Merger signals start of paperless revolution

Sunday, June 30, 2002

MARIETTA, Ga. - A merger between two of the nation's highest profile home medical equipment billing service companies is kindling a paperless revolution.

The companies - Jane's Billing & Consultation Services, based here, and Parker, Colo.-based Centralized Billing & Intake - formed a stand-alone entity, B&B Online HME Services, to do two things: absorb all future growth at Jane's and Centralized and ignite the revolution.

The new company is setting up two Citrix servers, powerful computers that build bridges between Windows and the Internet, in a new 10,400 square-foot office here. Although Jane's and Centralized are completely paper-based today, the demand for conversion to paperless systems is "immense," said Jane Bunch, president of B&B

"I cannot tell you how many providers are calling us, asking us where they can do everything electronically, said Bunch. "Although most people are not set up for it, they don't want to mail anything anymore."

These news clients will scan every scrap of intake documentation they send via mail today - CMNs, physician's orders, delivery tickets etc. - and dispatch those electronic packages to B&B's severs at night. The billing company's Omnitech software will read the intake and send a report to the client, detailing missing documents.

Accessible from anywhere via Internet, the Citrix servers are not only expected to streamline intake, and chip away at DSOs, but to provide clients with information they can't readily get today.

"If a patient asks how much do I owe you, with couple of keystrokes, you can tell," said Bruce Bothis, B&B's vice president. "You can check the status of claims and print out reports."

Part of the online initiative is being driven by HIPAA; part of it being driven by the nine people Bunch would rather not employ to just file paper documents.

The new company will enlist the services of 51 Jane's employees and 14 Centralized employee. Jane's staff will move into the new space; Centralized will roll its Georgia work force into the new facility and maintain locations in Colorado and California. HME