If there’s one thing that defines your stability, it is the bills and payments to meet your expenses. Billing payments play a crucial role in the financial sustainability of individuals and companies. However, running a medical billing business comes with many challenges; from ever-changing regulations to technological advancements, medical billing companies are staying compliant with an array of ever-evolving healthcare regulations.
MediAccounts is an example of one such billing for healthcare efficiently, effectively, and emphatically. The team is led by Tracey Dunn, Martine Reuben & Ellie Blacher, where the clients come with awful cash flow and lots of bad debts and within a few short months their practice has been turned around, making them very happy clients.
With such vast skills and experience of a mature workforce, we at Insights Care featured MediAccounts in an interview with the team to know the foundation that laid the company.
Below are the highlights of the interview:
Can you provide a brief overview of your company’s history and founding?
MediAccounts began its journey from a garden shed in 2012 with 3 laptops and a spark of an idea.
Martine, Tracey and Ellie first met over two decades ago when they co-chaired a primary school fundraising committee.
Tracey had been working for a Paediatric Gastroenterologist for many years, looking after his private practice. She was so successful with the billing & collection that many of his colleagues approached her to take over their practice. The trio came together and with Ellie’s bookkeeping and finance skills, Martine’s PR & Marketing flair and Tracey’s private practice experience, MediAccounts was born!
“We spoke with numerous consultants, as part of our market research, who simply had no spare time to chase and reconcile payments and, more importantly, found it laborious and exhausting to navigate the insurance companies. It became clear that they were receiving a poor service from the larger ‘factory’ style billing companies, resulting in a huge amount of bad debt. We needed to do things differently by making reconciliation and credit control central – even if it meant adding an extra step to our process. We took up residence in Ellie’s garden shed and, through passion and hard work, a clear business model emerged and word of mouth began to spread”
Within a year our reputation began to grow, and we outgrew our shed and moved to a small shop together with our emerging team. From here we grew an extended team of experienced staff with a determination for getting every invoice paid in full for the best price possible. From all our research we knew that consultants didn’t want a turntable of young inexperienced staff, and so our fundamental ethos was to employ committed & experienced staff. We wanted to encourage working parents to be able to have a fulfilling professional role that fitted around their family, enabling MediAccounts to access the vast skills and experience of a more mature workforce. All of our original staff are still with us today, and are just as dedicated as we are, to providing the best service possible to our consultants. We have also developed roles that give students the opportunity to gain experience in sales and credit control and have a number of young adults who join the team in school and university holidays.
What inspired the creation of your company, and what is your company’s mission?
The MediAccounts culture nurtures a family environment where every member of staff feels like they are part of something exciting. Our staff feel passionate and personally responsible for providing great cash flow to all of our doctors. Today, MediAccounts has evolved into something fresh and modern, and solves all of those problems that the consultants highlighted to us when we did our original research back in 2012.
Today, we look after over 150 consultants, many of which we have a very close working relationship with, and would call friends as well as clients. We have successfully scaled our model to retain the passion and personal service of every doctor.
Our mission has always been clear, to provide the best service possible so that our doctors can focus on seeing patients and not on admin, knowing that they will be paid for every single patient they see.
How does your company differentiate itself from other medical billing companies in the industry?
MediAccounts absolutely brings something different to the industry.
We were able to look at how other businesses do this, what didn’t work so well and then fix it. Due to the diversity of each of our skill sets, it meant we brought something very special and different to the whole culture and concept of medical billing.
We developed a business model where we are the accounts team and look after every aspect of the billing, collection and reconciliation process. The easy bit is sending an invoice out, but the hard bit is making sure that the invoice is billed at the maximum price possible and paid in full, in a timely manner. This then needs to be reconciled with easy reporting and transparency. We do a few extra steps that other companies simply do not do, but this means we can provide the full service executed in the most professional way possible.
On a broad level, we differ because as a business we are proactive (we don’t just wait for payments to be overdue), we communicate (with clients and patients via email, phone and WhatsApp) and we are transparent (our doctors can log into our bespoke portal to see exactly what is happening with their practice and call us at any time of the day).
There are lots of technical elements that we do that none of our competitors do, but on a simple fundamental level we differ because WE (as owner/directors) are present, active and available. Each business owner is available 24/7 to any of our consultants via whatsapp, phone or email and gets involved at a grass roots level.
What message would you like to share with potential clients about the importance of medical billing and the role of professional medical billing companies in the healthcare industry?
The landscape of private healthcare has totally changed over the past decade. The traditional model for private practice was that the secretary also did the billing. However, with the advent of fee assurance, electronic billing and increase in international insurance payments and overseas patients, keeping track of this and reconciling is more than a full time job. This coupled with the rise of the self pay patient due to the long NHS waiting lists, chasing for payments is a large part of private practice and the red tape and admin that goes along with it creates a huge amount of work. If you add in GDPR and data protection, it is just not practical for a secretary to be able to keep on top of this, as well as look after the patients/secretarial side of the practice.
Lots of time and energy is required to maintain a robust private practice, so within an environment of fees being squashed by insurance companies and new consultants being forced into fee agreements, every invoice really does count.
How does your company plan to scale its services and operations in 2023?
Our success has been down to slow and steady growth through word of mouth. We stagger the on-boarding of new consultants, so we can dedicate time and resources to each of them. We have always made sure staff resources are in place before an increase in clients – rather than the other way round – and it is this planning and proactive approach that makes our model so successful.
Through our development of IT solutions and software we are able to provide the same high level of service as we grow. Investing in staff training and development are the foundations to our success, but ultimately putting the doctor at the centre of the whole process means that their needs are always met. We will not take any shortcuts even if it means a few extra steps, to do the job properly and we will ALWAYS put the doctor’s best interests first.
Our best advocate is our doctors and so here are a selection of some of their testimonials.
Like a few others, I expect, I have struggled for some time to find high-quality secretarial support for my practice. During this time, MediAccounts have been a lifesaver. They are an excellent team, without exception, easy to work with, intelligent, efficient and highly effective. It is a simple matter of passing on billable items and they take care of the rest. Furthermore, their experience allows them to extract maximum returns from insurers and they advocate strongly on the physician’s behalf in situations of dispute. I can thoroughly recommend them and for those of us who have our own practice management systems, MediAccounts is the perfect partner for the billing side of things.
Dr Mazhar Ajaz, Consultant Neuro Oncologist
The Portland Hospital for Women and Children, Royal Free Hospital, Wellington Diagnostic and Outpatient Centre
The MediAccounts team have handled all my private practice billing for the last three years. In that time, they have achieved over 99.5% retrieval of in-voices billed. They are always polite, reliable, punctual and responsive. I trust them completely to deal with my patients particularly when diplomacy and tact are required. I would wholeheartedly recommend them to any consultant colleagues – it’s unlikely you’ll ever leave!
Mr Oliver Warren Consultant Colorectal and General Surgeon
The London Clinic, The Lister Hospital & Chelsea and Westminster Hospital