Across the employment screening industry, rebills are a common issue. Rebills are most prevalent for clients who use a variety of clinic collection sites across the country, such as medical staffing companies.
What is a rebill?
A ‘rebill’ is an instance where a clinic collection site sends the bill for their services directly to a current or prospective employee (typically called the “donor”), to the donor’s health insurance provider, or to the employer. The bill should be sent to the Third-Party Administrator (TPA) so that the TPA can confirm services were provided accurately and completely and pay the bill on behalf of the employer.
Why are rebills a problem?
In addition to frustrating the donor and employer, a rebill that goes unpaid can result in a donor or employer being erroneously sent to collections by the clinic. The longer a rebill waits to be addressed, the more damage the rebill can do to the individual’s credit and/or to the professional relationships of all involved. In some cases, the clinic collection site will stop accepting other donors from that employer until the bill is paid which can cause an impediment to completing employee screening in a timely manner consistent with regulations and company policy.
What causes a rebill?
In most cases, a rebill is simple human error by the staff at the clinic collection site. These staff deal with thousands of donors a week and who pays the bill can vary based on the reason the donor is seeking services.
Below are five tips to avoiding rebills and minimizing the impact of a rebill when it happens:
1. Use electronic ordering whenever possible
Clinic collection sites that use electronic ordering generally have higher accuracy rates and fewer rebills. Why? Because quite simply, there is less room for human error. If the clinic staff do not have to rekey information such as the entity to be billed from a paper form carried in by the donor, errors in data entry are less likely.
2. Close any extra accounts you have open
A common error is a rebill that results from a collection site using the wrong employer account. Often, employers will have old accounts open from previous TPA they’ve utilized or from a time when they conducted their own employment screening without the professional expertise of a TPA. These old accounts can be confusing for clinic collection sites and are sometimes incorrectly applied, causing a rebill.
Onboarding can be a great time to let the Vault team help you close old accounts. Mergers and acquisitions can also surface old, out-of-date accounts. If you’re a Vault client and you think you have old accounts complicating your screening process, our account representatives and procurement teams can help you identify and close accounts that may cause confusion at clinic collection sites.
3. Set expectations with the employee
When you send an employee or prospective employee in for screening services, always remind them that these services will take place at the employer’s expense. That means they should never present their insurance card, nor should they provide payment up front.
Vault provides clear paperwork to each donor stating invoices should be sent to Vault. The donor can point to this if the clinic staff ask for payment.
If the donor later receives a bill at home, ask them to send you a copy of the itemized bill. If you are a Vault client, we can handle rebills promptly when submitted by the employer to email@example.com with the following information included in the PDF: date of service, services performed, donor name, FirstRequest order number (if available) or authorization number. If you are not with Vault, find out the best process for submitting the information required to get rebills handled as promptly as possible.
4. Avoid clinics where you’ve encountered problems in the past
Vault collects data on clinic performance and works with clinics to retrain registration staff to ensure forms are completed accurately and that staff understand the bill goes to the TPA. Despite our best efforts, clinic performance still lags in some cases. If you notice a pattern, reach out to your account representative about other nearby clinic collection site options that can be added to your account. From time to time, Vault may also recommend you direct employees to higher performing clinics.
5. If you get billed, do not pay the bill.
Paying the bill only complicates the rebill process. If contacted by the clinic, let them know the bill should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org if you're a Vault client, and that you’ve also notified Vault to make payment. If using another provider, find out who clinics can submit to.
Rebills are a frustrating part of the employment screening industry, but they should be no more than an occasional nuisance, not a major impediment to running your screening program.
Vault has decades of experience providing workforce, drug and occupational health screening to clients nationwide. If you’re not already a Vault client and rebills are ruining your process, reach out to Vault about how we can help.
We are currently offering a free 30-minute screening program review with our compliance experts. We can review your program, and look at any issues you may be having with rebills. Schedule today and we'll step through every aspect of your program and where you may be able to improve rebills, along with any other area of your program. There is no obligation or risk involved, and you'll receive a free report you can review with team members following the consultation.
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