Mid South Q&A
Customer Connection: Mid South Rehab Services
As Vice President of Clinical Operations for Mid South Rehab Services, Mark Buckley plays an integral role in determining which systems their facilities use. Considering he oversees around 400 staffers at approximately 70 locations in four states, this is no small task. And with that, Mark wanted an EMR partner that not only met his current needs, but he needed one that they could trust to grow as Mid South did.
After having worked with Casamba for a number of years, Mid South decided to try something new. They pilot tested Optima to see if it would deliver on the promise of their sales and marketing efforts. However, after just three months, Mid South quit the pilot test and returned to Casamba. Mark and his team couldn’t be happier.
We caught up with Mark Buckley during his recent trip to Casamba’s headquarters in suburban Los Angeles to discuss Mid South’s needs for an EMR solution, why they decided to try a competitor and what brought them back to Casamba.
Talk about Mid South and what you do.
We provide contract therapy, or as we call it, a partnership. We work with facilities and partner with them in all aspects of their business – hiring, managing and training rehab employees to help ensure optimal quality measures and outcomes while receiving optimal reimbursement for rehab services.
Right now about 50 percent of our business is hospitals and about 25 percent is skilled nursing facilities. The remainder would be assisted living facilities, outpatient clinics, independent living facilities and some home health contracts.
What Casamba products do you use? How do they help your business?
We currently use Casamba Skilled and their direct billing product. When we work with a hospital, Casamba almost immediately improves their ability to bill appropriately and collect on what they’re billing because most hospital systems do not have therapy-specific technology. It’s a huge add that Casamba brings because they help effectively and efficiently build and receive reimbursement for therapy services.
Earlier this year, you considered leaving Casamba, even going as far as pilot testing Optima. Can you talk about your team’s thinking?
The primary thing there was our billing and finance teams felt like direct billing capabilities within Casamba were not as robust as they could be.
How did the pilot test go?
We initially pilot tested Optima at seven locations. We tried it at some of our Tennessee facilities that are direct bill to see how it measured up. We also had a skilled nursing facility in Arkansas that we put through that transition to Optima and see how their skilled product compared.
Optima’s marketing team did an excellent job of showing what they said they could do. But our experience was very different. They said they could do institutional billing, but most of their direct bill expertise was in professional. That ended up being the issue. While they could do direct bill professional very effectively, their institutional ability didn’t match up to what was presented. Because all of our billing is institutional, professional makes no difference to us.
On the surface, Optima looked good because, for their professional clients, they had a clinic module and all these different referral sources and admission processes. Yet I still didn’t find that was helpful or beneficial in a huge way.
So you went back to Casamba? Talk about what drove that decision.
For me it’s always been the willingness of Casamba to provide the customer with what they want or need. I’ve requested some pretty monumental reports and things to be developed that really wouldn’t help any other customers as they’re specific to us – from different kinds of interfaces to efficiency reports, billing reports, outcomes by payer. It’s just so many things that I’ve requested and they’ve always been willing to do that.
How did Casamba address your direct billing needs?
Casamba has come a long way with Direct Bill. With their enhancements to increase automation of Electronic Remittance Advice and general performance improvements, we were able to have a billing function that operated much more efficiently. We also worked with Casamba to figure out ways to improve our own processes in ways that got the most out of the Direct Bill product. At the end of the day, these changes saved us time and money.
What are your thoughts on Casamba Skilled when it comes to clinical use and workflow?
Casamba Skilled is easy to use from a content flow perspective and it has everything we need to operate efficiently. The design is certainly very intuitive, and access to information is streamlined thanks to the tabs. It’s great that you can log in and see the dashboard with quick access to all the key features. We also appreciate the built-in, customizable widgets. Plus it offers all the reports and resources clinicians need all while offering operational compliance.
Can you highlight some of the other ways Casamba has helped your business?
Casamba developed a detailed report that allowed us to take into consideration different patient care types and accurately give therapists credit for the time they spent caring for patients. The second big piece is Casamba helped us develop our ability to track outcomes by payer. With this, we’re able to require therapists to enter outcomes based on payer types. This is huge as we don’t have to set one standard for all patients in a facility. Plus, it gives us the ability to ensure the patient is being optimally cared for and track that measure.
What’s your favorite thing about working with Casamba?
The best thing for me about Casamba and why I like this company is the service. That is the biggest difference we saw through the transition. When we have a problem, when we have an issue, it’s handled immediately. Not only at my level, but at the clinician level. With the competition, it takes days to resolve very minor issues. Plus they have the expertise and flexible solutions that help us every day.
VP of Clinical Operations at Mid South Rehab Services, discusses the benefits Casamba Skilled delivered for his business