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Streamlined Census Reports. Customized Payor Information

Case Study

By Dr. Cameron Zargar

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This billing team is saving over 40 hours a month.

Business Problem

When ActivCare was using PointClickCare for financials, the memory care organization struggled to generate accurate billing statements.


By switching to Experience Care’s financial system, ActivCare’s billing team is easily saving over 48 hours a month.


As the controller at ActivCare—a memory care organization with eight buildings—Deborah Murphy must ensure billing statements are timely and accurate. She wasn’t getting that type of support from her previous EHR system. In her estimation, this was because the software vendor was too focused on the clinical side to sufficiently account for the flexibility needed on the financial side. But after moving their processes to Experience Care, it’s nothing but smooth sailing for ActivCare’s billing team. Murphy explains how access to valuable data and customization of payor information has sped up processes and is saving ActivCare an entire FTE.

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When Long-Term Care Billing Goes Wrong

Deborah Murphy knows the stakes of her job. If the controller can’t process hundreds of statements accurately in a matter of hours, ActivCare will miss out on the funding it needs to continue to provide care for residents across its eight buildings. And if she can’t manage resident trust funds with great detail, seniors may see their precious assets wasted.
Unfortunately, Murphy also knows what it’s like to use a long-term care software system that doesn’t make her job much easier. “We used PointClickCare for our financials, and I just hated interacting with it,” she said. “It made doing resident trust or patient trust fund so cumbersome, and the way they ran statements was really weird.”

“[PointClickCare] is more worried about your billing for Medicare, and everything [in their system] has to be automatic. But it can’t always be automatic.”

Deborah Murphy, controller, ActivCare

How, specifically, did she struggle with statements while on PointClickCare? “They would post things that were not accurate and make changes to the system that were not accurate for financial reporting,” she said. The user would then be responsible for preventing errors. “We would have to hope to catch it and go back and correct what they had done, so I had a difficult time working with the system because of that,” she said. “And they weren’t really correct for financial reporting.”
That sort of uncertainty in billing can weigh heavily on a controller. “When we were using PointClickCare, I was never confident that we were closing with the correct information,” Murphy said. “I never felt I had a grasp of the data that we had available to us to review.”
To make matters worse, the entire process was slowed down by the limitations of entering data. “I couldn’t generate good statements, because if you don’t lock a statement, then you have to run two or three months at a time, and it was very cumbersome,” she explained.
Another issue that Murphy had was the inability to customize the system for various payors. “They’re more worried about your billing for Medicare, and everything [in their system] has to be automatic,” she said. “But it can’t always be automatic.”

“When we were using PointClickCare, I was never confident that we were closing with the correct information.”

And Murphy’s frustrations weren’t limited to day-to-day tasks. “When we sold the building under Chapter 11, I had to close everything up and reconcile, and it was impossible,” Murphy said. “I just had a horrible time with it.”

So why does the controller think that PointClickCare wasn’t a good fit for ActivCare? “PointClickCare is really more driven by the nursing, and they don’t really care about or understand the financial side,” she said. “And that always scared me.” In addition, the controller maintains that PointClickCare’s billing system is not suitable for all long-term care settings. “I think they are focused on SNFs (skilled nursing facilities), which is why the system was very cumbersome for billing for independent living,” she said.


A Billing Team’s Best Friend

Murphy’s experience is evidence that the right software can make a big difference. She explained how, after ActivCare moved its billing process to Experience Care, everything is coming easier for her billing team. “Census reports are so much clearer, and it has all the information I need to confirm that the data is correct,” she said. “And I love that I can track items in the resident trust system. The reconciliations are easy. The statements are easy to generate. I can see what’s going on very clearly by looking at the history and then reviewing to reconcile.”
The value of such intuitive software for a controller like Murphy is that she can delegate a lot more. “We have eight buildings, but our HR manager is now able to do all of the financials,” Murphy said. “She does all of the billing, all of the accounts receivable, all the posting charges, all the census, all the cash deposits, and she takes care of the resident trusts as well.”

“Census reports are so much clearer, and it has all the information I need to confirm that the data is correct… The reconciliations are easy. The statements are easy to generate.”

So how does that work? “The HR manager prepares a census, and I run my weekly census report that compares it against internal documents for transfers, move-ins, and discharges,” Murphy said. “I then tell her it’s good to go, and she runs all the statements, sends me the PDF, and then forwards them to the building after I sign off.”
It is the convenient access to information that makes that all possible. “The ease of me being able to go in and run information and access data that I need to see helps me a lot and makes my review and my closed process much quicker,” Murphy said.
ActivCare’s processes have now been optimized to the point that the billing team is saving an entire full-time employee (FTE). “With the ease of use of your system, we can have one person doing the job instead of two, so we are saving one position,” Murphy said. “And we’ve added two resident trust accounts and will be adding two more, knowing she won’t have any problems handling all of that.
And just how much time is Experience Care’s software saving ActivCare’s billing team? “It’s saving me at least an entire workday in closing,” Murphy said. “And now the weekly review of the census only takes me about two or three hours for all of the buildings, whereas it used to take me a whole day each Monday.” Add that up, and that’s over 28 hours a month of time saved.

“[Experience Care’s billing software] is saving me at least an entire workday in closing.”

Meanwhile, Murphy’s team is saving a ton of time as well. “My two staff accountants, who go in and pull the general ledger and post everything and reconcile, are saving at least a day each month for the close,” she said. So that’s another sixteen hours.
In total, that’s 46 years of extra hours available to ActivCare’s billing team on account of switching to Experience Care. And yet, Murphy values the accuracy the system provides even more than the time it saves. “Even more than the time, I appreciate the confidence I have in the information that we’re posting to our GL and reporting to owners,” she said. “I have a lot of confidence in the data that we’re posting because I can go back and track it and trace it and know that it’s the correct information. I never had that confidence with PointClickCare.”

“I have a lot of confidence in the data that we’re posting… I never had that confidence with PointClickCare.”

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Why Experience Care?

Increased efficiency and accuracy are just two of the reasons that Murphy is happy ActivCare moved over to Experience Care. She also appreciates the ease by which her team can be trained to run reports accurately. “Our AR person loves the training that you have,” she said. “Recently, she was having an issue changing the move-out date for a resident, and she was able to log in to your training and figure it out right away. Now she goes in there all the time and teaches herself how to do things, and it can always help her resolve the issue.”
Another plus is that the software already comes equipped with the capacity to handle the particular needs of independent living facilities. “It’s always been able to handle everything we’ve needed for memory care,” Murphy said. “It handles all the census tracking and all of the ancillary postings that we have to do. All we’ve ever had to do was set it up, and we didn’t even need anything customized.”
Murphy’s message to those looking for a powerful billing system is to give Experience Care a chance. “After using PointClickCare, I would definitely recommend that others look at Experience Care seriously,” Murphy said. “The information is really clear and concise. The data entry is so easy. And pulling the information back out is convenient as well.”