The professionals of Yeo & Yeo Medical Billing & Consulting are proud to celebrate the company’s 20th anniversary. Established in May 1998 as an affiliate of Yeo & Yeo CPAs & Business Consultants, the company has grown into a leading provider of medical billing and practice management consulting services, helping physicians, group practices, and healthcare organizations throughout Michigan to thrive.
A proud history
Yeo & Yeo’s Certified Public Accountants have served clients in the health care industry since the firm’s inception in Saginaw more than 95 years ago, but in 1998 the firm elevated the level of services available for physicians by hiring Julia Lowe, a practice management consultant with many years of experience. Affiliated Medical Billing was formed that year with a staff of only Julia and one other employee in Saginaw, MI.
With extensive expertise in medical practice management, Julia helped streamline physicians’ practices by improving their business functions. She provided invaluable guidance on ways to maximize physician reimbursement, keep accounts receivable in control and reduce overhead expenses, and she trained physicians and their billing personnel in all aspects of coding.
The company quickly grew as new clients came from the areas surrounding Yeo & Yeo’s office locations throughout Michigan. By 2006, the company had expanded to more than 20 employees and moved into the building next door to Yeo & Yeo’s Saginaw office to accommodate the growth.
Julia Lowe retired in 2017 and Kati Krueger, who started her career with the entity in 2002 as a co-op student, today serves as its president. In the same year, the affiliate also changed its name to Yeo & Yeo Medical Billing & Consulting (YYMBC) and relocated once more to Yeo & Yeo’s new headquarters on Bay Road in Saginaw.
Decades of technology changes for evolving client service
What is the key to Yeo & Yeo Medical Billing’s success? Krueger says, “We have a great team of medical billers behind us that work hard and strive to get the maximum reimbursement for our clients. We continually educate our staff, so they know the ever-changing policies and rules.”
The technology that the company uses has evolved tremendously during the last 20 years. For example, the medical billers now utilize coding software rather than looking up diagnostic and procedural codes in books. An Electronic Medical Records interface allows the billers to receive a physician’s information electronically, eliminating the need for manual data entry. Also, the company now offers patient portals for bill payment.
Recently the company implemented YeoLEAN Medical Billing, a Lean Six Sigma-based methodology that resulted in a more streamlined reimbursement process, new software capabilities and paperless technology, improved reporting, and timelier communication with clients.
Denise Garrett, Training and Development Coordinator for YYMBC, says, “With today’s web-based connectivity, our clients can see every claim that is outstanding. It is more transparent now for the client and gives them peace of mind that everything is working as it should.”
Constant changes – constant challenges
“The biggest challenge for our clients is the declining reimbursement from insurance carriers. Physicians must follow stricter guidelines, and more rejections are coming through on claims,” says Krueger. “Also, under the Medicare Quality Payment Program, physicians have to report data to Medicare to avoid a penalty.”
Another challenge that physicians face is the rise of high-deductible health care plans, so they have to collect more money from patients rather than from insurance carriers.
YYMBC’s staff faces challenges too, one of which is the insurance carriers’ ever-changing rules. “We have to fight harder for our clients, for less money,” says Krueger. Also, a significant change in medical billing coding – ICD-10, which went from 14,000 codes to 69,000 codes – took effect in 2015, and “the codes still keep changing,” she says.
Demand grows for practice management solutions
With all the challenges and changes, the demand for consulting services has increased. YYMBC’s professionals have earned specialized credentials in coding, compliance, medical audits and practice management. Their expertise in practice management solutions can be combined with accounting and back office services provided by Yeo & Yeo’s CPAs, IT solutions from Yeo & Yeo Technology and wealth management from Yeo & Yeo Financial Services for a full solution.
Some of the consultative services include:
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability (HIPAA) compliance audits
- Guidance for increased efficiency in processes and organization
- Fee structuring, annual billing reviews, and chart audits
- Practice transition – startups, mergers and practice discontinuations
What is in the future?
The company will continue to focus on growth, serving new markets throughout Michigan and developing new services while continually working on efficiencies. “We want to create the best experience for our clients, all with the goal of helping them maximize their profitability,” adds Krueger.
While so much has changed in 20 years – the company’s leadership, name, location and technology – Yeo & Yeo’s medical billing professionals foresee an unchanging need for their services. One client says it best:“There is a sense of security and support because you have a team of people available who have expertise in multiple areas, and I have found that billing is more complicated now than ever before.”