VGM helps members get it right the first time

Monday, April 30, 2007

MT. VERNON, Ill. - The VGM Group recently signed an agreement with the Healthcare Management Group, a subsidiary of Physicians Filing Service, to provide member companies with a Smart Intake system that aims to reduce intake errors significantly.
The Web-based, interactive intake system allows users to correctly and efficiently record information as it's received over the phone from referral services by disallowing incorrectly entered information and automatically filling fields on intake forms.
For example, if an intake clerk incorrectly inputs an item as medically necessary, the system will alert the clerk and automatically create an Advanced Beneficiary Notice in order to complete the intake. If a clerk inputs an incorrect ICD-9 code, the system will flag it and stop the process until the correct code is identified.
"We're only as good as the information we receive, and that's all related to the intaker," said Melissa Harris, president of the Healthcare Management Group (HMG). "The ultimate goal is to bill a clean claim and get paid the first time."
Seven years in business, HMG counts 200 HME supplier customers as users. The off-the-shelf cost of the service is $200 per month for one to three users in a single location. That price includes unlimited CMNs.
In early April, HMG started marketing its product directly to VGM members.
"A lot of our members are still using paper," said Meredith McDonald, vice president of VGM Technologies. "Or they may be using a homegrown system or an Excel spreadsheet. So this is a no-brainer. My feeling is that this system will pay for itself, just in the percentage of denials that come back."
The difference between systematic intake and manual intake can be dramatic, according to Harris.
"We had one client who, prior to HMG, was doing manual intake," she said. "Items were being delivered that were not medically necessary. Later, they would have to be picked up. After they started using HMG, they had a 15-day drop (on their average DSO)."
HMG's Smart Intake system exports data in a format that can be imported to "whatever software the user utilizes," said Harris. The company also provides online consulting and prides itself on dispatching answers same-day.