R&E Billing was established in 1988 to provide full billing service for physicians, Durable Medical Equipment (DME) companies and pharmacies. They are certified for the transmittal of Medicare claims and Certificates of Medical Necessity and serve about 55 customers in the South Florida area.
R&E Billing specializes in billing electronically to Medicare and Medicaid, with a production turn around time of less than 24 hours. The goal is to provide reimbursement for services as quickly as possible. Their customers send documents via fax or courier. Once the submitted data is complete and properly formatted, it is transmitted electronically to the appropriate insurance provider.
“Technology plays a major role in our business,” said Eddy Perez, Systems Administrator for R&E Billing. “Over the years we have transformed our business from a company that submitted traditional paper claims, to the point where we no longer need to use paper at all. The future, as in most industries, is on the Internet. We will continue to monitor the progress of available technologies and implement whatever is necessary to meet our customers’ needs.”
For the last two years, R&E Billing has been using DocStar ECM to scan, manage, and distribute their documents electronically. They typically file around 280 documents a day using DocStar ECM.
“Keywords are used extensively to create electronic files,” said Perez. “The main computer system creates a unique numerical ID that is referenced on every scanned document. Each document also has a keyword that serves as a descriptor. The ID and keyword are entered in DocStar when scanned. This allows us to quickly zero in on a particular document or group of documents.”
As the amount of paper grew with the business, R&E faced several problems.
“We had a full time employee dedicated to filing papers in a traditional file folder system,” said Perez. “The task of looking for a patient folder, punching holes in the document and re-filing was tedious at best. There were literally not enough hours in a shift to keep the filing up-to-date. Hiring a second employee was an option; however, if we had gone that route it would not have been long before we needed yet another employee.”
“Locating files also became a major problem,” Perez continued. “Often files were in use by other members of the team. It typically required everyone asking around to find the file and that was wasting valuable company time.”
The amount of paper at R&E Billing was also creating problems with space allocation. The filing room kept expanding until, at the peak, it contained 26 four-drawer filing cabinets. That was when they decided something had to be done to control and manage their paper documents.
The Solution and The Benefits
DocStar ECM had a dramatic impact on customer service, productivity, security, and expenses at R&E Billing.
“Our productivity improved drastically with DocStar EMC,” Perez said. “The filing clerk that used to file paper documents all day now spends only two hours a day and our documents are up-to-date every day. The filing clerk now is utilized in other areas of our operation.”
“The DocStar system has also improved productivity by allowing multiple team members to access documents right from their desktop and keep them on task,” Perez continued. “Gone are the days of not being able to find a particular file because someone misplaced it. Even after almost two years of operation we are still finding ways to increase efficiency and save money. For example, we use DocStar to increase the accuracy of our accounts receivable and to speed up their processing. This improves our cash flow.”
Another major benefit of DocStar is increased document security. “No one can access a file simply by opening a cabinet,” Perez said. “Passwords keep our data secure and triple redundancy gives us confidence that we will not lose documents that are vital to our business.”
The original filing room at R&E Billing was 400 square feet. That has been reduced to the dimensions of the DocStar workstation, which is basically only a desk with a keyboard, monitor, CPU, and scanner.
Perez pegs the first year return-on-investment (ROI) at 26%. “We anticipate year two ROI to be quite high because we have been able to reduce our headcount by two as our employees became cross trained in more areas of our operation.”
As business grows at R&E Billing, DocStar will be an important element to ensure a smooth transition. “DocStar ECM allows our employees to spend more time serving our customers and they are impressed with our capabilities,” Perez said. “We serve as a virtual backup for them since we hold electronic copies of their documents. They feel comfortable knowing that they can phone us and we can fax or email them a copy immediately. Additionally, we will be moving to a new location soon and having to move that entire filing room would have significantly increased our moving cost.
“We have had, and continue to have, a great experience with DocStar’s staff and our partner, Benchmark Business Systems” Perez said. “The DocStar staff gave us valuable tips on developing the template and keyword system. By the time all was said and done, we had 330,000 documents on our system. The DocStar system is considered mission critical at our office and knowing that help is a phone call away is very reassuring.
“We are always looking for new ways to use DocStar to improve our operation. Our next step will be to integrate DocStar ECM with a new billing system. We are also planning to implement Internet access for DocStar, as well.”