Miscommunication between software vendors and physician practices is not only common; it has become an expectation among experienced healthcare administrators and consultants. In such cases, the vendor has over promised and under delivered. Although rarely intentional, it costs the practice valuable time and resources. One of White Plume Technologies’ fundamental operating principles is to under promise and over deliver.
Since the best indicator of future performance is past experience, it is helpful to speak to a client about their experience with a vendor. Below is a transcript from an email exchange between a prospective new client and current White Plume client, Barb Sack. Barb is the Executive Director at Midwest Orthopaedics and the President-Elect of the American Association of Orthopaedic Executives.
Prospective Client: How long have you used White Plume?
Barb: We have been using them for about 5-6 years. We started with CodeScan which automatically scanned paper superbills, and converted last year to White Plume’s electronic charge capture product, AccelaCAPTURE.
Prospective Client: What were you trying to accomplish with White Plume? Were you skeptical in the beginning?
Barb: My goal was to expand the capacity of my minuscule billing department of two people for five surgeons and one physician’s assistant. The doctors had been in a huge down-sizing and cost-cutting mode when I started at the practice over seven years ago. They were very opposed to adding any additional staff. Two people were spending all of their time posting charges and payments; there was no time for them to do anything else.
I heard about White Plume, and went to see their product in action at a large cardiology group in town. That group was able to go from nine to seven billers while adding providers, and said they actually billed and collected for more charges than they had previously. That part made me skeptical, so we didn’t include it in our initial projections. In the end, my doctors gave me three months to demonstrate that it was a good decision.
Prospective Client: After the “go live” date, how long did it take you to realize the product’s potential?
Barb: Possibly the best thing White Plume did was take all of the little sticky notes in the billing area and the little idiosyncrasies of our market and translate them into custom edits so that the billing staff didn’t always have to remember everything. Amazingly, within two months we were actually billing more. I was still skeptical.
Prospective Client: Why were you still skeptical?
Barb: Well, things like this: When billing a workers’ compensation patient, the physicians were always supposed to remember to bill a work status report. The physicians believed they always did, and the billers thought they always caught it when the doctors forgot. Wrong on both counts, but the custom edit did catch it every time.
Another example is when billing a steroid injection, the physician needed to remember to bill both the injection and the drug. Again, the physicians insisted they always marked both. The billers disagreed, but said they always caught it. Wrong again. AccelaSMART caught them all, and even knew which payors required that a bi-lateral procedure be submitted on two lines with RT and LT modifiers and which ones you can bill with a 50 modifier on one line. Our denials and re-bills suddenly dropped.
By my three month deadline, my doctors saw the billing increasing and that we were collecting money faster, with more of it. Our days in A/R were going down. By six months I was a hero, and who doesn’t want that!
Prospective Client: What would you do differently to make an installation easier if you were starting over with White Plume?
Barb: The implementation was amazingly pain-free. We spent some time developing a charge sheet for our group, and not really “training” the doctors but rather explaining how it would work. The implementation representative we had was outstanding. The interface with the Centricity practice management system (PM System) was seamless.