CASE STUDY: A Big Step Forward, Medical Billing Company Freed from Denial Drudgery
Serving 18 medical practices with 65 healthcare providers, MICI in Houston, Texas, needed to retire its custom billing application, improve claim filing accuracy and establish a foundation for future growth. BASCONNECT™ reduced insurance claim denials, accelerated cash flow, and improved revenue cycle reporting.
There had to be a better way. Hundreds of claims were being filed each week at MICI, a medical billing and support firm in Houston, and dozens were being denied. The time spent processing and fixing those errors was a constant strain on the staff.
“We were getting our claims filed and fixing denials, but the time involved to process exceptions was a lot more than it should have been,” says Steve Mueller, president of MICI. “Our custom billing software that we had built ourselves required extensive manual manipulation and workarounds. We were stuck, and we either needed to invest more in our system or find a new solution.”
MICI handles the entire revenue cycle, including billing and collections, for doctors across the country. Founded in 1987, MICI delivers services to practices of all sizes, from small practices with one or two physicians to large groups with many physicians.
After a thorough review of the medical billing software marketplace, MICI selected BASCONNECT (Connect) to replace its custom application. The headaches of the old application are gone, and Connect is performing as promised.
“We have a very experienced team that knows the industry well, and we looked at every billing software out there,” says Mueller. “We were looking for reliability, support, and any extra edge we could gain in ease-of-use and efficiency. We found that edge with Connect.”
BREAKING FREE, MOVING FORWARD
MICI made a strategic decision years ago to build and maintain its own billing software for security and cost reasons, but cloud-based systems have brought new flexibility and functionality benefits that far outweigh the time and trouble of maintaining legacy systems.
“We are best at handling the human aspects and operations of practice support; we are not a technology company,” says Mueller. “Keeping up with upgrades and improvements for our software was consuming us and taking time away from our core services.”
Mueller, along with Tim Barker, the director of operations and technology, organized and managed MICI’s migration to Connect. Before joining MICI, Barker was an IT executive for a large regional health insurance company.
“The key to success in a conversion like this is careful planning,” says Barker. “The Connect team did a nice job helping us prepare and implement our plan for switching over. Their attention to detail and accuracy was impressive.”
LOWERING COSTS AND COLLECTING MORE REVENUE AT MICI
#1 MICI provides medical practice support and anesthesiology billing services for 18 medical practices and 65 healthcare providers.
#2 MICI’s custom billing software was a problem, requiring large amounts of time and expense for ongoing support.
#3 The switch to Connect has allowed MICI to ensure business continuity, deal more efficiently with denied claims, and reduce days in A/R by 10 percent so far.
REDUCING PAPER AND DENIALS, IMPROVING INSIGHTS
Before Connect, MICI had little choice but to handle insurance denials manually.
“We built time into staff schedules each week to handle insurance denials that couldn’t be amended through our old system,” says Mueller. “Connect has helped us cut down on denials in the first place with better checks and controls, and when we do have a denial, we can edit and resubmit immediately. No more workarounds.”
Those denials can be turned more quickly into valid claims and reimbursements now.
“We’ve been able to reduce days in A/R by 10 percent so far in the first year,” says Mueller. “And we think we can continue to do better in that area and probably reduce the number of days by another 10 to 20 percent.”
Mueller also points to Connect’s reporting capabilities as another big win for his company and the medical practices he serves.
“Our clients hire us to manage a mission-critical component – revenue cycle – and we need to be able to show that we are measuring and managing key performance indicators such as days in A/R, cash flow, and other claim details,” says Mueller. “Connect has built-in reports ready for us to share with clients and that makes us look even better.”
Mueller says his switch to Connect has also filled another important role: disaster recovery preparedness. The application and all its data are safely stored on-site in hardened facilities designed to withstand natural disasters, fires, and other interruptions.
“With Connect, we have a better business resiliency plan, and also a roadmap for application improvements in the future,” says Mueller.
Overall, Mueller said the decision by MICI to implement Connect has been a good one.
“The whole experience – before, during, and after our implementation – has been very positive,” says Mueller. “It’s been above and beyond what we hoped for.”