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Thread Topic: how to get to talk to the practice owner ?
Topic Originator: stephen
Post Date January 13, 2006 @ 4:41 PM
how to get to talk to the practice owner ?


stephen
January 13, 2006 @ 4:41 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

I'm having difficulty getting "in-front" of the doctor/practice owner.
Seems the information I mail gets thrown away by the office managers.
They are never available for an appointment ???
I'm sure if I could explain the benefits of outsourcing their billing and collections I could win a few more clients !!

What methods do you use to get to the decision maker to talk ???

thanks

Stephen

Randi
January 14, 2006 @ 11:05 AM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Don't TRY to "get-by" the front office staff.  If you do land an account at that practice, most likey THEY are the one's you'd be working with on a daily basis.  Getting info from them, clarifying missing info, etc.  So you want to get IN with the front-office staff FIRST.  Once you've gained thier trust - THEN you'll be able to get to the MD.

Do walk-in visits.  Your intent on these is to leave a goodie (treat) or some information - but not to "sell".  You want to build a relationship with the offices.  So select your market and visit them once/month.  Do you write newsletters or tips for the industry?  You could leave them a cop of that.  Does your company offer training sessions?  You could invite them to those?  Etc.

Direct mailings.  IMO - very seldom EVER work effectively.  They may for some - they don't for most.

Email and fax list - build your contact database (permission opt-ins).  Use your email and fax lists and send something out every 3-4 weeks.  A tip, a newsletter, an educational invite, etc.

Attend trade-shows and/or medical conferences at your local and/or state level (national is very expensive and the state level will get you what you need).  MDs have to obtain a certain # of CEU's per year.  Therefore - they HAVE to go to the conventions.  So for usually around $500 or so - you get the DOCTORS in front of you.  Contact some of the specialty org's in your state (chiro, rehab, etc.) for info on thier conferences.  Here's a link to state specialty orgs:

http://www.theagapecenter.com/Organizations/

Select your state from the list.

Hope your able to use some of those ideas...Randi, CMRS :)

stephen
January 15, 2006 @ 10:34 AM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Thanks, for those tips - extremely useful !!

again thanks  Stephen

Steve Verno, CMBSI
March 6, 2006 @ 8:16 AM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

As an office manager, practice manager and keeper of the gate, it will be hard for someone to call me, mail me or walk in and offer their services to me. One reason why is because I already have a medical coder, medical biller and collection agency.

When I get anything by mail. It goes in the trash. They all say the same thing: Use us and we will save you time and money. You know what comes out of the south section of a north bound bull. Using someone will NOT save me time and money.

All of the calls, fliers and walkins all use the same excuse: Sending claims electronically will increase your practice revenue and save you time. Really??? Let me put down the wooly mammoth I just dragged home to the cave and think about this. Do I have "Stupid" written on my forehead??? If you ask my wife, she will say "Yes!" Don't these people know that we all know about HIPAA and the requirement to send claims electronically? Aren't they aware that I get those messages from Medicare telling me that they will hold my paper claims now for 28 days and in September, they will not pay any claims for one week????? Do you really believe that I will "save money" by using their services???

It is going to cost me extra in administrative costs to use them. I may have to hire an extra person to work with them. In an office, that's payroll, benefits, insurance, etc.  To outsource, I have to have someone copy what you need and keep an eye on you.

Lets face it, as a smart manager and administrator, I'm already doing everything I can to cut back on administrative costs and ensuring my claims are paid and believe me, you cannot do more than I can. I'm verifying at the beginning. We're collecting at the time of service. We're following up on claims within 30 days of submission. Our A/R at 120 is $0.00 and we re-wrote all contracts for better reimbursement. So, what can you do better than me? I'm being sarcastic to prove a point.

I ask one simple question and that is it:

How can using you make me money.

Answer that, you get your foot in the door.

