May 20-26, 2018, we celebrate EMS Week with ACEP / NAEMT, our partners, clients and most importantly, their staff. We work with incredible organizations that have all-star EMS practitioners and billing administrators.
During this week, we are highlighting Holly Hirneisen, Vice President of Professional Practice Support, Inc. in Gainesville, Georgia, as one of the all-star EMS billing administrators. I met her briefly at a conference about a year ago and could instantly tell how passionate Holly is about her work. During our interview, she shared her approach to EMS billing and how she provides a positive customer experience.
Payor Logic: You’ve been with PPS for five years and I’ve known you for part of that time, but I could tell early on that you have a passion for this work. Can you share what makes your approach to EMS billing unique?
Holly Hirneisen: PPS is solely an EMS billing agency. We’ve been in business since 1999. My dad started the company and wanted to beef up staff, so I stepped in about five years ago. I think one thing that really stands out about us is our personal touch to billing functions. Each of our clients is an integral part of our success. We treat each of them like a top client, no matter how large or small. Though smaller fire-based EMS agencies may handle 5,000 transports a year, the bigger billing companies don’t care because it’s not making a huge difference to their bottom line. But it’s a big deal to us. Every single client is vital to PPS because we are a small business. Our follow-up process is also top notch—we do an incredible job at ticket tracking and follow-up.
PL: What are some challenges you face in your department?
HH: Documentation from crews is always our challenge. They are in intense situations that often don’t allow them to capture enough data at the time of service. When EMTs and firefighters are taking patient information in the back of an emergency vehicle, recording the wrong name or incorrect date of birth is common. And when this information is not exact, it will get rejected. This makes it hard for us to effectively bill patients. Tracking down insurance and demographics is always top of mind, so I’m constantly searching for ways to shorten the process.
PL: I think this is how we met—insurance discovery and demographics—but can you please share specifically why you reached out to us?
HH: I was at a PWW abc360 conference and the presenters mentioned Payor Logic. They joked that the results you guys were sharing might be a gimmick—the numbers and improvements were that good. I made it a point to meet you and Tyler and get a demo. Although I was excited about your product, we waited for ESO integration to be ready. Once ESO was in place, my leadership still wasn’t sure. I had to convince the president who is old-school, so we signed up for a trial in June 2017.
PL: Skepticism over what Payor Logic is able to accomplish is common. We love these scenarios the best because it allows us to turn people into believers! Anything you can share about the trial in terms of measurable improvements?
HH: In 90 days we saw a 30:1 return on investment for our clients, quickly recovering tens of thousands of dollars for them. The return on investment was huge.
PL: Sounds like solid ROI to me. We can save these details for another day. Let’s get back to you. Aside from having your eye on new technology to improve collections, what are some other heroic efforts seen in your organization?
HH: Most patients ignore our statements because they think “my insurance will pay for that.” At one point we were sending an average of six statements asking for correct insurance information. After six months we would turn the case over to collections. I kept thinking there must be a better way. Aside from seeking out technology to assist PPS, I add a personal touch. I try to think of older patients who might get confused trying to understand statements. So I will often hand-write a note and tell the patient where they need to sign. Arrows, sticky notes, postage paid. Our best course of action has been implementing Payor Logic but I still try to go the extra mile to help patients track down the coverage they deserve and help pay bills faster.
On behalf of everyone at Payor Logic and in honor of EMS Week, we thank Holly for her contributions and commitment. She’s one of the hidden heroes who make us proud to be a part of this outstanding EMS industry.
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