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Q&A

J.K. Wall
September 8, 2010
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Julie Klapstein is CEO of Florida-based Availity LLC, which last week announced its acquisition of Indianapolis-based RealMed Corp. The combined firms will have $100 million in annual revenue and want to work with doctors and health insurers to finally allow patients to pay their co-pays and deductible payments when they’re at the doctor’s office—not weeks later in the mail. The change could also allow doctors to get paid much faster for their services.

IBJ: Availity has so far sold payment-automation and real-time claims-adjusting products through health insurers, whereas RealMed has done more selling directly to doctors. Why should doctors be interested in this technology?

Klapstein: It’s all about reducing costs, improving efficiencies in the office, getting paid faster. When they see these capabilities, they know immediately that this will save them money.

IBJ: Doctors often accuse health insurers of being intentionally slow to pay the claims doctors submit to them. And yet Availity is part-owned by five health insurers, including Indianapolis-based WellPoint Inc. Why are insurers interested in technology that makes them pay doctors faster?

Klapstein: Insurance companies just want everything to flow through electronically and automatically. The more they can reduce phone calls, the more they can reduce those costs [to have people to answer phone calls and manually process claims]. They are very interested in anything that can move those transactions from the providers’ offices through their back offices and back to the providers, hopefully in real time.

IBJ: Why was Availity attracted to RealMed?

Klapstein: They offer revenue cycle-management services. But revenue cycle management was not one of our strengths, so now we can offer that as well. And they have focused on provider offices, and they have sales folks that are regionally based. That has been very attractive to us as well.

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  1. John, unfortunately CTRWD wants to put the tank(s) right next to a nature preserve and at the southern entrance to Carmel off of Keystone. Not exactly the kind of message you want to send to residents and visitors (come see our tanks as you enter our city and we build stuff in nature preserves...

  2. 85 feet for an ambitious project? I could shoot ej*culate farther than that.

  3. I tried, can't take it anymore. Untill Katz is replaced I can't listen anymore.

  4. Perhaps, but they've had a very active program to reduce rainwater/sump pump inflows for a number of years. But you are correct that controlling these peak flows will require spending more money - surge tanks, lines or removing storm water inflow at the source.

  5. All sewage goes to the Carmel treatment plant on the White River at 96th St. Rainfall should not affect sewage flows, but somehow it does - and the increased rate is more than the plant can handle a few times each year. One big source is typically homeowners who have their sump pumps connect into the sanitary sewer line rather than to the storm sewer line or yard. So we (Carmel and Clay Twp) need someway to hold the excess flow for a few days until the plant can process this material. Carmel wants the surge tank located at the treatment plant but than means an expensive underground line has to be installed through residential areas while CTRWD wants the surge tank located further 'upstream' from the treatment plant which costs less. Either solution works from an environmental control perspective. The less expensive solution means some people would likely have an unsightly tank near them. Carmel wants the more expensive solution - surprise!

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