Rocky Mountain Anesthesia On Top of Reimbursement with Medac Support

-->October 18, 2017Company News

Between the increasingly regulatory burden, the push towards value-based care and the current uncertainty of where the healthcare system is headed, Dr. Travis Slade of Rocky Mountain Anesthesia clearly sees a downward pressure on reimbursements in his industry. With the responsibility of supervising much of the billing environment for the group, Dr. Slade should be feeling the heat, but he has a partner that alleviates much of this burden–a partner that has improved contracts for the group to the point where it sits at the top level of reimbursements in the State of Utah.

When Dr. Slade first joined Rocky Mountain Anesthesia, he identified multiple issues with the billing firm that was used at the time. “We were with a small billing company that was acquired by a large organization,” he shared. “After the acquisition, we noticed a massive drop-off in quality of service and collections. This new company felt like a vendor, not a partner. They seemed arrogant, unresponsive, and focused on the needs of larger groups. We didn’t receive much support on our contract negotiations with payers, we were paying a premium for our billing and practice management, and to be honest I didn’t feel like I could trust them.”

Medac delivers concierge-level service to every client

Rocky Mountain Anesthesia sent out a request for proposal and three new billing and practice management firms responded. During the review, one company stood out with several unique facets to their offering. “Our biggest concern with the RFP was revenue,” said Dr. Slade. “We did not want a drop-off in income. When Medac approached us, they talked about their strategy of using bridging funds to smooth the transition. This showed us confidence that they intended to keep our revenue stream the same or better.”

“Medac is also a pioneer in having an employee onsite in the hospital that collects bills and reconciles claims to ensure that every case is accounted for,” he continued. “This service is delivered with tight internal controls, including a lockbox arrangement, to ensure revenue is secure. My comfort level went even higher when I met with the owner of Medac. I felt he was a genuine, authentic person and we liked his management team.”

Medac currently supports Rocky Mountain Anesthesia at 3 locations, with the onsite employee working directly with the group full-time, 4 days per week. Dr. Slade described a very solid working relationship with Medac, from the initial transition approximately 7 years ago, up through today. “In addition to the bridging funds, we really liked that they did an audit to assess their performance after the first 18 months—and they did this at their own expense,” he related.

“We were able to interview and select our onsite employee, and having her cut checks and run business errands is a huge timesaver. I also worry less about missing cases falling through the cracks and not being billed.”

“We meet monthly with Medac to go over concerns and questions, and they’re very responsive,” he continued. “They don’t make excuses, and they often identify issues and present a plan of action before we are even aware there is a problem.”

Group has the muscle to equalize payer contracts through Medac

As a result of these efforts, collections for the group started to increase, but Dr. Slade knows that reconciling claims is only part of the Medac value equation. “Every time an insurer comes to us with an inappropriate proposal, Medac comes back with spreadsheets and data to show that it is not a fair-market offer,” the physician explained. “Recently, a major payer tried to set reimbursement for our CRNA-supervised cases at 80%. With Medac at our side, we fought that provision and won. The provision was removed.”

Dr. Slade feels that these types of situations are only going to increase in the future. “With the ever-shrinking healthcare dollar, I think payers will be more difficult to deal with in the future,” he shared. “But I think we are well-positioned with the right partner to deal with any new dynamics and maximize the best opportunities to stay financially healthy. I think most groups do not realize how much they are leaving on the table through their contract negotiations. We know we are at the top of reimbursement in our state. The strategies we developed with Medac are a big part of this.”

Dr. Travis Slade

  • Board-certified anesthesiologist with 12 years in practice
  • Graduated from the University of Utah School of Medicine in 2001

Rocky Mountain Anesthesia

  • Broad-spectrum anesthesiology services including heart surgery, neurosurgery, obstetrics and pain management
  • 7 physicians and 12 nurse anesthetists on staff