When you think about the experts at REMSA and Care Flight, what probably comes to mind are the flight nurses, paramedics, EMTs and medical dispatchers. Or maybe the mechanics and logistics technicians that keep everything stocked and running. But there’s another department in the organization bursting with expertise, compassion, confidence, skills and success – REMSA’s Business Office.
Every month, an independent third-party surveys a random sample of REMSA’s patients and asks them to rate a variety of areas including medical dispatch, equipment, the care they received and interactions with the billing office staff. In addition to measuring REMSA’s performance, the survey ranks REMSA against other ground ambulance providers of similar size across the country. We are proud to say that we consistently outperform the database rankings.
This month, we are even more excited to share that in August 2020, our billing office scored 100 percent on two key questions – the professionalism of the staff in the billing office and the willingness of the billing office staff to address the customer’s needs. In addition to achieving these outstanding patient survey scores, the REMSA billing office has internal monthly measurement goals and for the past 12 months, they have met or surpassed those goals 11 times!
Talking about billing and collecting payment when it comes to healthcare can feel like a sensitive topic. However, REMSA’s Business Services Manager, Dyana Selby-Davis, CAC looks at it from a more holistic perspective.
“Every department plays a role in the success of the organization which ultimately means the ability to provide exceptional out-of-hospital healthcare for the communities we serve,” said Selby-Davis. “It’s the responsible and appropriate thing to do – we must properly bill and collect for the care our clinically-excellent, compassionate healthcare providers deliver.”
Of the 13 staff members in REMSA’s professional billing service, nine of them hold the Certified Ambulance Coder designation from the National Academy of Ambulance Compliance. The two main components – billing and collecting – are both equally important and staff members, Selby-Davis says, are all committed to a high-quality, solution-oriented culture that addresses the customer’s needs. The focus on customer needs can include things like tenaciously returning phone calls, arranging a payment plan, explaining insurance terms, participating in a threeway call with an insurance provider and suggesting alternate financial support like applying for retroactive Medicaid coverage or seeking philanthropic support.
“As we often say about working in EMS, our healthcare providers usually encounter people on the hardest days of their lives,” said Selby-Davis. “Discussing payment for an emergency medical response that they didn’t plan for or that came into their life when it was changed forever by illness, injury or loss can be a difficult conversation. But our staff approach every interaction professionally and with compassion. Frequently, customers obligingly settle their account while expressing sincere gratitude for the care they received and complimenting the skill and kindness of the paramedic and EMT.”
As a private, non-profit organization that does not receive taxpayer support, REMSA’s staff and healthcare providers work hard to be good stewards of financial resources. All income can be reinvested back into the communities we serve through equipment, programs, services and personnel.