Chiropractic Billing – Why Do Chiropractors Change Software and Billing Staff So Often?

You know something is not working right in your clinic collections, but can’t quite put your finger on that one thing it will take to fix it.

You can’t afford a truly credentialed and experienced billing staff, so you delude yourself into thinking that a high school degree and some experience by your billing staff CA, or a shiny new piece of software is all you need to fix your collection issues.

Besides, your passion is helping people. Why would you want to take any time away from that by digging into your collection woes?

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome. Consider the following as the truth of what is truly happening in your clinic and you will find your way out of this insanity. Please don’t take this as an insult. The wise always consider their path and keep an open heart to change.  It took me years to figure this out myself.

You are unconsciously incompetent about patient billing!  Embracing the truth of your incompetence is the doorway to success. When confronted with a proven collection killing chiropractic industry 83% error rate (2008 OIG Study) on claims, most chiropractors will say that they don’t have that problem in their clinic. Denial is killing your clinic.

By embracing the truth you can move from unconscious incompetence to conscious incompetence. That still does not fix your problem, but it gets you closer to the solution.

After embracing your incompetence you will be confronted by two additional barriers to resolving the problem. The first barrier is the feeling of being overwhelmed with no way out. The second barrier is the knowledge that you have very little time and money to fix the issue.

Embracing these truths will also overwhelm you:

1. 83% of all CAs are unconsciously incompetent and have learned horrible habits through experience.

2. You can’t afford a credentialed, experienced and competent billing staff. In large clinics and hospitals, these people are paid more than the average chiropractor.

You don’t have the time or money to fix these issues. Don’t delude yourself into thinking that a shiny new piece of software can fix this. Software is a tool and can only be as effective as the competence of the person using it.

Before I tell you the solution and you dismiss my solution as self serving, please consider the following. My life-long professional dream is to fix this issue for the chiropractic profession.  

I am a chiropractor and attorney with a Masters degree in business administration. My credentials and experience in chiropractic span 30 years. I love our profession and how we make a huge difference in the lives of our patients.

With that said, here is your best solution: outsource your billing. But hold the billing service company to the highest standards.

What Should You Expect From a Billing Service Company?

Not every billing service company is built alike. Many billing service companies are operated using 1990 technologies out of grandma’s basement. So what are the top 6 things you should expect from any billing service company you hire?

1. Real credentials.

You should expect your billing service company to employ people with advanced degrees and experience with millions of claims. They should have Masters in business, chiropractic degrees, coding or law degrees with healthcare compliance experience. Nine out of 10 Chiropractic Assistants are unconsciously incompetent, and if they are competent should at most play a middle manager role in the billing service company.

2. Software owned and built by the billing service company to do billing services for hundreds of clinics.

Most chiropractic software is built and designed to satisfy the needs of a single clinic. A billing service company designs its software to take advantage of all the operational efficiencies of congregating multiple clinics claim and processes, which drives the cost way down, reduces errors, and drives the collection rates up. Imagine if you were a farmer who had to harvest one plant at a time. Ridiculous and highly inefficient! That’s what a clinic does when they do their own billing in house and what many mom and pop billing service companies do when they use most commercial software.

3. Cloud based.

The cloud makes it possible for you to have complete transparency. You should never have to call the billing service company to answer simple patient account questions. You should be able to see everything happening in your clinic from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. It is impossible for a billing service company to congregate all the claims and processes together unless they are truly cloud based. Having a connection merely with a clearing house does not make your software cloud based. If you have to load up any software at your clinic location, you are not using a cloud based system.

4. Control over the level of billing services you require.

Your billing service company should have a long list of services that you can turn on and off depending on your needs.

5. Fee arrangement not based on percent.

The cost of the billing service should never be based on a percent of collections. There are persuasive compliance experts who contend that percent agreements are illegal. Even if they are legal, those arrangements don’t work. A billing service company should be paid little when the clinic is careful at eliminating errors which allows claims to go through with no denials. The billing service companies earn their keep when they chase down denied and black holed claims.

6. Virtual teams.

The complexity of chiropractic clinic billing is growing exponentially. There are 85 data entry points on every single claim. Your clinic needs highly available and regular access to a billing service representative that knows your clinic inside and out. You should expect your billing service customer service department to have a team meeting with your clinic on a weekly basis and access immediately for emergencies.

Clinic Doctor employs the most credentialed and experienced staff of any chiropractic billing service company in the United States. Since 2004 Clinic Doctor has provided cloud based billing service software to chiropractors.

That is longer than any other chiropractic billing service company in the United States. 2/3rds of Clinic Doctor’s fees are optional and can be turned off and on at any time by the clinic. Clinic Doctor charges a low base fee and small fees for manual processes required on problematic claims.

Some of our clinics pay us as little as 3% of gross clinic revenues under our compliant fee structure. Clinic Doctor works as a virtual team member to provide you with a level of expertise and results you normally could never afford at a price that pays for itself.

Experience the biggest breakthrough your clinic will ever have.

Todd Crabtree DC JD MBA

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About the author

Todd Crabtree

Todd Crabtree

Founder & Chief Technology Officer. Founded Clinic Doctor Inc. in 2004, to innovate the providing of insurance billing services to healthcare providers in chiropractic clinics that lacked the resources to pay for qualified billing professionals.

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