Selling your practice to a large hospital system or another practice can be an exciting, and scary, step for you and your practice. There are so many things to consider when selling your practice, and one that often falls to the bottom of the list – but is crucial – is medical billing.
If you are still going to be involved in your practice (you’re not walking away), you need to consider what the medical billing structure is going to look like when the practice is integrated within the new owner’s company. What medical billing firm will be managing the billing? And what billing-related responsibilities will the practice have?
While medical billing might not be top of mind when selling your practice, the importance of understanding the new owner’s expectation for medical billing and making a seamless transition cannot be understated.
Take one of our past clients for example. When we were managing the medical billing for this practice, we were handling 100% of the patient billing calls for the client. Anytime a patient had a question about their bill, it came to us.
The practice was purchased by another practice and was to be switched to the buying practice’s medical billing system. There was a lack of communication about what the new medical billing structure would look like, and as a result, all of the patient calls we used to field started coming to the practice itself. The practice did not have access to the billing records it needed to answer patient questions, leaving patients frustrated and hurting the practice’s reputation with its patients. In addition, the office manager essentially had to become a billing clerk, handling the large influx of calls to the practice.
Moral of the story? Communication is key. If you’re considering selling your practice, here are the questions you should ask the buyer:
- Who will be handling the medical claims processing and medical billing?
- What will the process look like for transitioning from our system to yours?
- What will our individual practice be responsible for?
- How will you ensure that the process is seamless for our patients and our staff?
Selling your practice can be a smart, strategic move. Just make sure you know what you’re getting into when it comes to your medical billing.