Sally
March 6, 2006 @ 10:30 AM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Hi Steve.
I read your reply and I totally agree with you. I have tried those techniques myself and I thought I would have the advantage because I have worked in the medical office.  Of course it didn't help. It's very tricky to even have someone to talk with you to find out information let alone get an appt. I just joined my local Chamber of Commerce and attended my first meeting and already I have some connections. I think using what you said as well as networking thru other businesses really helps the most. I also learned thru SCORE which is a small business agency some things such as offering a fixed rate over a period of years for new clients. Alot of companies do not offer this. I thought it would be a great selling point. I'll keep you posted on this.

Getting new clients when you are unknown is never easy. The best way is to get your name out anyway you can.

Diane
March 6, 2006 @ 7:43 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Mr Verno,
It was nice of you to respond here and give us some insight into how you feel about our advertising and our services. In answer to your question about how we can make you money, we probably can't make you money. Only you can do that.
You don't say how your billers are filing, I assume electronically but if it's not then whatever the cost savings of the supplies to file by paper is a direct savings by using outside billers. Are your billers talking with patients on the spot and having trouble getting the month closed out on time? Are they always behind? Is there overtime? If so, another savings.We can talk with your patients, do payment plans etc. and Contractors don't get overtime.
As for having someone to get us what we need, whether it's fee sheets, chart notes, pt demos, etc. We are not talking about a lot of time consumed. If you have only a receptionist in the office then she should be able to send everything over at the end of the day, after collecting it when she can. There is almost nothing that URGENT that he/she would have to drop everything to talk to me. I do it all by fax and have never had a problem.
Take all that you pay your biller and your coder, add L and I and all the benefits and then compare it to my 8-10% for both and don't forget, I'm a certified coder as well. Don't forget to add the cost of the supplies you need for them to do their jobs, paper, HCFA paper, postage, envelopes etc. Also don't forget Coding books, reference books and the training they have to have annually. Seminars and training camps are spendy but absolutely neccesary to correctly code your visits. I have to earn CEUs every year to keep up my certification. I will not be charging you for that extra training but you will benefit from it.
I assume they have an office to bill in? What would you do with that room if it was available? Treadmill? An OB could put an ultrasound in there (cash cows both) Maybe an ARNP or a PA. Maybe you can move offices around so you have a big room available so someone can do training for several of your patients at a time. A GP or FP or IM could have a nutritionist come in weekly or monthly and do Diabetic training for several patients at once. The possiblities are endless.
You also want to know who is going to be watching me? Watching me do what? I don't handle your cash. I meet with my clients monthly or biweekly or whichever interval they choose. Since I'm working on percentage it behooves me to get as much billed and paid as soon as possible. I have an open door policy since I work out of my home but watching me would be dull (laughable if you saw what I looked like while I'm working, pajamas or sweats, hair up etc., but dull) I have to account for myself but not usually to the receptionist. I take my Dr. (or practice owner) out for a meal (tax writeoff) and we go over any reports he wants to go over and we discuss whatever we need to. Of course he can call whenever he wants to but generally if he has questions about the practice we go over them then.
So, maybe you're comfortable with how things are in your office and that's fine. I don't make repeated contacts to an office that says they don't need me. I'm looking for someone who does need me and my services. When we come into your office or mail you something, we are not trying to say you are stupid. We don't know what your office's situation is. I got one of my Docs because my flyer said to take a look at his AR status and compare it to what I could do. He did and found out what a mess it was. Bingo!
And forgive me, but you sound more angry than sarcastic. If you have had a bad experience I'm sorry but we are not all bad. Most of us have spent alot of time and money and frustration getting to a point where we can do this and we are simply looking for a way to make a living doing what we want. We are professionals. We certainly are not trying to put anybody out of a job or make life difficult for you. I bend over backwards to take care of my clients, usually at a cost to myself, not them.
Diane
allmedicalofficesolution.com

