5 Legal Billing Tips for Health Law Attorneys

24 Oct

5 Legal Billing Tips for Health Law Attorneys

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Health Law Attorneys: Legal Billing Tips

For health law attorneys, like attorneys in other industries, billing is vitally important. Without proper billing, both the attorneys and their clients in the health field, will feel shortchanged and frustrated. Using law firm billing software can help, but there are other techniques health law attorneys can use to make sure their billing is handled correctly in addition to legal billing software. These techniques can ensure the billing process is handled properly and it is fair and accurate. The following are a few billing tips health law attorneys may find helpful.

Tips For Better Billing Accuracy

In addition to law firm billing software, using the following methods can lead to a more accurate accounting of the time health law attorneys spend working on their clients’ cases.

1. Provide Detailed Descriptions Of Tasks
2. Avoid Block Billing
3. Enter Time At Regular Intervals
4. Communicate With The Client Regularly
5. Follow Ethical Guidelines

Taking these steps is important because billing problem can derail a promising career. Many attorneys lament that billing practices are not covered in enough depth in law school. Many lawyers are force to learn the intricacies of billing after graduation when they are out in the real world working in their law practice. At that point, they begin to understand the challenges involved in accurately capturing and documenting billable hours then explaining and justifying to their clients why those hours of legal work were necessary to handle the case.

1. Provide Detailed Descriptions

While law firm billing software may show how many hours an attorney worked on a case, providing the client with detailed descriptions of the tasks completed during that time helps them understand what services the bill actually covers. Most clients would happily pay for billable hours that helped to produce results they can see. This is more effective than Mac productivity software for helping clients understand exactly what was done and how long it took.

2. Avoid Block Billing

Whether a health law attorney works for the New York City Law Department or a private firm, they should stay away from block billing. To many clients block billing is used to mask inefficient use of time. Rather than billing for large blocks of time for vague tasks, break the time down into smaller increments and state exactly what was done during that period. This will eliminate questions the clients may have about the invoices and make them more apt to pay it quickly.

3. Enter Time At Regular Intervals 

The best way to ensure your billing is accurate is to log the time spent on specific tasks into the law firm billing software at regular intervals. When you do this and bill frequently it makes it easier for the client to monitor what you’re doing and you won’t lose track of your billable time. If you don’t always have easy access to your legal billing software, make a written note of the time required to complete each task and transfer it to the law firm billing software as soon as possible.

4. Communicate With The Client Regularly

When clients feel they are being kept in the dark, it can lead them to question their legal bills. If you communicate with your client on a regular basis and use simple language, it eliminates confusion about the bills, allows clients to be able to follow the legal activities that are taking place and keeps the client happy. This will make them willing to pay the legal bills without questions because it will be clear to them exactly what tasks the bills cover.

5. Follow Ethical Guidelines

Following ethical guidelines with billing practices will make the bill paying process go a lot smoother. The attorney should be open and honest with the client from the very beginning. Establish a reasonable fee, clarify the fee agreement and put it in writing before beginning to work on the case. Discuss any additional fees, added expenses or rate increases with the client before doing the work and billing them for it. Let the client know beforehand if there will be interest charged on delinquent accounts. Earn your retainer fee. Don’t expect to be paid for work you have not completed.

Being clear with your client from the very beginning and throughout, keeping communication lines open and complying with ethical guidelines in regards to work completed and your billing practices are effective billing tips. They can endear you to your clients and help you to find success as a health law attorney.

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