EHR Billing – AWARDS BillingBuilder™

For all agencies looking to bill directly for the services they provide, we offer BillingBuilder™, our Build-Your-Own Billing module that allows users to configure billing files for dozens of payers in addition to the direct link to Medicaid and Medicare already built into the software. Your agency’s clinical and programmatic data will flow seamlessly from the AWARDS electronic chart into the proper structure in the billing module. From there, you can use the module to create claims to be paid.

Mended Reeds: “My billing time went from 288 hours to 5…”

Data is at the heart of every agency’s effort to progress. Many times the process of collecting information from clients can feel like a burden that takes time away from actually providing the services, time that takes away from an agency’s mission. An agency should be able to use both its time and money in the most productive and efficient ways possible, and Foothold client Mended Reeds used our AWARDS software to master the art of efficient and effective billing.

A childcare agency providing residential shelter, foster care, adoption, and treatment services to the children of southeast Ohio, Mended Reeds began its work with Foothold in 2012. When they started with AWARDS, its staff was spending an overwhelming amount of time documenting its services to meet billing requirements. Led by IT Manager Ed Carpenter, Mended Reeds worked closely with Foothold from the start to make sure it was taking full advantage of AWARDS – incorporating eSignatures into its processes, tailoring group notes to include the information it needed, and using AWARDS’s BillingBuilder to revamp its billing practices. After only a year, Foothold Senior Project Manager Laura Marshall received some staggering numbers from Ed. “My billing time went from 288 hours to 5, that’s a 98.2% time savings, only 1.8% of the time it used to take…Not only does this take less time, but the results are much better due to not having coding errors, rounding errors, or other calculation errors like before.” Ed and Mended Reeds now have 283 extra hours per month to spend with their clients, and with a more effective billing process, they’re saving money! “The savings from using BillingBuilder alone are enough to justify the cost for AWARDS in our agency.”

Ed’s success with Mended Reeds is just one example of how Foothold’s clients are transforming their agencies by using AWARDS to simplify their workloads, so they can spend less time doing paperwork and more time serving those in need.

Electronic Billing Success for New Jersey Division of Developmental Disabilities

Collaboration Goes A Long Way

For the last couple of years, under the guidance of the New Jersey Division of Developmental Disabilities (NJ DDD), the delivery of services and supports to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities has gone through enormous changes. One of the most notable changes has been the state’s shift to a fee-for-service billing model. This transition has been far from easy and far from quick. Along the way, providers have faced uncertainty and change, but this new landscape of care continues to provide agencies with an opportunity to evaluate their operations and improve collaboration with fellow service providers.

Like many states undergoing transformation, intellectual and developmental disabilities service providers in New Jersey knew these changes would require a whole new approach to electronic billing and record keeping, not to mention a change in processes. Seeking strength in numbers, and understanding the magnitude of such a shift, a group of 18 New Jersey agencies using Foothold Technology’s AWARDS software banded together to create a cross agency implementation team. Members of the team reached out to their reps at Foothold Technology to finalize a collaborative user’s group and, together, formalized their process for tackling the work ahead. As new information from NJ DDD was released, the users group and Foothold Technology came together and identified new documentation requirements, billing needs and workflow enhancements. Through a series of meetings, phone calls, and lots of planning over many months, additional functionality and workflows were created in AWARDS to enhance the documentation of Individual Habilitation Plans, daily service provision, supported employment information, and specific guardianship details.

“We are thrilled we can electronically bill NJ DDD through AWARDS. Without BillingBuilder, billing for services would take a lot of time and staff to generate the bills and reconcile the payments. BillingBuilder generates numerous invoices into batch claim files in only a few, simple steps. Additionally, reconciling Remittance Advices is almost entirely automated, AWARDS recognizes each invoice and marks according to the remittance code.”

Courtney Molinari, Assistant Director of Data Compliance
The Arc of Essex County

Once live service data started going into each of the agency’s AWARDS databases, the user’s group moved its focus to AWARDS’ BillingBuilder functionality, so agencies could generate invoices to meet the new electronic billing requirements from NJ DDD. After some trial and error at both the software and the service levels, agencies were able to provide and document services, generate invoices, and get paid under the new requirements, proving collaboration goes a long way when it comes to addressing change.

Because the user’s group created one strong voice to advocate with state partners and worked with its technology partner to improve service delivery, NJ DDD agencies are stronger than ever. As more NJ DDD agencies join the Foothold community they can build on the success of the collaborative work of the 18 agencies that came before them and quickly get up to speed with their documentation methods, including electronic billing, in no time. We are proud of the part we played in this successful collaboration which has led to better outcomes for individuals, and improved services and systems for the communities these agencies serve.

Learn more about AWARDS for I/DD service providers.

Getting Paid: Billing With AWARDS

Sixteen payers, six hundred clients, sixteen thousand claims.  Welcome to Clinic billing.  When we rolled out the new BillingBuilder, one of the first agencies to begin using it provides much more than outpatient mental health services.  A fixture of New York’s Lower East Side for over 100 years, the agency has services for everyone in the community from toddlers to senior citizens.  But their clinic was in need of a billing program that would streamline their process, reduce human error, and increase their revenue.

Nobody thought it would be an easy task to make the transition from one billing system to another, especially because the AWARDS BillingBuilder is a configurable system.  That means that the agency is responsible for the billing rules, codes, and rates.  For an agency that has been using an outside billing service, this is no small order.

Theirs is a tale of bravery, cunning, and most of all, persistence.  The heroes are their Director of Quality Improvement & Compliance and a newly-appointed AWARDS Administrator & Billing Coordinator.  We worked together to puzzle through the various requirements of each insurance company, submitting claims and analyzing errors.  Along the way, we added configuration options to the BillingBuilder and spent hours discussing how each procedure could be configured both for accurate billing and clarity on the program side.  I’d be lying if I said I didn’t cry. More than once.  But today they are billing and they are getting paid.  Perhaps best of all, they are confident that their billable services are backed up by the right documentation and they have the in-house knowledge to be in control of the whole process.

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