Partnering with an expert team to pursue every penny owed
By most accounts, Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Associates, Ltd. was operating efficiently. They sent out timely charges, received reimbursements, and maintained a high clean claims rate and low number of days in A/R — all signs of financial stability.
Yet a series of small, compounding issues eventually matured into real challenges. Over time, these minor “paper cuts” eroded the practice’s ability to maintain efficient office operations, beginning with unreliable employees.
“We were facing staffing issues,” said Esther Raley, business administrator. “Internally, we had staff members who weren’t doing their jobs the way they should have. It was a tough time for us.”
To eliminate some staffing issues and streamline backoffice processes, the practice decided to downsize. However, the sole biller couldn’t keep up with the practice’s high volume of reimbursements.
“The charges were getting in, and the money was coming, but our payment posting was behind, because we only had one person doing it,” said Carmela Hewitt, assistant practice manager. Even just a small delay in posting can cause significant issues, such as missed opportunities to bill secondary payers.
The practice knew it was missing other revenuegenerating opportunities as well, such as using their practice management system’s collections module, but didn’t have the time or resources to invest in pursuing them.
After learning about revenue cycle management (RCM) services from Greenway Health® on the Customer Community and at Greenway’s annual user conference, ENGAGE, Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Associates decided to partner with Greenway Revenue Services™.
“Our billing has improved because the statements are going out and the customer payments are coming in. That’s allowed me more time to focus on the people who owe money. That’s where I think it’s really helped.”
Immediately, the practice noticed an improvement in its payment posting, which helped further decrease its already low average days in A/R.
“The way we have payment posting set up with the revenue services team, they’re able to jump on it within a day or two, whereas with our staff, it took maybe a week or two because of the volume,” said Hewitt. “Now we have a very good system set up, and they get posted very quickly. I think that’s what expedited our days in A/R, because it’s physically posted to the account as fast as possible.”
The difference, according to the practice, is because the Greenway Revenue Services team is familiar with both medical billing procedures and the practice’s electronic health record (EHR) and practice management (PM) system.
“There are little things that I spent a lot of time fighting with in the system,” said Hewitt. “The Greenway Revenue Services team knows all the ins and outs. They know how to go into the parameters and fix things that I didn’t know how to fix.”
More time to focus on the things that matter most
Greenway Revenue Services is designed to transition a practice’s billing cycle from reactive to proactive, empowering practice administrators with the time and ability to focus on implementing best practice workflows, and increase the practice’s profits. For example, delegating daily billing tasks to Greenway Revenue Services gave Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Associates time to follow up on revenue opportunities they previously couldn’t pursue.
“In the last few months, we’ve worked on focusing on the aging, collection accounts, and notices sent to patients,” said Raley.
“Our billing has improved because the statements are going out and the customer payments are coming in,” said Hewitt. “That’s allowed me more time to focus on the people who owe money. That’s where I think it’s really helped.”
That proactive follow-up improves the practice’s bottom line and benefits patients.
“The change made our patients happier too; they don’t seem to be complaining as much about how long it takes to get a bill,” said Hewitt.
A bigger team without the added stress
For Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Associates,working with the Greenway Revenue Services team is like having additional employees, without the stresses of increased overhead, payroll, and health benefits. The key, according to the practice, is ensuring the partnership centers around collaboration.
Through this partnership, the revenue services team becomes familiar with practices’ unique processes and works with the staff to implement those protocols.
“I feel good about communicating problems with them. They’re our partner and we work together to solve problems.”
• Constant communication with revenue services team.
• Decreased staffing hassles.
“The RCM team understands the expectation that you have as a customer, because not everyone’s protocols are the same,” said Raley. “We told them how we did things, and they worked with us to get it that way.”
In fact, the members of the RCM team assigned to Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Associates have become a part of the practice.
“You feel like, this is your person. This is a person who you’re employed with, practically,” said Hewitt. “You don’t know what they look like, but you sure recognize their emails … It’s like a co-employee who’s in a different state.”