October 1999 Bulletin

Tips to protect practice from TPA problems

Protecting your organization from possible third party administrator (TPA) collection delays isn't easy.

It's really tough to keep tabs on the tab-keepers. But the fact is that you can.

So says Heather Bossin, executive director, Washington University Shared Billing and Collections Services, that provides billing service for more than 800 clinical faculty at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri.

Here are some steps to take before you hire a TPA:

Once a TPA is on board, you will also need to put some steps in place to review on a regular basis the backlog, turnaround time and accuracy in claims payments, points out Bossin. "Standards should be measured, observed and agreed upon in their contract for performance measures," says Bossin.

And remember, if the IPA's volume of risk contracts is so small that the IPA can't afford to fund a good periodic review of the TPA, then, Bossin says, "that IPA should not be taking on the risk of the contract."

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