Like a lot of you, I often find the details of the work I do confusing and difficult to keep up with. We work in an industry that is always changing and yet every detail matters. It's one of the reasons why I value my membership with HBMA so highly. HBMA provides me with a great place to look at other people's previously answered questions in the message board, as well as a repository of helpful documents and previous webinars that I may have missed. And when it comes to the Affinity/Member Value Program (MVP), we have a great place to see which vendors HBMA has a "value proposition" with, which is a great resource. But what does it really mean to you, the member?
I have spent the last year paying a little more attention to this part of our website (www.hbma.org/member-value-program) because I knew it was growing. Some of the companies listed there I had never heard of, or I had never done business with, but some of those companies I knew well. So I have spent some time over the last year figuring out what exactly the value of those "propositions" were. Here's what I found:
If you employ coders, or you are one (I represent both of those categories), you know this organization well. As an AAPC member you get discounts and savings. As an HBMA member you not only get savings, but HBMA gets a return on your purchases to help support our income and our mission. AAPC gets more exposure in the marketplace, HBMA and AAPC cross-promote each other's conferences, and we get some income in return! It is a true win-win partnership. I manage a small- to medium-sized billing company and employ five coders who use AAPC products all year long. The discount I've received through my HBMA membership on AAPC products has almost completely paid back what I spent in HBMA dues. This has been a big win for me because HBMA already brings me value with networking, education, and the brain trust that is our membership.
Mingle Analytics/PQRS Solutions
This is one of HBMA's newest partners that I'm most proud of. I and another board member were both searching for a PQRS registry solution for our smallest clients. Many registries don't handle small practices and aren't equipped to handle their unique needs. We both felt it would be a big win for HBMA to partner with a registry company, as there was no existing PQRS vendor partner at that time. Shortly thereafter, Andre Williams, our executive director, received a call from Mingle Analytics, the parent company of PQRS Solutions, which wanted to meet with him about a partnership. The rest, as they say, is history. Mingle offers discounted registry fees for HBMA members and returns a benefit to HBMA for members who use them. HBMA members are free to pass on that discount to their practices (adding value for you and your company) or add that revenue to your own bottom line. Since we do the lion's share of the work for PQRS reporting, there needs to be some benefit to you and, in this case, you get to choose. Yet another big win for HBMA and its members! In 2016 PQRS will go away and the MIPS program will ramp up, along with the value modifier program. Mingle is prepared to deal with all of those changes and walk you through it. I used PQRS Solutions this year for my smallest clients and, for something as complicated as PQRS, they made it easy. They helped me understand things that I know I had misunderstood and even helped my clients avoid a penalty that I might have overlooked in the complexity that makes up this program.
My experience is just with the two programs above, but I've only just started. Therefore, I'd like to mention all of our Affinity/Member Value Programs. Some of these will likely be very interesting to you and I encourage you to pursue them. You may already be doing business with them!
- Alpha II – Discounts on ICD-10 books and on CodingSystem
- Clinicspectrum – Discounts on its credentialing technology platform
- Colloquy – Tuition offset for your online master's program with UCSF
- DecisionHealth – Discounts on coding books and Part B news
- 1st Healthcare Compliance – Healthcare billing company compliance program management solution
- Fox Point Programs – Special pricing on E&O insurance
- Ingenix – Discounts on Ingenix coding resources
- K&K – Discounts on legal fees and customizable compliance forms; free initial consultations
- Lands' End Business Outfitters – Discounts on all apparel and logos for your business
- Moneris Solutions – Lower rates for patient payment processing options
- Metcom – Discounts on office products and computer systems integration
- Panacea – Discounts on Panacea products, including MedLearn Publishing's publications as well as live and recorded webcasts
- Performance Resources – Discounts on HR products and its ApplicantPool System, job posting services and assessment tools
The discounts that I realized with Mingle Analytics/PQRS Solutions along with my AAPC discounts have already given me a double digit ROI on my HBMA membership dues! Even my retirement plan investments don't do that well. In an environment where income for our clients is declining and more and more downward pressure is being placed on billing companies to lower our fees but produce the same excellent service, shouldn't we expect an organization that helps us improve our own bottom line and partners that also recognize the value of the organization that supports us? We should, and HBMA is already doing just what we need it to do and is committed to doing even more. Go HBMA!
Ginger Ryder, CMPE, CHBME, CPC, is president of EMEDEX and a member of the HBMA Board of Directors.