Starting a Medical Billing home business. I am currently working at a Therapy business by the hour as an independent contractor but told them I want to do it from home and they agreed. I do not know what to charge as a flat fee per patient they see. Any ideas?
I’ve never charged a client a flat fee per patient – it’s always been either a percentage or hourly for special projects.
One approach would be to determine what it costs you to serve your client. Typical costs would be software and associated maintenance, postage, clearinghouse, misc. supplies, phone/fax line, etc. If you are using their practice management software and existing clearinghouse that certainly reduces your costs substantially. Postage/statement costs would probably be one of your bigger expenses in that case.
You could then estimate how many patients they see and how many hours a week you think it would take to serve them – and what you think would be a reasonable pay for your time – remember as a contractor you don’t get any benefits so you may want to factor that in also. You probably already have a pretty good idea of this since you’ve been doing it a while.
For example if they typically see 50 patients a week and it would take you 10 hours a week to enter, process claims, post payments, follow-up, etc. If it would cost you $100 to bill for those patients and you would expect to make $18 an hour for your time, then I would estimate the cost per patient = ($100 + $18 x 10)/50 = $5.60 per patient. That would pay you $280 a week for 10 hours of work – minus your expenses. Of course these are just number I pulled out of the air for an example.
There’s also an ebook that discusses more pricing options called Pricing Your Medical Billing Service written by Alice and Michele of Solutions Medical Billing up in New York.
Hope this helps some. My biggest advice is just to make sure you compensate yourself fairly for your time, expenses, and trouble. I know from experience there’s nothing as frustrating as being underpaid for your services – or stuck in a contract that doesn’t pay you fairly. It’s also a good idea to clearly define responsibilities of both parties in a contract to prevent misunderstandings in the future.