eClinicalWorks Blog Details

  • 27 June 2024
  • Blog

Optimizing RCM for Growth Today and Tomorrow


Revenue growth graph

NYC dermatology practice finds everything it needs with eCW RCM

Usually, when something seems too good to be true, it turns out not to be true. But for Gil Messer, chief operating officer of The Dermatology Specialists (TDS), the largest such specialty practice in New York City, what seemed too good to be true really was true — and then some.

TDS first engaged eClinicalWorks for Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) services in 2007, when they launched their practice with a single office.

Seventeen years and 40 additional sites later, Messer said the need for optimizing their RCM services was clear.

“About April of last year,” Messer said, “we had hit a breaking point, where we realized it wasn’t sustainable and the root cause was ­— it was designed and built for that single provider office back in 2007.”

With 41 offices and 15 different payer websites to navigate, Messer said that he and his colleagues were having to engage in manual intervention on many claims and were running into a large number of submission errors, leading to administrative headaches, delays in getting paid, and a rising number of days for accounts receivable (A/R).

The eCW RCM answer was already in hand

Messer knew from a previous job that eClinicalWorks offered vast capabilities, but he and his colleagues did their due diligence, checking out several healthcare IT companies to determine which was the best choice for optimizing their RCM.

Interestingly, the only doubt arose because the initial assessment by eClinicalWorks seemed almost too easy. Could their healthcare IT provider really have everything they needed back in 2007, today, and for years to come?

“We kept on coming back and saying that, you know, eCW — we know it has the capabilities. It’s probably on us that we haven’t optimized it up to this point,” Messer said. “And it’s a very cost-effective solution and a very powerful solution. Why change to something that’s not as powerful and that costs more? Instead, let’s invest in optimization.”

Once the eCW RCM consultants completed their assessments and began implementing the plan, Messer and his staff were pleasantly surprised at how things unfolded.

A smooth RCM optimization and in-house training

“I think within two weeks of starting [RCM] optimization, we already had some big wins,” he said. “And it continued in a very steady path — and it ended up being a true partnership because they actually trained my head of billing and my head of eCW systems in-house to do all of the things that we were getting them to do optimization on. So now, as we expand into different states that have new payer rules, etc., we can do it in-house.”

Among the improvements in billing and financial management processes TDS has seen:

  • Front-end insurance denials have been reduced by 40 percent, including a steep drop in denials on account of patients having ineligible insurance coverages.
  • Up to 95 percent of patient claims now go through a real-time eligibility check, spending front-office operations, reducing manual entry work, and creating better experiences for patients.
  • Claim submission lags have been reduced by 50 percent, helping the practice send patients more timely notices of what they owe and reducing the practice’s days in A/R.
  • A more efficient rules engine for use in the front office has enabled the practice to cut in half the time needed to train new staff, from two months to one month.

More patients, more growth, and enduring confidence

The bottom line, Messer said, was a massive improvement in financial workflows from the front office to the back office, resulting in better experiences for patients and staff. The process was surprisingly quick, he added, lasting from April through July of 2023, and has allowed TDS to see additional patients, including more walk-ins.

Messer expects TDS will continue to grow. The practice expects to have 55 locations by 2025 and see 40 percent growth year over year.

“I need that in-house foundation,” he said. “And so, it paid for itself, but it also built my team up to be able to support it going forward.”

Listen to the full eClinicalWorks podcast with Messer here.

eClinicalWorks® is one of the few vendors in the healthcare IT industry that offers clients a choice of RCM solutions — a self-service Practice Management model, in which you handle your own billing, or an RCM Service model in which eClinicalWorks provides a complete end-to-end solution for your practice. Either way, with RCM from eClinicalWorks, you may enjoy industry-leading quality, outstanding customer support, and a 98% or higher first-pass acceptance rate.

Click here to learn more about our RCM offerings, or contact your Strategic Account Manager.

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