By David Fuhriman, CPA, MBA | November 16, 2011

Going to RSNA this month? See you there. Maybe. I hope. There will be 60,000 other attendees, so look for me. In preparation of going this year I reviewed each of the technical exhibitors. This was over 700 sites and took several days. I reached out to several in advance to meet with them while I am in Chicago. Here are three of my favorites with a focus on the business, financial or billing aspect of imaging.

Each of these exhibitors provides billing services along with their other services. I believe in constant improvement. So even though you believe your current operations are "perfect", there will always be a way to be better. There are two phrases that exemplify the mentality that interrupts improvements: "We have always done it this way" and "You should have seen how we used to do it." Both of these phrases slow down improvements. Past success and past reasons for doing things are not enough. We must always be reviewing and thinking.

CodeRyte — CodeRyte delivers services and software to help with billing. The software uses natural language processing to identify correct billing codes from the radiologists' reports. The benefits are pretty clear. Using software to review the report to identify and suggest codes would reduce human interaction and errors. Definitely worth looking into further.

Using their software CodeRyte highlights some of the benefits that were actually received from their current customers. One of those was the Radiological Associates of Sacramento a practice with 23 locations in California. After implementing their software, coder productivity quadrupled, they were able to reallocate three FTEs and reduce denials by 25 percent.

Medical Imaging Specialists — MIS provides consulting and revenue cycle management services exclusively to imaging clients. I will share here a sample of their consulting results. After an initial assessment, MIS identified the Outpatient Imaging Service Area or geographical market and then implemented a strategy to help grow revenue. They assisted internal resources in defining and monitoring key metrics as part of the strategy. This led to significant revenue growth and resulted in an increase of annual net income of $600,000.

Physicians Business Network — PBN provides several business and financial services to physicians such as tax and audit consulting, contract management, billing and practice management. PBN shares a case study about a successful radiology group that decided to switch from PBN to a competitor billing company to save 1.5 percent on the billing rate. This is a significant decision and by my own calculations this would have saved the radiology group $135,000 annually. The group signed a three- year contract, with estimated savings of over $400,000.

Since the quality and performance of the competitor’s service wasn’t as high as PBN’s, the group saw a drop of $87,000 in charge capture. Additionally the group saw the percentage collected drop from 95 percent to 72 percent. In the first month of the change the group saw a loss of $250,000 in revenue. Things improved over the three-year contract and by the 36th month revenue was off only $80,000. Over the three-year contract the accumulative missed revenue compared to PBN performance was between $3 million to 4 million.

The important thing in each of these examples is that we should constantly be reviewing performance. We should always be trying to capture all the revenue, bill it as efficiently as possible, and collect it quickly. It is important for the health of your entity. It provides the resources to provide great care for the patient. It also helps the entire imaging market to operate more efficiently. Stop by and visit these exhibitors at RSNA and others to learn more about how to better operate the business side. See you at RSNA.

 


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