Diane
March 6, 2006 @ 7:43 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Mr Verno,
It was nice of you to respond here and give us some insight into how you feel about our advertising and our services. In answer to your question about how we can make you money, we probably can't make you money. Only you can do that.
You don't say how your billers are filing, I assume electronically but if it's not then whatever the cost savings of the supplies to file by paper is a direct savings by using outside billers. Are your billers talking with patients on the spot and having trouble getting the month closed out on time? Are they always behind? Is there overtime? If so, another savings.We can talk with your patients, do payment plans etc. and Contractors don't get overtime.
As for having someone to get us what we need, whether it's fee sheets, chart notes, pt demos, etc. We are not talking about a lot of time consumed. If you have only a receptionist in the office then she should be able to send everything over at the end of the day, after collecting it when she can. There is almost nothing that URGENT that he/she would have to drop everything to talk to me. I do it all by fax and have never had a problem.
Take all that you pay your biller and your coder, add L and I and all the benefits and then compare it to my 8-10% for both and don't forget, I'm a certified coder as well. Don't forget to add the cost of the supplies you need for them to do their jobs, paper, HCFA paper, postage, envelopes etc. Also don't forget Coding books, reference books and the training they have to have annually. Seminars and training camps are spendy but absolutely neccesary to correctly code your visits. I have to earn CEUs every year to keep up my certification. I will not be charging you for that extra training but you will benefit from it.
I assume they have an office to bill in? What would you do with that room if it was available? Treadmill? An OB could put an ultrasound in there (cash cows both) Maybe an ARNP or a PA. Maybe you can move offices around so you have a big room available so someone can do training for several of your patients at a time. A GP or FP or IM could have a nutritionist come in weekly or monthly and do Diabetic training for several patients at once. The possiblities are endless.
You also want to know who is going to be watching me? Watching me do what? I don't handle your cash. I meet with my clients monthly or biweekly or whichever interval they choose. Since I'm working on percentage it behooves me to get as much billed and paid as soon as possible. I have an open door policy since I work out of my home but watching me would be dull (laughable if you saw what I looked like while I'm working, pajamas or sweats, hair up etc., but dull) I have to account for myself but not usually to the receptionist. I take my Dr. (or practice owner) out for a meal (tax writeoff) and we go over any reports he wants to go over and we discuss whatever we need to. Of course he can call whenever he wants to but generally if he has questions about the practice we go over them then.
So, maybe you're comfortable with how things are in your office and that's fine. I don't make repeated contacts to an office that says they don't need me. I'm looking for someone who does need me and my services. When we come into your office or mail you something, we are not trying to say you are stupid. We don't know what your office's situation is. I got one of my Docs because my flyer said to take a look at his AR status and compare it to what I could do. He did and found out what a mess it was. Bingo!
And forgive me, but you sound more angry than sarcastic. If you have had a bad experience I'm sorry but we are not all bad. Most of us have spent alot of time and money and frustration getting to a point where we can do this and we are simply looking for a way to make a living doing what we want. We are professionals. We certainly are not trying to put anybody out of a job or make life difficult for you. I bend over backwards to take care of my clients, usually at a cost to myself, not them.
Diane
allmedicalofficesolution.com

Diane
March 6, 2006 @ 7:48 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

sorry this posted twice. I can't figure out how to get rid of the second post. Powers that be can feel free to delete one of them as there doesn't seem to be a do over or undo/edit button
Diane

Steve Verno CMBSI
March 6, 2006 @ 9:20 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Diane,

I'm not angry at all.  

I've been in this business for more than 34 years.  I am a certified medical coder, a certified medical biller and certified medical billing instructor.  I am an office manager, a practice manager of 7 practices, I am VP of a large billing company and I own my own coding/billing and consulting company. I also do A/R recovery for several clients and health insurance contract negotiations for many others.   All of these keeps me very busy almost 7 days a week.

Believe it or not, I get about 10 letters per day at my various offices from people in the industry, looking to do business with my providers.  I get many cold calls and walk-ins.  My point in my message was to show that using conventional methods don't work with me and they don't work with many of my clients.  Why?  They all say the same thing.  I've heard the same story about 5,000 times.  I read and hear:  "Using me will save you money!"  Using me to send your claims electronically will get you paid faster"  My sarcasm was directed at these comments because they are old school.  As a medical biller, I know sending claims will get me paid faster.  One of my practices uses two billing companies, so we already outsource so how will outsourcing to another save my doctor money?  One of my clients has been through 5 billing companies already and so far  none of them have done a decent job. In one practice, we fired the billing company, hired a person to do coding and one to do billing and trained them ourselves.  We retrained the office staff and started training the patients on their financial responsibilities. This practice showed a 500% increase in revenue the first month of changes.

