As the Office Manager for a busy medical practice, Lori Thomas recognizes that time is money. And thanks to a long-standing relationship with Alta Medical Management, Thomas and the practice have a bit more of both to work with on a daily basis.
“The financial situation of the practice improved dramatically when we made the move to Alta,” says Thomas. “Honestly, we didn’t really have a handle on how much we were missing out on until they stepped in to help.”
Seamless transition yields immediate rewards
As Thomas recalls, the transition from the existing internal billing and collections model to working with Alta went better than she could have imagined. “There are so many issues that can arise when switching operating systems and helping staff navigate a change of that scale,” she says, “But the Alta team came in and made it happen. They provided onsite and online training, implemented a new scheduling program, offered advice on what codes to use, helped us strategize new approaches for collections, and on and on.”But even more gratifying than the ease of the transition, says Thomas, was the immediate reward for the effort.
“It was transformative for the practice,” she says. “Almost instantaneously, A/R time dropped, appeals success rate went up, we started capturing revenue that was previously lost, and we unearthed an issue with Medicare claims that provided a tremendous financial boost. I could say that alone was worth the switch, but Alta brings so much more to the table.”
Greater solvency and peace of mind through partnership
Now nearly 12 years into the relationship with Alta, Thomas still has a monthly call with her Alta Client Revenue Manager to review the practice’s financial and collections status. “We started the monthly check-ins back in 2009 and they continue to be invaluable. Together, we review revenue, look at where A/R numbers are, strategize collections, and, spot things, like underpayment, that might otherwise fall through the cracks. It’s a sort of ‘checks and balance’ system that we were sorely lacking and ensures 100% of our charges are being captured.”
She adds, “That simple review gives us a good handle on how we’re doing overall and helps us better prepare for what’s ahead. And Alta is great at alerting us to any changes to coding or payment processes that are taking place or looming. There’s a great peace of mind that comes from working with a team that’s as concerned about the well-being of our practice as I am.”
Accomplishing more on multiple fronts
Another benefit of working with Alta that Thomas appreciates is the time she now has to tackle other tasks. “If we weren’t using Alta, I would have to hire another full-time person to handle the workload. Even so, I’m certain I’d still be on the phone chasing patients for payment, and I’d have to manage the additional FTE. But thanks to Alta, instead of chasing patients, I’m able to focus on high ticket items. Appeals for things like injections are complicated. But I actually have the time to craft and submit those higher appeals. In my view, it’s just more money captured thanks to Alta.
In-house billing and collections management falling short on collections and appeals