Changing Medical Billing Companies

by Sheryl
(Huntersville, NC)

I need to know what is required from the billing company when a provider lets you go and hires another billing co. Are you required to give them a final back up? What are the HIPAA requirements???



Response:

With regard to HIPAA and the Office of Inspector General (OIG), billing services are considered Covered Entities or Business Associates which act on behalf of a provider. Under this arrangement I think in the eyes of the government and regulatory folks the provider is entitled to a copy of the patient database.

I don't know that I've seen it specifically stated in what form - electronic or paper - that would be. I wouldn't want to fight a provider in court over ownership of patient data because I think they would win that battle.

Just as a matter of professional courtesy I would provide an electronic copy of the practice management database - in electronic format - if requested by the provider. It would be up to them to convert to another software. If they want paper copies of this information I would want payment up front because that would be a lot of paper, toner, and time to print out.

Unless this is specifically spelled out in your contract with the provider I think providing an electronic copy is sufficient and shows your cooperation. I thing it's a good idea to define this in the contract at the beginning.

I understand in situations where there is a dispute about what is owed to the billing service that there may be a reluctance to provide this information until the account is up to date.

Hope this helps - it's just my opinion so feel free to comment and add corrections by clicking on the link below.

Thanks!

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