With the advent of ICD-10, there are plenty of opportunities out there for medical billing companies to gain new clients, but we understand that every minute spent marketing is time away from customers and claims. The good news is that social media and digital publishing mean getting your message out is easier and less expensive than ever—what’s critical is making sure the right message gets out.
Here are some things you want potential customers to know about you:
- You relieve practices of substantial compliance pressure and significantly increase cashflow by handling billing quickly and efficiently.
- Your knowledge of private insurers, Medicare and Medicaid, means bills are submitted correctly the first time, not after rejections.
- You are not afraid to go after insurers to get valid claims paid.
- You are up to date on all the latest state and federal compliance and regulatory issues.
- Your software is state of the art, allowing you to efficiently process claims, run reports and access related documents and patient data.
- You are ready for the ICD-10 transition and can help them through it with minimal disruption and little or no revenue dip.
- Your services are superior to the competition (with detailed explanations).
Make sure that some or all of these points are conveyed in your marketing materials, whether they’re print or digital. Now, consider these two overlooked marketing tactics:
Delight your customers.
Doctors trust other doctors more than any other source, so word of mouth is your best marketing approach. Don’t just aim to provide good service to your customers. Instead, set out to delight them—use your expertise to supply them with the information they need and the information they need but don’t know it.
Update your website.
One of the first places potential customers go to find out about you and your company is your website. Make it count. Include customer testimonials from thrilled clients. Make it easy for them to understand who is behind the company, why you’re qualified to do a great job for them, and how to reach you. Your phone number should be on every page of the site, and don’t use an email form as your only means of contact —professionals hate this.
Offer a free consultation.
Go beyond describing the basics of your services and provide physicians with a true understanding of what you do and what hiring you will mean for their practice. By offering a free consultation, you establish that you’re more than just a bookkeeper wanting to file claims the practice themselves could file; but that you’re a finance consultant with expert knowledge on how to improve processes along the entire patient-to-pay revenue cycle including how to increase cashflow and reduce accounts receivable, items which convincingly cover your service fees.
With the right message, a detailed website, and a commitment to delighting customers, you’re ready to grow. Now you need a plan and the right infrastructure. Planning starts with an annual revenue goal, which will tell you how many additional clients you need to bring on board.
Make sure you are clear on what types of practices you want to target in terms of geography, specialty and size. Your niche may be solo practitioners, but you’ll need many more of them than small or mid-sized practices to get the same revenue boost. Consultant Dave Jakielo says solo practitioners generate less than $50,000 a year in revenue for a billing company.
As you target new doctors and other healthcare providers, be as organized as possible. Always have a piece of useful information you can send to customers as a way to stay in touch; this can be a short newsletter or something even simpler. Think about answering the questions your clients frequently ask you.
Next, consider your infrastructure. Be ready to take on new clients with grace and aplomb, not frantic scrambling. You know how important a smooth ramp-up is to your physicians and to your reputation, so make sure you don’t take on too many new clients at once, and have as much as possible ready in advance:
- Office space
- Software that makes it easy to verify whether or not the patient’s insurance covers the procedures being billed, check on a claim’s status (without having to close out of your billing screen), enter new claims quickly, and produce legal and professional denial appeal letters.
- System backups in case of hardware failure or power outages
- Software technical support and claim processing support
Finally, spend some time in your billing software reports. Make sure you know every report your software can produce. You’ll not only become more efficient, but you’ll also avoid having a client—new or old—ask you a question you can’t readily answer.
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