The South Central Kansas Medical Center Board of Trustees learned during its Sept. 27 meeting that SCKMC’s partnership with CPSI TruBridge — a company the medical center has partnered with for help with medical coding and billing — costs more money than having in-house help.

“(Their service) is costing an average of $10,000 a month,” said Jeff Bowman, SCKMC’s interim chief executive officer.

“In speaking with my (staff), they feel like there are a lot of issues with TruBridge not communicating well,” said LaDona Anstine, SCKMC’s new chief financial officer who was attending her first board meeting.

“It’s taking an average of 62 days from the time a patient leaves until we get paid,” she said. “We have on our report things from February that (we) are still waiting (on TruBridge for).”

“Even if it’s just one, it irritates me. How did that get missed?” Bowman asked rhetorically.

SCKMC and TruBridge began their partnership on Jan. 1. In November 2017, Holly Harper, who was the medical center’s chief financial officer at the time, estimated there would be a $1 million improvement in accounts receivable with the help of TruBridge.

Going forward, SCKMC will phase out TruBridge, but keep the computer program that it supplies because SCKMC has used it for many years.

Bowman indicated changing the system could cause a drop in revenue.

Now, SCKMC will be using TransWise for the same services, but at a dramatically lower price. Bowman currently serves as CEO for TransWise.

The last bill SCKMC received from TruBridge was $17,000, for just one month of service.

By making use of TransWise employees instead, SCKMC could have four individuals helping with coding at a price of just $6,000 per month.

“By using this model, all of the billing will be done in-house,” Bowman said. “We’re trying to get a healthier revenue cycle.”

“When Quorum (Health Resources) did their report (in late 2016), that was one of their big things,” said board chair Dan Jurkovich. “They felt that we were probably losing money there.”

“Basically, we have two coders in house who will be over two to four others,” Bowman said.

This hybrid model is used in many other hospitals and has proven effective, according to Bowman.

In other business, the SCKMC trustees:

  • unanimously approved the Sept. 11 meeting minutes.
  • heard a finance report from Anstine.
  • heard a medical executive committee report from Dr. Paul Klaassen, chief of staff.
  • unanimously approved staff credentialing recommendations from the medical executive committee.
  • heard a report from Bowman regarding physician recruitment and the recent SCKMC Career Fair.
  • heard a report on a service agreement for Biofire for a piece of diagnostic equipment.
  • heard a report from Human Resources Manager Krista Carrillo.