Scott Venera, Practice Administrator, Kootenai Imaging

Kootenai Imaging in North Idaho has grown significantly over the last 30 years into a larger, more widespread, and sophisticated radiology group serving Kootenai Medical Center, Kootenai MRI, and Kootenai Outpatient Imaging in Coeur d’Alene, in addition to Kootenai Outpatient Imaging in Post Falls. At this critical stage in its development, Kootenai Imaging has chosen McKesson Revenue Management Solutions (RMS) to ensure sustained growth in an increasingly complex billing and compliance environment.

Formerly known as Radiology Associates of North Idaho (RANI), Kootenai Imaging has grown into a group of 13 radiologists. Scott Venera, practice administrator at Kootenai, explained, “Billing was one of those areas that continually needed to grow along with the practice, and we were just at a point where we felt like we had outgrown our local billing solution.

“After doing an exhaustive analysis, we chose McKesson for its success in the industry, its clients that it serves, and its billing platform being robust enough to handle our needs,” said Venera. “We felt that we just needed to partner with someone long term that we could grow with. McKesson has groups that are three times the size of ours, and they handle all their needs.”

McKesson RMS is the nation’s leading provider of medical billing and practice management services, supported by a team of more than 4,000 experienced revenue cycle professionals. The services are designed to help radiologists optimize reimbursement, minimize risk, and increase revenue. “We are now better prepared to deal with our growth. They will also be able to assist us with taking on that additional growth, that additional volume, negotiating contracts, and credentialing. They have a very robust credentialing department,” Venera said.

A looming concern for Kootenai Imaging, as for many groups around the country, large and small, is the transition to and preparation for ICD-10 coding changes. The key factor between the ICD-9 and ICD-10 is differences that will affect information technology and software at medical practices. There will need to be significant education and training for coders, billers, practice managers, physicians, and other health care personnel to fully implement this major code change. “I think that ICD-10 is something that none of us have touched yet. It’s important that your billing platform can handle the increased number of options. So that was another reason why we felt more comfortable with a solution that is helping other clients facing this at the same time as well,” said Venera.

In addition to handling their complex billing requirements, Kootenai Imaging is looking to McKesson RMS’s advanced business intelligence tools for data mining and benchmarking. “There are continued reimbursement pressures with declining reimbursement, meaning declining income to the group. The ability to drill down and see what’s changing, why we are experiencing this, where this decrease is essentially coming from, is critical. That ability is huge through McKesson versus our previous vendor. We could data mine before, but we didn’t have the same breadth of technology,” said Venera.

All has fared well for this North Idaho radiology group since the start of their relationship with McKesson RMS in July of this year. This major provider of medical billing and practice management services has met their objectives. “We have been very happy with our transition. It has been everything that we had expected,” said Venera.

“I told McKesson one of the reasons why we changed is that we want to change our ability to skate to where the puck is going to be. Wayne Gretzky was so good because he always knew where to be. It was an instinctive thing from his perspective,” said Venera. “The bottom line is that we need to do the same thing; be able to anticipate where we need to be with our business, and McKesson will help us get to that point.”