Case Study: Improves Patient Experience with DocuTAP EMR and Billing Services
23 clinic locations
Opened in 1996
250 staff members
20 management staff
30 patients per day per clinic
Workers’ Compensation Visits
Uses full DocuTAP platform, which includes:
DocuTAP Customer Since:
Hometown Urgent Care is a two-state, privately-owned urgent care serving patients in the Midwest states of Ohio and Michigan. Servicing the needs that fall between primary care and the emergency room, Hometown is based out of Columbus, OH and offers 23 walk-in clinic locations, serving approximately 30 patients per day across all locations. Hometown opened its first clinic in 1996 in Dayton, OH. In 2012, Hometown was acquired by a private firm, Ridgemont Equity Partners from North Carolina.
Hometown’s patient mix includes those from six months up to geriatric ages. The largest urgent care in the upper Midwest, Hometown advertises itself as a one-stop-shop for all things urgent care — and soon will offer allergy testing services and physical therapy. Medical supplies can also be purchased on their website.
Hometown Urgent Care wanted to improve patient care and clinical efficiency. Their move from paper charting to electronic charting and claims processing has saved time, increased revenue, and improved staff productivity.
Hometown was a paper charting urgent care for over 15 years. However, to improve efficiency and keep revenue strong — they knew they needed a change to stay up to date and competitive.
Using a paper system, Hometown was unable to track valuable, important data — such as door-to-door patient times, collection rates, days of claims in A/R, and the number of rejected claims. Basically working in the dark regarding statistics, Hometown could not see where improvements could be made to save them time and money. Hometown also experienced delays in claim acceptance and payments due to statements not containing the correct information for payers.
Solution / Approach
After reviewing other urgent care EMR options, Hometown decided on DocuTAP as their EMR provider. “DocuTAP was the best EMR in the urgent care space — and had the best reputation. That’s why we chose it,” said Jeff Perry, Hometown’s Director of Financial Operations. Other convincing factors included the fact that DocuTAP’s EMR was able to be used on tablets — and DocuTAP had a claims cleaning process which reviewed claims with a partner clearinghouse prior to payer submission.
Driven by a desire to be more efficient and participate in Meaningful Use incentive programs, Hometown’s new owners switched from paper charting to DocuTAP in 2012. Not only that, but Hometown also decided to use DocuTAP’s Revenue Cycle Management for their billing needs in 2013. Hometown loves that their claims are now processed multiple times daily, revenue streams have vastly improved, and providers are happy with the customizable features of DocuTAP’s EMR — especially the provider templates.
“DocuTAP was the best EMR in the urgent care space —and had the best reputation. That’s why we chose it.”
— Jeff Perry, Director of Financial Operations
Hometown wanted to improve their clinics’ workflows—and that’s exactly what they’ve experienced using DocuTAP as their EMR, PM, and billing service provider. Here are a few areas in which they have seen dramatic improvements:
Time Saved & Ease of Use
Without a doubt, Perry says that clinical staff’s charting time has improved over using paper. “We like that we can use DocuTAP on a tablet. MAs can easily chart vitals and hand off quickly to the physician in the same room,” he says. DocuTAP is also better for the patients as Hometown can focus more on delivering quality patient care—rather than going back-and-forth with paper charting inefficiencies, like checking lab statuses or questioning handwriting on charts.
The intuitiveness of DocuTAP’s documentation process (with the EMR) makes it easy for providers to learn said Perry. “They like it a lot—and they change and update templates based on what they need.” Hometown providers also like the flexibility of using DocuTAP’s EMR on a tablet—and how it can move with them from room to room. “It’s user friendly. The ease of use is what stands out the most (about DocuTAP),” he adds.
In fact, DocuTAP has saved Hometown so much time, they are now adding more patient services at their clinic locations. This means more convenience for customers and more revenue for Hometown clinics. “With DocuTAP, our efficiency has improved so much we can now offer additional services that we couldn’t before,” said Perry.
“With DocuTAP, our efficiency has improved so much we can now offer additional services that we couldn’t before.”
