On Wednesday, June 18, Etactics hosted a panel discussion via a webinar. The topic addressed planning a transition to a new PM system. We were fortunate to have a great group of panelists, with various points of view and professional roles in the industry.
First, we heard from Doris Higgins, Central Billing Office Team Manager at Northern Ohio Medical Specialists (NOMS) Healthcare a 70 plus provider group. Doris has been through three such software transitions.
Doris said her main questions when looking at a new PM system are: is it user friendly, and what kind of reporting and tracking is available both for A/R and staff productivity?
Another big consideration for Doris is what data tables are going to be transferred over, and what the practice will be expected to build themselves. “Everything from a Zip code table, to obviously our physicians, to our payers, to CPT codes, all ICD codes, there are a lot of tables that go into any PM system,” Doris said. “Obviously the more they can provide us, the less time is spent to make this conversion happen, and time is money.”
Also from NOMS, we heard from Marta Kirsch, Manager of Financial Services. “You wouldn’t think that the collection manager would be real involved in a conversion like this from the beginning, but one of the most important things for us is to ensure we have a flawless check in process,” Marta said.
A key concern for NOMS is to make sure patients can’t bypass information the central billing office needs. Without good patient demographic and insurance information it impossible to collect especially when you are 90 to 120 days down the road said Marta.
The discussion then moved toward data and financial conversion, a specialty of Norman Efroymson, CEO of Micro Office Systems. Norman talked about taking advantage of the transition as a time to clean up your data as part of the conversion. He suggested determining what is important to your organization, and if any of your data is dormant.
“It’s not enough just to bring across a claim with the payments and adjustments, but you need to know where in the process every claim is,” Norman said. One solution he recommended was converting your notes or tasks. Some companies have printed and re-keyed this information. However, Norman suggests his clients consider making this part of the conversion process to save time and errors.
Finally Norman discussed choosing a handful of accounts to do a detailed check on transactions and statuses. Make sure these accounts are a variety of private insurance, government insurance, and family accounts where the guarantor is not the patient.
Finally we heard from Rylan Arnold. He is the Vice President of Open Practice Solutions, a web-based PM software and developer. Rylan discussed a trend he has seen in the industry in the last 5 years or so where organizations move PM systems just because they need to change their EMR.
“My cautionary tale in all of this is making sure the PM change is happening for the right reasons,” Rylan said. “If it’s not broken don’t fix it”
He said as a result of clinical based PM decisions he has seen 60% report cash flow issues, 40% increase in A/R days, and 30% increase in statement costs.
Rylan said a couple big things practices can do in advance to make a smoother transition is to get EDI approvals well in advance, and work on the new system before going live.
The presentation was followed by some great follow up questions. We invite you to continue the discussion by leaving a comment with your experience or questions below. Etactics gives a big thanks again to our panelists for sharing their time and expertise.