Author Topic: Need some advice for others that own a medical billing company  (Read 4565 times)

MFunk

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I had a client for 2 years that never complained and as far as I knew things went along splendidly. I would go to his office at least 1x a week at his request because he was close and it made him happy. I'm a outsourced billing service. In June he decided he wanted me to work in the office. I declined because I have other clients & that would change our contract. I worked hard in June to change his mind. Until he kept insisting that I work in his office so I had to tell him NO. On June 19 he cut my access to his billing software. At this point he already owed me for May. I met with him a few times to try and resolve the issues he had. I told him he had to give me a 30 day notice in writing as per our contract. He said he would give me 30 days but I had to serve them in his office. Which I could not do. I said I would come 2 or 3 days and send my employee's in but that was not good enough. It was me or nothing. So after 3 letters from my attorney he paid me for May. But refuses to pay me anything for my billing in June. Remind you he cut my access and gave me notice June 19th. Which would mean he owed me a % until July 19 if I had gotten my 30 days notice. He says he is not paying me b/c I did not come into the office to work. My contract is simple and I am sure I could win this in court. He owes me at least $4500. Now that I have my May check the advice I need is do I risk him bad mouthing my all over town for $4500. Maybe he won't but maybe he will. Maybe it would make no difference. I have other clients. But I was just getting my foot in the door locally. Maybe he will bad mouth me anyway. You he has it in is head I billed wrong. But I didn't. I have it in my head he was just having a really good month in june and didn't want to pay me my %. ADVICE????

shanbull

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Re: Need some advice for others that own a medical billing company
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2014, 09:08:51 AM »
I guess my question would be, is it worth it to you to pay a lawyer for what will most likely be a drawn-out case? And you probably won't see the money for up to a year? And you may end up settling for less than the full $4500? You will need to think through these things before making a decision. You can probably see a lawyer for an initial consultation to get an idea of time-frame and how breach of contract litigation tends to work in your state. I would start with that and decide if you want to proceed.

Michele

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Re: Need some advice for others that own a medical billing company
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2014, 09:23:44 AM »
Well you are not in a good place.  You may have grounds to pursue, which really depends on your contract, but it may not be in your best interest to pursue.  You stated that your contract is 'simple'.  Does it spell out what happens if they do not give 30 day notice?  Or if they do not pay?  Also, do you charge a % and are you in a state where the % is considered fee splitting?  If so, the contract is VOID. 

This is an unfortunate reality in this business.  Occasionally we are forced into a situation where we have to decide if the money is worth our time, aggravation, and reputation to pursue.  He may bad mouth you either way.  Personally, it is ridiculous that he would expect you to suddenly change and start working in his office.  I definitely would not have agreed to that either.

Not sure I have any good advice, this is a sticky situation with no ideal outcome.  You unfortunately have lost an account without the opportunity to rectify whatever it is that he suddenly was unhappy about.  It seems unfair but sometimes we just lose out.  Again, a lot will depend on what your contract specifically states regarding this issue.

Best wishes for whatever you decide to do.  Keep us posted.

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RichardP

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Re: Need some advice for others that own a medical billing company
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2014, 12:37:34 PM »
At $4,500, you are probably looking at Small Claims Court.  The world is full of people who won in Small Claims Court and never collected anything.  Winning and collecting are two different animals.  However, if you do win a judgement against the doctor, that will allow you to place a lien on his assets.  If he owns a house, and you place a lien on it, the law would require the escrow office to pay you your "winnings" before he sees any of the profit from the sale.  If you point this out to him (her?), it might help convince the doctor to just pay what they owe.

Also - if you can document why he owes you $4,500, you can probably declare that as a business loss on your state and federal taxes.  If you are in, say, the 20% tax bracket - your actual loss will end up being $4,500 minus 20%.

