ApolloMD is a fast-growing emergency physician service company. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, the organization manages over 20 emergency departments throughout the southeast United States, comprising more than 250 emergency physicians. “Technology plays a huge role in our business as we continue to look for new ways to make each and every process more efficient,” said Mark Noel, Director of Technology at ApolloMD. “The more we can automate, the less overall costs we incur, and more importantly, automation eliminates the possibility of human error.”
The DocStar solution has been implemented for billing operations at ApolloMD, affecting around 40 employees who do the physician billing component for nine hospitals. They scan 1,000 to 2,000 documents per day, including all incoming billing documents, such as EOBs (Explanation of Benefits), insurance correspondence and insurance payments.
Each day, they create a batch (document) for each hospital, designated as either payments or correspondence. All batches are scanned during the day and filed automatically at night using DocStar’s OCR (optical character recognition) capabilities.
ApolloMD had two major problems that were addressed by DocStar. The most pressing issue was that of file space. “We had used all of the space in our current file cabinets, and were beginning to purchase cardboard file boxes that ultimately didn’t meet our needs,” said Noel.
ApolloMD also needed to improve the efficiency of their information processing. “We had two full-time staff whose sole responsibility was to pull paper from the file cabinets,” said Noel. “This was extremely inefficient for a number of reasons – files got mixed up with each other and things were re-filed in the wrong place.”
The Solution and The Benefits
The DocStar solution has made an impact on the workflow at ApolloMD and on their bottom line, as well. “DocStar improves our business processes by giving our employees time to concentrate on their most important task, and that is collecting money.” said Noel. “We no longer have to spend time and resources searching for, copying, filing, and re-filing documents. All documents are now in one central place electronically, and everyone has access to pull out what they need without the risk of putting it back incorrectly.”
Mark Noel sites this example:
“Once a primary insurer has made a payment, we often have a secondary insurer paying the remaining balance. We must attach a copy of the primary insurance payment to the secondary claim. This is where we save the most time. We no longer have to go to the filing cabinets, find the correct file, find the correct EOB, copy it, replace it, etc. With DocStar, we enter the hospitals 3-digit code and the date of the primary insurance payment and pull it up instantly.”
The DocStar solution allows ApolloMD to translate increased efficiency into dollars. “The time it takes to pull documents has gone from many minutes searching in file cabinets, down to virtually no time at all using DocStar,” said Noel. “Our productivity with DocStar has improved to the point where we spend less money on administrative functions. We were able to reallocate two full time employees who spent all their time filing paper documents. They now spend their time on collections, which is a revenue generator.”
ApolloMD also saves money because they no longer have to purchase file cabinets and can allocate storage space to more important operations.
“Overall, DocStar allows us to grow because we become more efficient in our core business and spend less money on overhead functions,” said Noel. “As we become more efficient in our core business, we now have more capital to invest in research & development and for highly skilled employees.”
Mark Noel was impressed with the implementation and training services of DocStar and their partners. “DocStar’s help in implementation was important because it seemed like they were on site with us the entire time,” said Noel. “We could call them at anytime of any day and the problem would be solved.”
“The DocStar staff initially trained two of us on the product, and then we trained the other employees after that,” Noel continued. “We were able to receive the training at our own pace, which was important. We knew what we wanted, and they tailored the training to us.”
ApolloMD plans to extend the benefits of DocStar to other departments by installing an additional scanning station to allow for the electronic storage of all human resources and legal documents.