The Challenge

As practice manager of a booming ophthalmology practice with offices in Chicago and suburban Hoffman Estates, Janice Goodyear was overwhelmed with billing and insurance paperwork. When she explored the possibility of converting her existing system of dumb computer terminals to take advantage of real-time billing available through the Internet, four different vendors told her there was absolutely no way to do it within her limited budget. “It would have cost over $100,000 for new hardware, software, and data conversion, not to mention training,” Janice said. “To upgrade was so far out of the realm of possibility that it couldn’t be done.” But the impossible became possible when she talked to the engineers at ABN/ABG.

The Solution

For a fraction of the astronomical costs Janice had previously been quoted, ABN/ABG installed a high-speed Internet connection, enabling the billing staff to submit claims real-time using their existing hardware and software available online. “In 35-40 seconds, we can hand patients an explanation of their benefits from their insurance carrier, and they can see exactly what they owe,” Janice explained. “It’s great not having to produce a statement.”

Even with the system up and running for only a few months, the benefits are already substantial. Cash flow has improved significantly, with billing turnaround time reduced from six to eight weeks down to six to fourteen days. Plus, since generating paper statements is both expensive and time-consuming, costing as much as $9.00 apiece to create and mail, the fewer they need the more they save. Although the practice still sends out about 300 statements each week, due in large part to the fact that Medicare claims cannot be submitted electronically, Janice hopes to eventually reduce that number to 100. “But we’ve moved forward light years, as far as I’m concerned,” she said. “It’s made my year.”

Janice not only appreciated ABN/ABG’s affordable solution – she was impressed with their implementation. Despite encountering a number of technology challenges, the ABN/ABG staff took responsibility for resolving every single one of them. “They didn’t say, ‘We’ll be back in two weeks,’ and leave me high and dry,” she recalled. “They stayed here until they finished. That’s solving my problem and saving my time.”

Now ABN/ABG is preparing to tackle the next challenge Janice faces: linking the practice management systems at the two office locations via a high-speed connection so that she can optimize productivity by accessing them remotely.