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BPO Make vs. Buy Part 2: Key Questions to Ask When Selecting a Partner

WRS Health recently released a white paper titled, “BPO Make vs. Buy Part 2: How to Select a BPO Service Partner,” which examines the criteria crucial for medical practices to utilize when selecting a business process outsourcing service partner. Today, in part two of our three-part blog series, we continue to explore the key questions a medical practice should ask before partnering with an outside company.

Part 2

HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT SERVICE PROVIDER, CONT.

Can the external services firm perform this service? This means asking the following subset of questions:

Trusting Relationships

Are they a trusted partner? It’s important to ask how the company handles problems and questions. Many top companies offer prompt responses via email tickets. Maki Rheaume, M.D., of Kuraoka Clinic in Ohio said, “I’m very particular and always expect the best. I like the company’s team because they’re all very friendly so I’m always comfortable. I send e-tickets or emails if I have a problem, the team figures it out and provides me with an answer quickly. I don’t like when people don’t get back to me. The team always tries to resolve the problem.”

Toni Pratt-Reid, ARNP, of Family Health Care & Minor Emergency Clinic in Oklahoma said the company she outsources billing and practice management to “responds in less than half an hour to my questions. If we face an issue, we’ll know that they will address it rapidly.”

Viability of Company

How do you find out if your outsourced company will be there for you in the future? Here are some questions you should ask:

  • What year was your business founded? You want a firm that has been in business for at least five years.
  • What’s the average turnover of your staff? How long has your support staff worked for your company? What credentials does your staff possess? Are expert personnel available full time to handle questions? Will the company provide you with a “go to person?”
  • How many clients do you currently serve? Does this number represent growth from last year? What is your client retention rate?
  • Although many companies won’t divulge information about potential mergers or acquisitions, you should ask whether they have intentions down the road to merge or be acquired by another vendor.
  • What were your sales figures for the past year? If the firm does not release sales numbers, you can ask for a ballpark figure or a percentage to see if the percentage represents growth from the previous year.
  • Having partnerships with leading industry companies is another indicator of credibility and trustworthiness.
  • What kind of results do you get for your clients? Speak to some key references in the same specialty and service area as your inquiry and practice.

Access and Control

Will you have access and control of your information? For example, when outsourcing billing services, does the company provide you with the ability to track your business collections day or night and from any location?

Dr. Derrick Wallace’s story is a best-case scenario. Owner of Ear, Nose & Throat Solutions of New Jersey, Dr. Wallace said, “It’s easier for me to track things because the company’s billing team works within my EMR. That’s another feature that I wanted – to be able to track what’s happening. It is more cost effective for me to hire someone to do the billing, but it’s great to have them work with the EMR system so that I can pull up a report while I am at home relaxing and see the status of my collections whenever I want to. I don’t have to call up a billing person to get a report or wait for some report at the end of the month. I can look at it whenever I want to.”