Earlier this month, the City of Memphis Division of Fire Services quietly renewed its contract with Digitech Computer, Inc. for the provision of EMS billing services. Under the terms of the contract extension, Digitech will continue to process ambulance transport claims for the approximately 80,000 annual trips undertaken by the EMS Division of the Fire Service for one year, with an option for the City to extend the contract an additional year.
Within one year after signing the 2010 contract for the provision of EMS Billing Services and the implementation of a completely new field data collection system overseen by Digitech, the City of Memphis had already seen a dramatic $2.5M increase in revenue from collections.
Not only that, but the City’s EMS personnel had come to believe that the new system was contributing to improved levels of care for patients.
Michael T. Mannion, VP of Finance for Digitech, attributes the increase in ambulance reimbursement revenue to several key factors. “We did what we always do, which is to change the payer mix by finding more insurance and turn most claims into invoices within 24 hours of receiving them.” In addition, an analysis of the surrounding area and prevailing national trends indicated that a rate increase was in order for Memphis.
The initial jump in collections during the first year of the contract has continued into the second and third years. In 2011, the first full fiscal year after Digitech took over EMS billing, collections increased 18% over fiscal 2010, and in fiscal 2012 collections again increased – this time by almost 25%.
“Digitech’s technology has given the EMS Division of Memphis Fire Services an edge that they did not know was possible. We’ve moved their ambulance claims processing into the 21st Century,” stated Mark Schiowitz, President and CEO of Digitech. In addition to better data collection in the field through the implementation of the ImageTrend Field Bridge system, Digitech’s deep reporting capability and realtime dashboards give EMS administrators at Memphis an unparalleled view of the activities and status of their operations.
“We couldn’t be happier with Digitech,” says Gary Ludwig, Deputy Fire Chief for EMS at Memphis Fire Services. “Completely aside from the increase in collections, the people at Digitech have been very responsive whenever any type of issue has arisen, and have implemented custom features and specialized reports whenever we asked for them. There’s no question that the partnership has led to better care for our patients and better standards of care across our department.”