Anesthesia Group Reverses Revenue Decline in just 3-6 Months by Adding Visibility and Flexibility to Billing Process

-->August 25, 2017Company News

Dr. Bruce Werhan, anesthesiologist with West Broad Anesthesia, has worked with 5 different anesthesia billing companies over his 34-year career. For anyone searching to establishing a relationship with their own billing or practice management firm, he has one key piece of advice. “They need to be able to grow when you do,” he explained. “When I first started, we only had 4 operating rooms (ORs). We now have 9, including two ORs dedicated to maternity care, cardiology and endoscopy. We previously used a local third-party firm to handle our anesthesia billing, but as we expanded, our needs outpaced the capabilities of this company. We eventually settled on a regional company, but when this company was acquired by another firm, we noticed a big change pretty quickly.”

“I saw our receipts start to shrink dramatically, even though our surgical volume was rising” the physician continued. “We gave them 3 months to reverse this trend, but they were not very responsive to our needs. We felt that they were taking a ‘one and done’ approach to claims. They would submit a claim and accept whatever payment was provided. We didn’t see any extensive claims reconciliation or fight to extend to us the compensation that was due. And they did not provide the financial reporting we needed to find out for ourselves what was going on.”

Medac evolves with healthcare providers to help them to grow their revenue

West Broad Anesthesia switched to Medac after learning about the comprehensive reporting capabilities that the company offered. But it was the impact to the group’s revenue that provided a clear break with the struggles of the past. “My partners and I do not have the time to negotiate with payers,” stated Dr. Werhan. “It’s also not legal for us to ask another provider about their rates, so we’re in the dark about what is a fair rate, even though the payers know what they’re paying other providers. But Medac is in the trenches on this issue. They know the local rates and can negotiate just compensation. With Medac, our receipts grew right back to what I thought they should be in the first 3-6 months of the relationship. They’ve done a fabulous job for us, and I’ve been with them ever since.”

Billing revenue is now growing along with an increase in surgical volume for the group. Dr. Werhan believes having expertise centered on his specialty is an essential factor in this success. “With Medicare and payers changing rules so often, and massive changes such as the switch to ICD-10, it’s too much for any one individual to keep up,” he said. “Medac does only anesthesia billing. That’s very important. With this tight focus, they’ve developed solid experience in the needs, codes and payment schedules of anesthesiologists.”

Customized financial visibility to meet the needs of anesthesiologists

Medac provides detailed, tailored reports to West Broad Anesthesia to help them protect their revenue. “As we’ve expanded our scope of work into other areas, Medac has kept pace in terms of what each area is generating in collections—what our OR generates, what our endoscopy suite generates, what our maternity floor generates, and what our cardiac room generates,” the physician stated. “In some of these areas, there is a high level of indigent care. Other areas are in turn are very profitable. In the areas where I lose money, I need the comprehensive financial reporting to make the case to the hospital administration that I must have proper compensation to keep at the staffing levels I need to maintain a high quality of care.”

Medac takes a full-service approach to West Broad Anesthesia, handling payroll, accounting and retirement pensions for the group as well. The Medac practice management group provides regular corporate financial reporting that includes a summary of the group’s income and expenses by cost center. “Our account manager provides us with quarterly updates, including patient volume by surgeon, patient volume by payer, patient volume by Medicare/Medicaid and self-pay,” said Dr. Werhan. “By the time we finish reviewing the information, we really don’t have many questions left. It’s another example of how Medac is a very important partner in our practice. We lean on them heavily for how we maintain and run our corporation.”

 

Bruce Werhan, D.O.

  • Specialist in Anesthesiology
  • Part of West Broad Anesthesia, a 9-physician group
  • Affiliated with OhioHealth Doctors Hospital
  • Completed residency in 1983
  • Graduated from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1979