Q: What is your name and what do you do?
A: My name is Kelli Nicholas and I am the Practice Administrator at Cardiovascular Consultants Medical Group in Los Angeles, CA. I’ve had the privilege of working with this practice for over twenty years.
Q: Give us some background information on Cardiovascular Consultants Medical Group (CCMG).
A: CCMG is the oldest established cardiovascular practice in the greater Los Angeles area. We were founded over 50 years ago and currently have 13 physicians and 5 locations.
Q: How did you first become acquainted with CHMB and how long have you been a client?
A: We first starting working with CHMB in 2011 when they were chosen as the host of our new EHR and PM product, Allscripts. We’ve been with them ever since.
Q: What does a typical day in the practice look like for you? What has changed about your responsibilities after outsourcing your revenue cycle to CHMB?
A: I’m not sure any day is “typical”, but I can tell you it’s a full day, every day managing work flow, meeting staffing and physician needs and addressing the myriad of patient issues that pop up. It is truly a challenge to keep things running smoothly but our partnership with CHMB has meant one less hat for me to wear. Knowing that our billing processes and collection efforts are solid and successful has taken an enormous load off my mind.
Q: What issues were you experiencing that led you to outsource your revenue cycle?
A: Honestly, we didn’t know we had a problem! But like a lot of practices, we were experiencing rising costs with declining reimbursements. We were constantly seeing changing government mandates, knew we had extensive ICD-10 preparation ahead and really had minimal visibility into our problem areas. For instance, CHMB helped us find charges we didn’t even know were missing. With that information, we were able to start reducing costs while creating an incentivized collection strategy.
Q: What are some of the results you’ve had with CHMB’s LYNK Revenue Cycle Management services?
A: Implementing CHMB’s revenue cycle management services was huge for us! It helped us lower our overhead and we’ve been able to lower our days in AR. At one point we were as high as 50 days and we’re now down to 30 and that is just a huge benefit for our cash flow. We were able to increase our payments by 5% and our AR over 90 Days deceased by 68%.
Q: What is your favorite part about working with CHMB?
A: We know the team and they are terrific. We have great communication and a truly collaborative approach which benefits us both.
Q: CHMB implemented and currently hosts your Allscripts Touchworks PM and EHR systems in 2011. How was that process and what do you like most about the system?
A: Implementing Allscripts Touchworks EHR was less daunting because we had a team behind us that first of all was alleviating all of my fears but also it was an easy product to learn. In our practice, we have younger doctors and we have doctors on the verge of retirement and they were all able to master it, so it’s obviously user friendly. What I like most about using Allscripts, in collaboration with CHMB is it works! Every day I come in and I know that it works. That sounds like a simple thing but when you have had a system that doesn’t work, you really appreciate the fact that its reliable and it’s going to do what you need it to do.
Q: How was the process of attaining Meaningful Use and PQRS with CHMB?
A: The process of attaining Meaningful Use and PQRS was definitely easier with CHMB because you have a resource! You have somebody you can call. I’ve been able to check my numbers anytime I want to and in the past I was not able to do that at all so it was always right down to the wire to see if our doctors met it or not.
Q: What are some of the challenges you think your practice will face in 2016? How does having an RCM resource help alleviate the stress that comes with these challenges?
A: Healthcare reimbursement strategies are a moving target and as payment models change and government incentive programs evolve, I know that we will be better able to adapt with the focused guidance of our CHMB team.
Q: How do you feel after outsourcing your revenue cycle?
A: The decision to go with CHMB for our revenue cycle management was a good one for us. What we do is take care of patients’ hearts. When you have experts that can help you with that revenue cycle management piece, it just takes the daily burden off of you and it helps your practice run a whole lot smoother.