Improved collections, extensive reporting, integration between billing and EHR

Prior to Board-Certified Psychiatrist Dr. Jacob Samander opening his practice in Port St. Lucie, Fla., one of the most significant decisions he made was to outsource his billing. Outsourcing billing, he says, should be an easy decision for many mental health professionals in private practice.

“I can’t imagine doing it any differently,” he says. “Billing in- house would have been too expensive and too much of a pain to manage.”

Once a practice has made the decision to outsource, the next step is to find the right billing outsourcing partner. There are a number of companies claiming they provide mental health billing services, but not all are equal in their performance. Dr. Samander found this out firsthand.

The first outsourcing billing company he partnered with failed to deliver what his practice needed. That all changed when he switched to PGM Billing and ICANotes.

Growth in the Bottom Line

Within just days of switching to PGM, Dr. Samander says he saw an immediate impact on his practice’s collections. “My billing has gone up since I outsourced to PGM,” he says. “PGM gets me paid for the work I do, which allows me to commit more time to providing patient care.”

By outsourcing billing, Dr. Samander says his practice benefits financially in many other ways. He doesn’t need to pay a salary and benefits for an employed biller. There’s no investment needed for training a biller, and no need to spend money on educational tools to ensure the biller is following the correct rules. He also saves money on the cost of any IT the biller would need, such as a computer workstation and billing software.

“By partnering with PGM, I don’t have to worry about budgeting for all of the costs associated with having a biller on staff. Couple that with the fact that I’ve seen my collections go up, and I can’t imagine having my billing handled any other way,” he says. “Practices should strongly consider outsourcing their billing if they haven’t already.”

In addition, Dr. Samander says the many reports he receives from PGM are extremely helpful with planning for his organization’s future. “The reports I get are very important. The data is accurate, and allows me to make educated decisions that help with growing my practice. Any time I need information on the practice’s performance, the PGM team is very accessible, right up through the company’s senior executives.”

Reduced Stress

Dr. Samander has seen how outsourcing his behavioral health billing does much more than just have a positive financial impact. It eliminates the need for his practice to perform the many critical tasks associated with billing and overcoming the challenges of getting paid by insurance companies, all while reducing the stress of running the business.

“PGM specializes in medical billing — they have a team of experts who know all of the ins and outs of it, and know how to properly contact insurance companies to process my claims,” he says. “They always keep me up to date on changes to billing rules that affect my business. This reliability gives me peace of mind.”

He also finds solace in knowing that he will never have to deal with replacing a biller who leaves the practice. “If I hired someone and they left, the hiring and training process would start over again, and that’s a lengthy process,” Dr. Samander says. “I’m happy to know that I won’t ever have to deal with billing staff turnover.”

PGM Synergy With ICANotes

Dr. Samander says he has been able to maximize the benefits of outsourcing his billing to PGM through his practice’s

use of the ICANotes web-based electronic mental health record software. PGM has extensive experience working with ICANotes. Members of the PGM staff work closely with ICANotes team members to ensure the coding and billing information within ICANotes is current, helping clients like Dr. Samander collect the maximum reimbursement for the services provided to patients.

“I greatly value the integration between PGM and ICANotes,” he says. “The PGM team has such vast knowledge of the system and really understands how my practice uses it. This gives me tremendous confidence in PGM as I know they will never have any problems obtaining the information from ICANotes needed to submit my bills and get me paid in a timely fashion.”

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