EMS billing system selected

Published 11:06 am Sunday, June 1, 2014

WINDSOR – The Bertie County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved Colleton Software/Tarheel Medical Billing as the billing provider for Emergency Medical Services transport here at their recent meeting.

Colleton Software, a 19-year old medical billing company based in Walterboro, SC, but with a North Carolina office in Dunn, has collected in excess of $52 million dollars over the past three years in billing revenue for Eastern North Carolina based services, mostly in medical transport.

“This success has allowed our clients to meet their financial goals and allowed our organization to grow,” said Colleton national sales and marketing director David Pickren, who appeared before the board along with company president and CEO, Brian Gurkin.

Pickren’s presentation packet before the board was essentially the same as a PowerPoint presentation that the company had made to County Manager Scott Sauer and Bertie County Emergency Services Director Mitch Cooper.

“All our billing services are conducted in our corporate offices,” Pickren continued. “Because we do not outsource, we create jobs in the area. We are nationally certified and 100 percent Medicare and Medicaid compliant.”

Pickren further cited increased revenues for county emergency service providers in several neighboring counties to Bertie; among them: Chowan, Edgecombe, and Martin. Outlying counties where he showed the company’s effectiveness included Carteret, Warren, and Granville.

In Chowan County, Pickren showed an increase in billing from $947,211 in 2011 to $1,082,910 in 2013.

While his Bertie figures were just projections, Pickren said based on estimates of 3,600 calls annually, the county stood to collect from a low estimate of $1.08 million, a median estimate of $1.17 million and a high estimate of $1.26 million, all based on amounts-per-call.

That increase for the county could total between $400,000 and $500,000 per year.  Over a three-year period that could equal $2.5-to-$3 million.

“All work is done electronically without the need for printing thousands of reports, Pickren said. “Information transmitted electronically saves time and effort of the printing, mailing and sending thousands of reports.”

Colleton, according to Pickren, uses EDI and Medicare Gateway to electronically submit calls to the appropriate payer sources. Calls from Bertie County would be submitted to Colleton’s office, coded and prepared for the billing representative. Calls would be processed in most cases on the same day they were received and processed within 48 hours with bills sent to patients within seven days of receipt. If the patient has Medicare or insurance, Colleton would file the insurance claim on the patient’s behalf.

Letters of recommendation for the service were submitted by Dr. Michael Lowery, EMS Director for Carteret County, whose county’s billing revenues have tripled over the past three years.

During the question period of the discussion there was an inquiry as to whether billing of the county EMS and that of private firms would present a conflict of interest.  Colleton’s representatives said there was none.

Colleton proposed a three-year contract with a 60-day out for BertieCounty’s EMS billing.

Following the presentation and the end of discussion, board chairman J. Wallace Perry asked both Sauer and Cooper if, in their opinion, what was presented sufficiently met the criteria that the county would like established with EMS billing.

Both replied in the affirmative.

The board then unanimously voted to begin the billing procedure with the company.