My point is, and I know other office managers and gate keepers feel the same thing, stop using old school.  Don't send me fliers telling me using you will save me money.  It's like spam mail telling me I need Viagra.  I know I do, but I'll get it when I need it.  I want the innovative medical coder and biller to think for themselves when marketing.  Don't contact Medicare and ask them how many doctors aren't sending claims electronically.  We've gone beyond that with HIPAA.   If they want to get in the door, you need a plan of what you are going to do for that practice.  You need to tell the doctor or office manager what you will do for them that will show them the money!  I'm not going to put that in these messages.  That is too easy.  I want that desperate coder and biller to think for themselves as to how they will do this.  They have a product for sale. That product is themselves.  If they can't sell themself, then they won't be any good to the doctor and practice.  "What can YOU do for me that will make me money!"  

Now, I do not market, I do not make cold calls, and I do not walk into doctors practices.  But, I get the practices.  How?  Exactly what I just said.  Do I have a huge ego?  yes I do, but, it's not my ego that gets me the jobs.  It's my attitude.  I am an aggressive person that goes out of the box for my client.  I fight and fight and fight to get my doctors what they are owed.  I never give up and I never surrender.  if I am called to a practice, I go in with an aggressive, winning  attitude.  I tell the doctor how using me will make them money, not save them money!  I use General Sun Tsu's philosophy:  To defeat your enemy, you need to know your enemy.  When I walk in to the practice, I know more about the doctor than their office staff.  I do my homework.

When I walk in to a meeting of insurance attorneys where the insurance company owes my doctor money, I want them to be very afraid of me.  I want them to know that their attitudes don't phase me and I will get what I want for my doctors.  I just got one of the largest insurance companies in the US, who refused to pay my doctor one more nickle, to settle with him for a 6 figure settlement.  Using me will make my doctor money.  That is what doctors want to hear.  Now, understand, I also walk old ladies across the street and I listen to patients who have financial problems and I work with them with firmness but lots of kindness.  So, I can be a huge teddy bear when the time is right.  You see, I get money with honey rather than vinegar.  But, CASH IS KING!  Tis better to refund than work harder trying to collect and get zip!  I would rather get $100 instead of $200 than get nothing at all.

Let me tell a story.  I went to a family practice doctor for a routine physical.  I was asked what I did for a living and I told them I am a coder and biller.  The doctor came in, did his thing and in the middle of my prostate exam, the doctor told me he needed help with his A/R.  I told him that once he removed his thick finger, I would talk to him because right now I was a captive audience.  I would have agreed to anything at that point.  After my physical, I looked at his A/R.  It was pittiful and I told him what I could do to bring him the money.  he agreed to my proposal and I went to work for him on the weekends.  In 2 years, his 7 figure A/R was cleaned up.  One suggestion, when You go to these offices, go when they are busy as heck.  Sit down in the waiting room, where you will blend in.  Then sit and take notes for an hour on what you hear from the staff.  Are they BSing or what?  Do you hear them making calls to insurance companies to verify coverage?  Are they collecting at the time of service?  Are there HIPAA violations.  You can get alot in an hour.  Then walk out.  Now you know their weaknesses and you can make suggestions on how to make them money.  Don't give anything away on how you will do this.  Know thine enemy!

How can using you make me money!  That is your key to the foot in the door.

Steve Verno, CMBSI
March 6, 2006 @ 9:24 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Oh, one last thing...

Diana, you didn't tell the doctor how using you will save them money.  You told the doctor how using you will make him money!

