March 17, 2011
I was contacted by a company that handles administrative services for physicians, which peaked my interest. Is this an arrangement I should consider or be wary of?
Thanks, Dr. H
Totally depends. Plenty of practices are outsourcing administrative services from billing to scheduling to IT, etc. Whether the outsourcing arrangement is appropriate boils down to the details of the particular arrangement. For instance, some arrangements with billing companies that practitioners outsource billing to that are charging a percentage are technically violative of NYS Department of Health's interpretation of fee splitting. Outsourcing marketing services and paying someone a flat rate per patient that individual sends to the practice is an illegal kick-back. However, both the billing and marketing outsourcing examples set forth above may be structured in a way where both are legitimate.
Some tips when considering outsourcing services are to know not to:
1. Outsource professional services to a non-professional
2. Pay someone per referral
3. Share fees with someone other than a doctor (and even there, there are prohibitions - this requirement varies State by State, as well)
And, of course, if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
Bottom line: establishing an arrangement to outsource services may create liability for your practice and should be reviewed to ensure it is structured appropriately.
For additional information on this topic, contact Jennifer Kirschenbaum at (516)-747-6700 ext. 302 or at Jennifer@Kirschenbaumesq.com.
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