While working as a psychiatric nurse practitioner at the county’s only mental health center, Erica Flake saw patients struggle to get the care they needed. So, in 2016 she took a leap of faith and founded InTouch Psychiatric Services. Her clinic was so popular that soon patients were asking for a fuller range of services. In 2018, she opened a second clinic offering complete integrated care – treating both the minds and bodies of people in central Mississippi.
Challenge: Limited Features, High Price
InTouch started out using AdvancedMD as its practice management software. As volume grew, they added AdvancedMD’s RCM services, and then switched to MedEasy, which included billing. “It was a nightmare,” says Flake. “The systems lacked functionality and were outrageously priced. Billings were inaccurate. We lost a lot of revenue. We reached out to Kareo, to see if they could help us. It was only then that we realized how much time we’d wasted with previous systems.”
Solution: Seamless System
The practice now runs all of its operations on an end-to-end solution-stack from Kareo. It uses Kareo to load patients when a referral arrives. When a patient checks in, the front desk scans insurance information into the system, and completes a face sheet on the patient’s health history. Kareo then tracks the patient through the entire check-in and check-out process. This includes nurse triage, transfer to a treatment room, therapy, lab work, billing and follow-up appointments.
“With Kareo, we know exactly where each patient is in the clinic. We can ensure that nobody waits longer than five minutes for attention. This lets us make more efficient use of our treatment rooms, and see more patients."
InTouch runs all its financials using Kareo. “The system sends out patient statements for us, and posts their payments,” says Flake. “Patients can either pay online or in person. They love the transparency of the whole thing. We also use Kareo to manage claim approvals, and to generate superbills with the correct CPT and ICD10 codes, for speedier reimbursement.”
Results: Faster Charting
Therapist notes are stored electronically in the system. “Because of Kareo, we don’t have to keep anything on paper,” Flake explains. She appreciates the mental health charting templates that come with Kareo, too. “Whether it’s ADHD or anorexia, pretty much any mental-health-related template we need is there. Kareo’s templates and electronic notes have trimmed our charting time by at least five minutes per patient.”
Telemedicine has become a big part of InTouch’s service mix, especially for follow-up visits. The practice initially used Doximity, an online social networking service for medical clinicians, because it was free. “Doximity proved to be too limiting in functionality,” says Flake. “So we switched to Kareo’s telemedicine capabilities. To schedule appointments, the therapist simply clicks on a sidebar in Kareo to activate video and proceeds just as if the patient were in the office. We can even chart for telemedicine within the software.”
Flake credits telemedicine with increasing overall flexibility. “We have one patient who is a traveling nurse in a different state and can’t come in for appointments during office hours. She sets up a telemedicine call on her lunch break and picks up her meds on the weekend. Another patient meets with us regularly via telemedicine from his tractor – and once even talked with us from a deer stand!”( For those interested in offering telemedicine services for their practice, Kareo will be hosting a webinar, 5 Reasons To Offer Telemedicine Now, on July 17. Check back on Kareo.com for details).
Results: Bottom-Line Benefits
Flake says she was amazed at the cost difference between systems. “Kareo gives us more functionality than AdvancedMD. Yet we pay the same amount for an entire year of Kareo that we did for just one month of AdvancedMD. That’s without even adding in the extra fees AdvancedMD tacked on for billing. Add in the fact that we’re handling 60% more patients since adopting Kareo, and you can see why we’ve been so happy with the switch.”
“Kareo has been a total game changer for us,” Flake notes. “It gives me the oversight I need to run our clinics professionally. I’ve worked with many systems over the years, and Kareo is by far the most user-friendly. We had a new therapist who could do charting on her first day because it is so complete, concise and easy to use. With Kareo, we get an affordable, robust system without sacrificing quality. I recommend it for any mental health or primary care practice.”
Learn more about how an all-in-one integrated software system for you practice can boost your bottom line and help you improve patient care.