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‘I Would Never Go Back’

Charles Confer has been working as a social worker and therapist since 1965. His packed Pennsylvania practices supports individuals suffering from depression, anxiety and other mood or behavioral health disorders.

“I’m 78 years old and I’ve been doing this for a long time,” says Confer. “I am a paper person.”

Except when it comes to managing his practice and billing for services rendered. For that, Confer uses Netsmart’s HelperTM practice management and billing solution. He started with Helper’s health records solution more than a decade ago. Recently, he added ClaimsConnectTM.

“It is so easy!” says Confer, recalling how he used to spend hours filling out and managing HCFA claims forms. He would have to print the HCFA out, hand-address and stamp the envelope. If he forgot a signature or made a typo, the form would be returned, unpaid – and that could take up to six weeks. Then he would have to start the process again.

“I put each contact into my health record system no matter what. Now, all I have to do is click on the person’s name, push bill, and boom, it’s off. I spend very little time billing now,” says Confer, who also manages the bills for his wife’s similar therapy practice with ClaimsConnect.

Moreover, electronic billing has impacted his bottom line. He used to have to look through lengthy spreadsheets to try to determine if he had been paid by a consumer. Now, it is all right in the system and readily searchable. He gets paid faster, too.

“I don’t know when was the last time I had a claim rejected,” Confer boasts.

The other advantage, he notes, is the Helper support team. While months in, he rarely has a question. If he does, he picks up the phone or sends an email to the support team, who responds quickly and efficiently.

“They are very kind,” says Confer.

He continues: “The world is moving and I understood I better get with it,” says Confer. “Now, I would never go back.”

‘I Wished I Had Done It Years Ago’

Over the past 35 years, Dr. Steven Sussman has seen his Mountainside, New Jersey practice flourish.

“I have a high-volume practice,” he says gratefully about his child and adolescent treatment office. Sussman focuses on youth who struggle with anger management, self-control, showing respect for others and study or social skills.

In 2000, when managed care companies erupted onto the healthcare landscape, Sussman was worried keeping the kinds of records those companies required would be “overwhelming.” He turned to Netsmart’s HelperTM, a practice management solution.

“I used to tell people I was a technophobe. Helper is the one technology I love,” says Sussman. He saw immediate return on investment from time savings.

With all of the consumers Sussman sees, he cannot always remember each name and face years later. It used to be that if a parent of a former consumer called for information contained in her daughter or son’s chart, he would have to spend hours digging through boxes of paper charts. Child psychologists have to keep records for 14 years.

“Now, it is boom, I go to Helper, put in her name. I know when I saw her and anything else I recorded about the person in two seconds. It’s amazing!” Sussman boasts.

A few years ago, Sussman added on ClaimsConnectTM, Helper’s billing solution. He says he resisted electronic billing, but within two months of launch, “I was wondering how I ever did it without this.”

In the past, Sussman had to print dozens of HCFA claims forms, which had to be weighed and stamped. It took time and cost money. Now, “you hit a button and swoosh, all the sessions you held are transmitted for billing through ClaimsConnect. This is such a blessing.”

Sussman compliments Helper support, noting that if he does have a question it is addressed fast and effectively. Further, he says other like-minded psychologists that are resistant to technolog should take the plunge.

“I was so resistant to change. When I started using electronic billing, I wished immediately I had done it years ago,” says Sussman. “We tell our consumers to adapt to life changes, we have to do it, too.”

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