You used the key and it got you in the door.

diane
March 7, 2006 @ 2:12 AM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

The question that started this thread was how to get to talk to the Doc/practice owner. You can have the best talk in town but the receptionist doesn't care. The office manager will tell you they aren't interested and if you try to continue and ask questions, they will hang up on you. I've had it happen numerous times. I understand what you're saying about having something different to say or show but how to tell the decision maker about it is a whole other ballgame. I resorted to mailings hoping something would slip through to the Doc. A few did. How do you get that appt with the Doc so you can show him something different? Hang out and wait with the drug reps? Would the office manager actually give the doctor a brochure/booklet with all this info in it? Feel free to email me if needed
Diane

Renato Pereira
March 13, 2006 @ 2:38 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Hi Diane,
Good suggestion and i have been doing it the way u summarised in your mail and of course i got a few replies and working on the same.
But do we have any websites to see our mails reach the doctor's directly.
Any how i would like to introduce myself as Renato Pereira and i am in this field for the past 9+ years and i work in India on all areas of billing.
Pl mail me any info to reperiera@acetera.com and my sincere apologies to you bcos many people don't like indians bcos US people feel we are eating away their jobs.

Renato pereira

June
March 16, 2006 @ 10:00 AM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

I have been in the insurance billing, health insurance and office managers industry for over 20 years. Owning my own business and marketing TO The office manager never ever produced failure for me so I have to disagree with Mr. Verno. I have never tried to sneak past the OM, in fact if it were not for the OM in 18 of the 23 clients I had at one point I wouldn't have obtained those clients.
Going around them only produces animosity. I think Mr. Verno makes some good points but in reality it's a males point of view. Most Office Managers are women (I know it sounds like a stereo-type and probably is, however it's a statistic that cannot be ignored) and most women view going behind their back as a stab, I prefer the honest and upfront approach and taking the load off the Office manager and that process has never failed.

Diane
March 16, 2006 @ 2:30 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Maybe it's the area I'm in (Northwest) but it seems that the office managers are quite defensive. Is there something you are saying to get them to hear you or is it just repetition? I have been hung up on, told no one here is interested, please don't call and waste our time. I don't get a chance to get in to anything. Once they hear "billing service" ice drips from the phone. I don't take it personal but it does make you feel like you need to get to the Doctor instead of them. I admit, they have not all been rude but the majority have.

Renato Pereira
March 16, 2006 @ 5:23 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Hi Diane,

    why don't you try this site and go by statewise and you
    will dr's phone number and some will proivde their website
    and place you request  if required.

    Hope this helps you .

    http://www.superpages.com/yellowpages/C-Doctors

Lucretia
July 20, 2006 @ 7:01 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Hi Steve

I am not sure whether you have a small practice, but as far as I know Medicare will no longer take paper claims. It all must be billed electronically and if there is something wrong with your claim you can appeal on paper with the necessary documentation. I have tried to outsource and your responce to the genleman lets me know that my attempt was the wrong way to go. have you ever considered having you biller do your collections? I have been doing Anesthesia and Pain Management billing for the last 5yrs (Medicare/Medicaid) and I do all aspects of the billing.

Steve verno
July 21, 2006 @ 7:51 AM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Lucretia,

I have over 35 practices I now work with and work for.  Some are large and some are small.  Some still send claims to Medicare by paper.  They are still allowed to do this per HIPAA AS and I have a confirmation letter from Acting Director Stanton from CMS stating that small practices can still send paper claims.

Each person in this business has many experiences to tell.  Some things work for some people, some dont.  Yes, it is true that many office managers are females and I have found that these office managers want to keep the office all female.  I went to one interview and there was a nice lady that was also there for an interview for the same job.  My qualifications were impeccable.  The lady had no training or experience in coding or billing.  I knew this because I could hear the interview in the hall.  The office manager took about 20 minutes with her, asking all kinds of questions.  Each answer was, "I don't know how to do that."  When it was my turn, the office manager looked at my resume and looked at my certifications.  She  looked at me and said that I was overqualified for the position.  I wasn't asked one question and it took less than one minute for my interview.  They did hire the lady.  Why was she given more time than me and why did they hire someone with no training or experience to be the billing manager?  To me, they did not want a man on their staff.  The doctor, not the office manager did contact me months later but unfortunately I could not help them because I had a position elsewhere.  Seems his billing was a total mess and he needed help.

