When Cynthia Malowitz, RN, FNP-C, opened Bay Area Quick Care, a family medicine practice in Corpus Christi, Texas, in April 2010, she wanted to focus her time on providing quality care to the residents of Corpus Christi. She didn’t want to spend time filling out paper charts or billing insurance companies. To avoid paper charts, Malowitz selected Amazing Charts, the ONC/CCHIT-certified EHR. To avoid billing insurers, she planned to provide treatment primarily to the uninsured population.
Bay Area saw just 28 patients in its first month of operation, but this figure grew rapidly. With the growth came more patients with insurance seeking Bay Area’s services. Rather than turn people away, Malowitz changed Bay Area’s business model and began accepting these patients. Malowitz says she soon found herself spending more time on billing and less time providing care. To address this challenge, Malowitz decided to outsource Bay Area’s medical billing.
Researching outsourcing options
Malowitz researched local outsourcing companies, but didn’t like what she learned. “I heard some bad stories about working with some of the local companies, and then my research into these companies revealed they charged very high rates and they were still doing so much on paper,” she recalls. “I would have had to fill out and print off paper forms to be delivered to these companies. They weren’t set up to do things electronically and have information just transmitted to them.”
She spoke with the team at Amazing Charts, who recommended she look into three national billing companies, including PGM Billing. “I spoke with all three of them,” Malowitz says. “What I recall is PGM Billing had more experience than the other two companies and PGM’s rates were fair, so I selected them as my billing partner.”
Just what the nurse ordered
PGM’s cloud-based, fully integrated practice management system, PGMonline integrates seamlessly with Amazing Charts. Each time a note is signed in Amazing Charts, an electronic superbill is generated, exported and uploaded over a secure HIPAA-compliant connection to PGM servers. From the moment Malowitz started to use this system for Bay Area’s billing, she says she knew her choice of PGM as her billing company was the right one.
“The interface between Amazing Charts and PGM is so easy; it’s so simple,” she says. “For our business to be successful, our billing has to be done fast and quickly. I absolutely do not have the time to do the billing. I can go into Amazing Charts, select the appropriate code and then once every two weeks or so we send everything to PGM through secure email and they take care of the rest, which is amazing.”
Malowitz says outsourcing her billing to PGM helps Bay Area in a significant number of ways. “I like it because everything is done electronically. I don’t have much time to focus on anything other than providing care, so whatever I can do that’s the fastest and easiest for me is what I’m looking for, and PGM does just that for our billing. It’s a great price, too, for what we pay because otherwise we would have to have a full-time biller, so I’m certainly saving money in that regard.”
Partner for the long haul
Bay Area has experienced tremendous growth since it opened. Malowitz says the facility now has more than 10,000 patients on its roster and had more than 8,000 encounters in 2012. Malowitz says she is grateful to know she can rely on PGM to take care of her billing as Bay Area gets even busier.
“More and more people are coming in with insurance, and PGM has been able to keep up with our growth very easily,” she says. “I am so happy that I outsourced our billing. I know people spend so much money on a full-time biller or they’re outsourcing it to someone locally and everything is on paper. I want it all computerized. It’s easier, faster and everything has worked out very well with PGM.”
Malowitz says she also finds great comfort in the excellent customer service she has come to expect from PGM. “Any time we have a question, we’re also able to call or email Jane, who is our PGM rep, and she gets back to us within 24 hours. If something needs to get taken care of, it needs to get taken care of right away and not a week from now. Jane delivers that for us. She takes the time to make sure we are getting paid for the services we provide to our patients. That side is very important because it’s what keeps the lights on. Since we now have such a high volume of patients who are insured, I couldn’t even imagine trying to run this business without PGM.”