Paid vs. Free Medical Billing Clearinghouse
Free medical billing clearinghouses have the obvious benefit of being more cost effective for the medical provider or billing company when filing claims electronically.
The two most popular free clearinghouses are Office Ally and Availity. Like all clearinghouses, they are reimbursed by the insurance companies. However, unlike most other clearinghouses, Office Ally and Availity do not charge the provider or billing company for the majority of their services.
The fee based clearing house will typically provide more services and have relationships established with more medical billing software vendors.
The bottom line is that paid medical billing clearing houses are usually better for a new medical billing service since they provide more training and support, while a free clearing house will often be the better alternative since it is cheaper and the more experience medical billing services should not need as much hand holding. Of all the free medical billing clearinghouses, Office Ally does appear to be making the most aggressive attempt at offering as many features and support as the fee based clearinghouses.