One thing I am finding is that there are office managers who have no clue about medical coding or medical billing and they are making coding decisions that are contrary to industry standards.  I know this because I ge e-mails on this all the time and I am working as a consultant to a governmental agency that investigates practices.  One practice we investigated, the office manager fired the certified coder because she refused the order from the office manager to submit claims with outdated codes.  She was also ordered to write off any patient balances, including those from Medicare patients.  This keyed the practice for an audit based on a patient complaint.  I am also working as we speak with a Qui Tam complaint from a coder regarding the demands of the office manager to send claims on patients who were never seen.

In our business we have good and bad.  I've been in this business for more than 33 years.  I've been a nurse clinician, a clinic manager, and other things such as movie theater manager in my younger days. I love our business and I see the good and the bad.  People who know me, know I never sugar coat anything.  I tell you to your face what I feel about you.  I am not a backstabber.  I loathe people who are.  My goal is to help people and to take my knowledge and experience and use that to benefit others.  I don't come to forums to try and sell myself or my business.  I come to forums to provide answers to people's questions.  This is a tough business.  You have to love it if you want to stay in it.  If you want a job, then you must be persistent and you must not give up.  If you don't have the training, get it.  If you don't have the certification, test for it.  One day that job will come and open the doors for you.

Renato Pereira
July 21, 2006 @ 4:57 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Hi Steve,

Its very nice to hear the vast experience you have and how you deal with all kinds of issues in the billing industry. Hope to learn a lot from you and my experience of 9+ yrs is nothing compared to yours.
I am been servicing the clients in all modules of billing from claims entry to follow-up.Briefing on outsourcing i see many billing companies fail because they just treat it as a dat entry job and want to make fast bucks with no planning and experience.I always insist clienst to give their uncollectables or claims more than 120+ and prove our capability in what we are able to collect and if they feel we have done a good job then they can proceed to outsource their work.
I think this forum has helped to know more people like you which is really very good and makes me feel to lern more and more

Thanks
Renato Pereira

Steve Verno
May 13, 2007 @ 7:26 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

You know, all you spammers are doing is making us not want to support your product.  You also know that your IP address can be traced back and we can find you very easily.  For example, for those of you at a college or university, I have contacted the Dean of Stamford University and they are investigating your unwanted spam useage.  I have written to the pharmacy companiy CEOs about your spam drug messages, so if you are being paid to advertise, the pharmaceutical companies are being informed their products and this also means the non-drug products are being boycotted until you are fired.

This is not the place to advertise your products.  This is a place of learning and helping and you are doing the opposite of what you are intending to do. Using an anonymous name won't hide you either.  To me, you are nothing but a terrorist and maybe we need to turn your antics over to Homeland Security to investigate.  So, the best thing you can do is stop and leave this place alone.

Steve Verno
May 31, 2007 @ 8:28 AM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

I see that these jerks are eliminating the website addresses.  Whenever I see these, I contact the hosting site, especially the sites that are colleges or universities and I am letting campus security and the deans aware of what is on their websites.

The institution is now aware of the misuse of their computers and they are putting the stop to it.  Most have reported that these jerks are actually hacking into the institutions.  I am sure that those hacking will be traced back to their internet provider.  

What I would do next would be to take the IP addresses and contact the President of the drug companies and file a complaint.  You see the one way to stop is to boycott the products themselves as well as any other product sold by the company.  The boycott is removed when these jerks are caught and put in jail.

Until then, I am making it my mission to go after these losers.  The easiest way to make me stop is for you to leave this site.

Merrilee Severino CPC CMM
November 15, 2007 @ 5:37 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Dont go by or thru them go with them.  Get them on your side.  Approach managers at related meetings, office manager meetings.  Get to your docs directly thru the hospitals and thru sponsor meetings or attending as a vendor.



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