— Jeff Perry, Director of Financial Operations
Reporting & Productivity Transparency
While using paper, Hometown did not have the ability to easily run reports on clinic or billing productivity—both vital areas for tracking overall urgent care success. Now with DocuTAP, Hometown can actually measure door-to-door times to see how long a patient visit is, along with average wait times.
They can also see where certain hold-ups occur, based on visit volume or providers on duty. “Being on an electronic system lets us see patient volumes that we couldn’t see before,” Perry notes. Accordingly, Hometown can more quickly, and efficiently address issues and provide proper staffing—by adding or lessening flex staff for certain hours.
“Our staff has improved performance and the experience for the patient with DocuTAP,” said Perry. Productivity reports let Hometown management more accurately manage providers and physicians—and continuously streamline processes and workflow to save valuable minutes.
Hometown management also enjoys the transparency of financial reports using DocuTAP’s Enterprise Dashboard. They regularly view such figures as in-limbo claims, A/R aging, cash received, and rejected claims. Hometown management can also see expected revenue levels—something not available to them with a paper system.
With pre-loaded insurance payer contracts in DocuTAP, Hometown is confident they are collecting the correct amount from patients. “It’s all the little things that add up,” explained Perry, “like how DocuTAP helps front-desk know how much is due from the patient and makes it easy to send patient notices.”
Staffing Efficiencies & Revenue Gains
Most notable to Hometown has been the vast improvement in billing and collections with DocuTAP RCM. Unhappy with their in-house billing performance before switching to DocuTAP RCM, Hometown has been completely satisfied with the RCM service.
“We’re incredibly happy with the billing staff at DocuTAP. We had a backlog of claims when they took over, and they have done a spectacular job of getting us back on track,” said Perry. Claims are “cleaner”, he says, with fewer errors going out due to DocuTAP’s multi-level claim scrubbing process.
Naming individual billing people at DocuTAP, Perry adds, “I want to commend all of them. They make my life easier. How can I not love that?” He continues, “DocuTAP RCM has been a big win for us. Doctors are good providers, but not the best coders. The RCM team reviews documentation daily and suggests proper codes which has let us collect the correct amounts we should’ve been receiving—and that in turn has helped our overall revenue.”
Perry also notes that since switching to DocuTAP RCM, Hometown has enjoyed staff savings by employing fewer on-site billers. While they do keep billing on staff for occupational medicine and worker’s compensation, Hometown has reduced their billing staff by 20 to 25 people. The average cost for a Certified Professional Coder (CPC) in 2012 was $47,796 according to the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). That’s an estimated staff savings of over $900,000 per year for Hometown.
Ease of Implementation & Scalability
Hometown’s transition from paper to an EMR was a smooth one said Perry. With a quick implementation timeline of 30 days, no issues happened—and Hometown has not looked back to paper charting since. Hometown chose to keep previous chart archives on paper files—and moved forward from the DocuTAP launch date by entering patient charts electronically.
“We like that we can use DocuTAP on a tablet. MAs can easily chart vitals and hand off quickly to the physician in the same room.”
— Jeff Perry, Director of Financial Operations
DocuTAP’s training program was extremely helpful for Hometown. Role-based training was utilized to get staff up to speed and ensure that correct documentation processes were in place for launch. For new staff hires, Hometown has combined clinic-specific training programs along with DocuTAP training to get them comfortable using the EMR system.
With many locations in a tri-state area, Hometown readily acknowledges that DocuTAP’s scalability with clinic growth (and accompanying database needs) has been easy and convenient. With plans to open and acquire more clinics in the coming years, Hometown is confidently moving forward with DocuTAP as their full-service EMR, PM, and billing provider.
Director of Financial Operations Jeff Perry says that they would recommend DocuTAP to any other urgent care. “It’s been a pleasure working with the people at DocuTAP. Their staff has been incredible and invaluable.” Empowered with electronic charting and clear reporting numbers, Hometown owners can now lay a roadmap to the future. With high goals in mind, Hometown knows they’ve made the right move switching from paper and in-house billers. Perry concluded, “Efficiency is what we’ve gained with DocuTAP.”