will NEVER join.  So tread lightly and be friendly!