Medical Billing Coding - Set-up cost, cpt, codes
medical billing and coding forum

BC Advantage Magazine


Outsourcing your Billing/Coding

New Topic  |  Search

Thread Topic: Set-up cost
Topic Originator: Sky
Post Date June 9, 2005 @ 11:46 AM
Set-up cost

June 9, 2005 @ 11:46 AM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Do many companies charge set-up costs for new accounts?
And if so how much is average...

Thank you

Traci Quinlan-Cluff, CPC
June 9, 2005 @ 12:50 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Yes, charge a set up cost.  It will all depend on the size of practice and amount of work you have to do to put everything into your software.

Is this for your first client?  If so I hope you don't mind sharing how you got him?  I have one client and have been marketing and nothing.  any advice is greatly appreciated.

June 9, 2005 @ 12:58 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Traci, How are you? This is actuallt my 3rd client. Though the first 2 were referenced to me by friends. I though most people did charge but just wanted to make sure.
Thank you for that.

How did I find this client: I recently joined a Gym. While I was going through the sign-up process I completed my job title on the form. The lady who signed me up mentioned that many of the patrons here were doctors, chiropractors and more. She said I could place my business card on the members notice board. 2 weeks later I got a call and client.

Hope this helps you.


Lisa Paoli
June 10, 2005 @ 4:35 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

I didn't charge a set up fee at first but now I do and it's usually between $250-$1000 depending on size of clients.  You can also use this as an incentive to sign the contract, either half off or some type of sale.  The set up fee was not that important to me, I felt that I had to prove myself first and then the money will come in.  And it did!!!

Lisa Paoli, CMRS

June 11, 2005 @ 10:36 AM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Lisa, thank you. I like the idea of incentive and offering a discount. Sort of makes the client look like they are getting more for FREE.

Good Idea.

Thank you

Lisa Paoli
June 14, 2005 @ 8:56 AM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

All we all know physicians want things for free.

Good luck
Lisa Paoli, CMRS

June 30, 2005 @ 11:54 AM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top



do not charge a set up cost, very very very unprofessional, think about this what are they getting for the set up charge? nothing, thats right... you want to keep your clients and let the word get around that you do not charge you will grow to be succesful as we are today, we started in 1999 in our home and now have 30 employees with over 50 clients not to mention a proprietary emr software that is the best in the market. today doctors are the way they are because of things like set up charges, if you land a decent client that will pay 7% you will be making at least 7k per month on this client, do you want to loose the opportunity because of a measly set up charge, if yes then prepare to have a hand full of clients and never succeed,

good luck

June 30, 2005 @ 1:28 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Wow, that's kind of a sweeping statement, and an unfair allegation, isn't it?  Everyone has a different business model, and the set up fee is often for up-front costs that the billing service may incur - additional software license, additional initial data entry, additional credentialing and enrollment.  Add that to the fact that some services charge as little as 5%, and not all are billing $100,000 per month or more.  What works for one service may not work for another.  So one charges 5% and a $5,000 set up's preferable to charging 7% for the entire life of the contract?  Some might differ with you.  And, since most services do charge a set up fee, you can hardly say that anyone choosing to do so will remain unsuccessful.

Lisa Paoli
June 30, 2005 @ 7:46 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Please make your own judgement on what you want to price your services.  No one should make that decision for you, I personally only charged 2 of my clients a set up fee and that was because they had back log.  But please every situation is different.  Use your gutt to make your decision it's your business

Lisa Paoli, CMRS

July 1, 2005 @ 11:57 AM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

leah you are right and i respect your statement , but Ms paoli has a good point as well. your best judgement is the way to go. i am sure everyone in this forum  has worked or working extremely hard to get  to the point of succession. BUT a set up charge should be done ONLY when it is justified, which to me, it means that there are true actual cost involved to start up the client , if you are charging someone a setup charge just because. you are being unethical, the problem that we have today in this business is that providers do not trust us, if they did every one would outsource. everytime we try to charge for something that  we really should not charge for, we put ourselves in the catagory of nontrust. some clients will never know but the ones that do will spread the word and we all know that bad news goes around fast so as leah said and i agree
if you are going to charge a set up fee then sit down and jot what it is going to cost to start up the client and then pass that  cost over to the client. (there should be no profit on this your not selling setup your selling billing service)  as for the charge 5k to get a lower % that is not a setup charge, come on people business 101 that is a negotiation. dont get them confused.
i hope that everyone has a great and safe 4th of july weekend

July 1, 2005 @ 12:12 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Joe, now that you have clarified your position, I agree with you.

August 17, 2005 @ 6:12 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

You know your notion of not charging a set-up fee is great and all, but the reality is you get what you pay for! There are so many services out there now that we have become a dime a dozen. I am a Certified Professional Coder w/over 12 years experience and I charged EVERYONE of my clients a set-up fee and guess what they paid it without complaint. They knew that my services were worth it and the $250-$1000 they paid was mear pocket change to them. A doctor wants a good product no matter what it costs, they can see the bigger picture. Most of them paid an average of $500 w/a 7% fee, while it might have cost them more for my services every single one of them has seen at least a 20% increase in revenue. Its about skill and knowledge, not cost. I consult as well and charge $2500 a day, I have yet to hear a complaint. Why is that because they are getting what they paid for its like eating at McDonalds vs. the Ritz. A word to the wise if you price yourself to low doctors will not come because they think you are unskilled if you price yourself to high doctors will not come because they are cheap. Find a happy medium and a set-up fee is always a good idea for the initial hassle to set a practice up. If you set a practice up right it will cost you.

Minid L. Rothans, CPC, CDPMA

August 22, 2005 @ 11:19 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

If I have another company do my billing, who is responsible for mistakes?

Do I need to set this in a contact?


August 23, 2005 @ 12:21 AM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Hi Fiona
Are you a billing service outsourcing your work or are you a physician office outsourcing to a billing service?

August 23, 2005 @ 12:35 AM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Hi Mindi

I am a physician office outsourcing to a billing service. Well considering it anyway!

August 23, 2005 @ 12:05 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

If the service has a CPC or CCS-P both you and the service are responsible, you should ask to see a copy of their professional liability insurance. If no one is certified then the physician is 100% responsible for all billing errors that may occure. You should look into a service that has a Certified Coder not only will you share the coding responsibility but a certified coder should be able to increase your revenue because they are trained to know which CPT codes are compatable with ICD-9 and also when doing multiple procedure which code to use first to receive max reimbursement. I hope this has helped you.
Mindi L. Rothans, CPC, CDPMA

August 24, 2005 @ 6:50 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Thanks Mindi,

Thats helps a lot.

Many thanks

PS Great web site and people on the site


Copyright © 2008 Billing-Coding Inc