Author Topic: Business evolution and marketing  (Read 455 times)

williamportor

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Business evolution and marketing
« on: June 09, 2017, 09:12:05 AM »
Hello - 2 questions:

1. For the last 3 years my medical billing business has gone through a yearly cycle that looks like this: June - December: Time split roughly 50-50 between customer service work (billing, posting etc.) and marketing. i.e. telephone prospecting, door to door handing out business cards etc. January - May I sign up about 4-6 new customers as a result of last years marketing efforts, then lose about half of these because they either retire, merge with a larger organization,or decide to do their billing in house (sometimes giving it to a relative to do) Overall the trend is upward, I now have 9 clients that I can depend on for income, but I was wondering...Is this normal when one is trying to build a medical billing client base??

2. The first half of the year I am usually swamped with customer service work, and have little or no time for marketing, so how does one market  their business when they don't have time to get on the phone, or go door to door? 




« Last Edit: June 09, 2017, 11:11:21 AM by williamportor »

Michele

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Re: Business evolution and marketing
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2017, 01:04:38 PM »
Hello - 2 questions:

1. For the last 3 years my medical billing business has gone through a yearly cycle that looks like this: June - December: Time split roughly 50-50 between customer service work (billing, posting etc.) and marketing. i.e. telephone prospecting, door to door handing out business cards etc. January - May I sign up about 4-6 new customers as a result of last years marketing efforts, then lose about half of these because they either retire, merge with a larger organization,or decide to do their billing in house (sometimes giving it to a relative to do) Overall the trend is upward, I now have 9 clients that I can depend on for income, but I was wondering...Is this normal when one is trying to build a medical billing client base??

I wouldn't say this is normal.  We all have clients that retire, move, join another practice, but for us over the years that has been a small amount.  It is good that you are at least on an upward trend.  Hopefully the amount of clients you lose will slow up.  We have had clients that took the billing in house come back to us after it didn't work out, so maybe some will return.  We always try to end on a positive note so that they will feel comfortable returning.



2. The first half of the year I am usually swamped with customer service work, and have little or no time for marketing, so how does one market  their business when they don't have time to get on the phone, or go door to door? 

What type of customer service work are you swamped with>  I' m just wondering why it is only the first half of the year.  We usually have the same amount of customer service work all year, not just at one certain time.  Maybe you can figure out where the customer service work is coming from and find a way to prevent some and allow yourself more time for marketing.  Also, word of mouth is the best for marketing.  Mention to your current clients that you are looking to take on more accounts.  If you are doing a great job for them they will be happy to spread the word.


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williamportor

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Re: Business evolution and marketing
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2017, 02:45:51 PM »
What type of customer service work are you swamped with?

The customer service work I'm "swamped with" in the 1st half of the year is a result of taking on new clients who's billing situation is normally a big mess, i.e. haven't submitted claims or posted EOB's for months, credentialing difficulties, collections issues etc. Multiply this situation times 3 or 4 new clients at once, and that's why I'm swamped. Another situation I've not spoken of here that's contributing to all this is: I'm not a very good medical biller. Don't get me wrong, I'm not horrible, and I am improving with experience, but physician billing complete with posting, credentialing, and light collections is still a real challenge for me. Many folks here worked in medical clinics, insurance companies and related fields before opening their billing biz. All I knew was the basics of filling out a HCFA 1500 form.

I' m just wondering why it is only the first half of the year.

It's only in the 1st half of the year because I usually lose half of my new clients within 3-6 months of acquiring them, either because the job was too big for me to begin with, or they retire, merge etc. This naturally leaves me with more time to market later in the year. The only clients that I tend to keep is either Chiropractors, Naturopaths, or LMT's (Maybe I should market only to them??)

 
« Last Edit: June 11, 2017, 02:18:13 AM by williamportor »

Alice Scott

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Re: Business evolution and marketing
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2017, 12:18:49 PM »
Hi William, 

I don't think your problem has anything to do with the time of the year.  You just need to get a little more organized about your work.  Don't let yourself believe that you are not a good biller.  If you do the best you can and continue to learn, you are going in the right direction.  Many providers decide to make changes in their billing situation at the beginning of the year for us too.  It seems as if it is a New Years Resolution or something.   

The secret is to not take on more than you can handle at that time.  If you take on an account that is going to require a lot of extra work you have to be careful to not take on another until you can get the first one caught up.  You don't have to refuse the second account just explain that doing a good job is very important to you and you need time to get this last account all in order so you wouldn't be able to start them for a month or six weeks or whatever it is you need. 

Then sit down and look at what the problems are with that particular account.  Make a list of these issues so that you can get organized about resolving them.  If there are issues that are holding up the income, work on them first.  This may be credentialing issues.  If claims have not been submitted, they are a priority.  You don't want to get denials for timely filing, so get the claims in as quickly as possible.  Once you get organized and start getting through the individual issues you will feel a lot better.  When you look at it as a whole it can be overwhelming.

You say you usually lose half of your new clients within 3 - 6 months.  You must find a way to stop that because it is too hard to go out and find a new account because you lost one.  I understand some of them are out of your control, but let's stop the ones you can control.  When you do take on a new account you have to work extra hard at making sure it starts out smoothly especially if it is a new specialty for you.  Check to make sure claims are getting to the insurance company.  This can be done by checking clearinghouse reports and running some aging reports just three weeks after submitting the first claims to check on companies that pay quickly.  Look into all denials as soon as they come in so you know what the issues are. 

I would say that for now you shouldn't be marketing.  You should be spending your time getting all you accounts in tip top shape with 85%  of your claims paid in 30 days.  Once all accounts are without major issues, then consider marketing.  If you do market I think it would be best to market to the fields you are already billing or have had experience in.  As you know, Michele and I prefer to stay away from chiropractic billing just because of the low reimbursement rates but if it works for you, go for it.

Maybe you should consider giving up some of the services you offer that require more work than you are willing to do.  If I were in your shoes, I would look carefully at the credentialing and the soft collections.  You can refer the clients to others for those jobs if they are interfering with your success at billing.     
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williamportor

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Re: Business evolution and marketing
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2017, 06:35:37 AM »
Thank You. Yes...this makes a lot of sense. Sometimes there is a fine line between the desire to grow one's client base, and correctly servicing the existing one's. The thought of taking a week or two off of telephone cold calls is not going to make me sad!  :)

In the future, perhaps these marginal skills such as credentialing and light collections should be done in small amounts, perhaps even voluntarily, until I have the experience to offer them to clients as part of my package of services.