PMRNC

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Re: Need some advice for others that own a medical billing company
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2014, 04:24:10 PM »
I'm with Richard on this one. Do not roll over.. I'm ASSUMING your contract covers you.. if the amount is over what your small claims is, then have your attorney stand by the contract .. if you didn't have an attorney sign off / draft the agreement, and the amount is over the small claims limit.. you will have a harder time. But like Richard mentioned.. a win may not COLLECT you the money..but it can afford you certain rights to liens and such.
Linda Walker
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Merry

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Re: Need some advice for others that own a medical billing company
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2014, 07:28:40 PM »
I would send him a letter.. Registered mail HIS signature required.  Tell him if he doesn't pay in 5 days, you will take him to Small Claims Ct.  May work for you. 
I know in CA the "judges" are lawyers working an extra job.  Even if you haven't dotted your I's in your contract..they may not notice.  Many moons ago it happened to me.  I really should not have won because I didn't have a solid contract but I took my chances coz the guy was a jerk and I knew he would present that way.  Best part besides winning.  He had to  drive 2 hours each way coz he signed the contract in my office.. My venue. 

PMRNC

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Re: Need some advice for others that own a medical billing company
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2014, 07:34:09 AM »
Quote
I would send him a letter.. Registered mail HIS signature required.  Tell him if he doesn't pay in 5 days, you will take him to Small Claims Ct.  May work for you. 

No, I don't agree that would be a good idea, first of all you should never threaten a specific legal action unless you follow through.. second, in small claims you can't have an attorney, and you want to make sure your case is solid and speak to your lawyer about it, he may have another route for you. It's ok to send a final demand letter, certified mail like Merry said and say this instead: If payment is not made within 5 business days, we will be forced to take additional legal steps to resolve this matter."  I'd also play it safe (I know your not a collection agency but it cannot hurt to include the Mini Miranda, I add that to when I have to do a demand for payment letter. It also adds a little "flair" to it :)  Just FYI but I think doctors are protective of their personal credit.. that's why I say to go this route but reserve the right to go to small claims, you don't have to tell him WHAT action you will take.. you could actually find a collection agency and go that route :)
Linda Walker
Practice Managers Resource & Networking Community
One Stop Resources, Education and Networking for Medical Billers
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MFunk

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Re: Need some advice for others that own a medical billing company
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2014, 08:38:09 AM »
Thanks everyone. Also thanks for including this post on your newsletter.  ;D I am fortunate that my contract does cover me in this situation. The provider had owed me twice the amount and I did get an attorney who drafted 3 letters and finally I got paid for May. For some reason he decided he didn't have to pay me for May either when he didn't even start all this working in his office business until June.
When he finally paid me at the end of Aug for May this brought the amount down to less than $5000 which is small claims court. He told me as much that I could take him to court for the rest because in his words "you did not work in my office 1 day in June" My staff and I worked almost everyday in my office though. Which he knew because I was in contract with him and his staff all the time.
Needless to say I will be filing my paperwork in small claims this week. This won't cost me more than $100 including the cost of him to be served with the papers. Thanks for all the advice. Fingers crossed.

MFunk

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Re: Need some advice for others that own a medical billing company
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2014, 08:42:55 AM »
Oh and by the way... I have a good contract because I purchased the "Write a kick butt contract" e book.  ;) I do recommend this book.

Michele

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Re: Need some advice for others that own a medical billing company
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2014, 09:54:50 AM »
Glad it helped and glad you are getting at least some of what you are entitled to!

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MFunk

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Re: Need some advice for others that own a medical billing company
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2014, 10:34:53 AM »
I had my day in court today. I WON!!!

SLITTLES

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Re: Need some advice for others that own a medical billing company
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2014, 06:06:41 PM »
Congrats!!!
Shontel Littles
" Show Me The Money"

DMK

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Re: Need some advice for others that own a medical billing company
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2014, 06:57:16 PM »
I had my day in court today. I WON!!!

Bravo for you!  And thanks for fighting for what's right!