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Client: MD on Call, a 20-physician hospitalist group serving nine Dallas-area hospitals.

Selection Team: Four physicians, led by Scott Fitzgerald, M.D., president.

Issue Addressed: As MD on Call added physicians, its accounts receivable days expanded from 45 to 80 under former paper-based billing service. “We were missing billable services,” Fitzgerald says.

Winning Vendor: MedSynergies, Irving, Texas.

Service: Billing and collections.

Terms: Five-year contract; vendor takes undisclosed percentage of collections.

Contract Signed: July 2006, with October go-live.

Software Features: MD on Call physicians can analyze their own performance data by hospital site and individual physician.

Number of Vendors Considered: 10, with three finalists.

Vendor Disqualifiers: Few vendors could demonstrate electronic billing and reporting capability. “We wanted the technology now, not a lot of promises,” Fitzgerald says.

Evaluation Tools: Three site visits, multiple reference checks, then informal discussion.

Safeguards: If certain financial markers are missed, MedSynergies must correct within a fixed time period.

—Gary Baldwin