On this episode of The Modern Practice Podcast, host Gary Tiratsuyan is joined by Technical Integrations Manager, Josh Cooper to discuss the exciting news and developments coming out of Rectangle Health, and our best-in-class software, Practice Management Bridge®. During the discussion, Josh shares insights into the powerful capabilities of Practice Management Bridge, including the latest integrations that are now available with practice management systems.
Josh dives into the importance of managing all your patient payment, scheduling/communication, financing, and compliance workflows from a single solution to save staff time, increase revenue, and grow as a business.
Later, we discuss the Rectangle Health’s partnership with Zelis, to introduce the first of its kind, straight through processing for medical and dental practices.
Learn more about Rectangle Health’s Practice Management Bridge solution, here >>
Connect with Josh on LinkedIn
Learn more about how Practice Management Bridge integrates with your practice management system and delivers a seamless experience for both staff and patients: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gary Tiratsuyan 00:21
Hello, everybody. And welcome back to the Modern Practice Podcast. Your support over the course of the past year that this show has been in production has been incredible. Thank you for your feedback, thank you for your topic recommendations, and most importantly, thank you for all you do day-in and day-out to help patients in need of care. On the show, we’ve spoken in depth about the pain points and challenges healthcare providers and organizations have had to face since the onset of COVID, coming out of the pandemic, and then a range of new obstacles that physicians and staff face like burnout, staffing shortages and rising costs. All these factors and more have led practices and organizations to accelerate their adoption of tech to help manage the day-to-day; adoption of tools that allow revenue to flow more freely, tools that enable financing at no risk to the provider, tools that automate communication and reminders, and much more.
So, you can easily say that the status quo of how the business side of care is managed, has significantly shifted. And I’m going to dive into what it means and why the longer dentists, doctors, veterinarians, and all specialties really wait to adopt a solution that can do it all, the steeper becomes the hill that they have to climb to grow as a business today. I’m really excited to be joined by Josh Cooper, Technical Integrations Manager at Rectangle Health, to discuss the new status quo in healthcare, how practices can do more with less systems, and what Rectangle Health is doing to meet the needs of providers and organizations. Josh, thanks so much for joining me today. I know how busy you and your team have been with all the new developments coming out of Rectangle Health.
Josh Cooper 01:59
Thanks, Gary. It’s a pleasure to be here. I’m really excited to take part in the podcast. I see you all over LinkedIn and social media. So, it’s exciting to contribute.
The Evolution of Healthcare Technology
Gary Tiratsuyan 02:08
My pleasure, Josh, and really appreciate the time. So, before we really dive in, I want to quickly lean into the visibility and experience you’ve had in the healthcare space. On the technology side, do you feel the way the industry has shifted and evolved over the years is similar or on pace with other industries?
Josh Cooper 02:29
Yeah, that’s a great question. So, I’ll answer your first question. And that is, I’ve got about a decade or a little bit over a decade in the healthcare space and healthcare IT specifically with a focus on interoperability and integrations between softwares and have worked in many, many different verticals. So, hospital and healthcare’s phase two dental to vision two specialty, really have run the full gamut in my career so far. For the latter question… the healthcare industry, just it’s lagging behind historically, at least, it’s literally lag behind the standards that you see other industries have interoperability. And so, the healthcare space not only has been a little lacking, but also only in recent years, as it really kind of sped up and tried to catch up to the rest of the modern world.
Gary Tiratsuyan 03:13
If you could just point to one or could be more driving factors in this rapid transformation in the industry, what would you say it is?
Josh Cooper 03:21
Well, luckily, in the last several years, we’ve had things like CMS, which is the regulatory body, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and other federal regulations, that really have kind of pushed patient information sharing and interoperability in the healthcare space. And that push has really affected other things as well. It’s permeated into financial endpoints or engagement and communication endpoints, compliance, and really all things practice management—so the business side of healthcare in addition to the patient side. But that clinical, regulatory push was really kind of a stimulus that we needed to get things moving.
A Lack of Adoption
Gary Tiratsuyan 03:58
You mentioned a minute ago that healthcare has historically been, for lack of a better term, late to the game. And while some providers may not feel the impact of it, or think they’re not feeling the impact of it, I want to really hone in on why lack of adoption, or objection to adoption, will have a negative impact not only on the practice, but also on the patient. What are your thoughts on that?
Josh Cooper 04:22
Yeah, so it’s no secret that healthcare entities and providers—they’re in the business that they are for patient care. Really, being in the business is a poor way to put it because they want to care for patients the same way that teachers want to teach. It’s really the other side of the patient care world that really causes issue. And it’s the business side, because they’re two very different skill sets. Taking care of patients effectively, no matter what vertical you’re in, and then running a successful business, are two different things. And so, when you focus on patient care, you tend to not keep up with technology standards, because technology is so fast, right in the way that it evolves. And you really don’t want to do anything to disrupt your level of patient care and patient quality. But what that does, unfortunately, is it makes the business side of healthcare sometimes struggle in terms of reducing AR or facing issues with gaining new patients or even managing your current patient base or staying compliant. Those things technology can absolutely solve, and they look to actually help you focus on patient care more. So, changing this perception of providers and helping them understand that this actually helps them more than hurts them is something that we’re actually very focused on.
Gary Tiratsuyan 05:26
Do you feel a patient will leave one practice for another because there’s a lack of ease and convenience or a lack of an easy way to pay? Not shifting to that digital first experience—is that detrimental to a practice?
Josh Cooper 05:44
Yeah, it definitely can be. So, we all are patients, right? We all have doctors that we trust. And so there is a level of trust and reassurance and familiarity with a doctor that will keep you at a practice, even if you’re somewhat dissatisfied with their service offerings, right? Their solution offerings, if you will. But there is definitely data to suggest that there is disassociation and not even just moving from one practice to another. But if you’re a larger-level enterprise or part of one, from one enterprise to another, a totally different brand. Because if you’re you receive maybe off putting or receive a lack of efficient ways to pay or do digital form signups through text messaging or email and just the level of convenience that’s offered as a standard across healthcare. Now, patients come to expect that, and it definitely hurts the business.
Addressing Client Needs
Gary Tiratsuyan 06:27
Really good point there. So, I want to shift gears a little bit and get more into the tech, specifically, tech provided by Rectangle Health. You know, we’ve clearly established that practices and organizations need it. And there’s a trickle-down effect, obviously, to the patients and the business if they don’t onboard the right tool to help. So, beginning with you, how are you and your team keeping current and enhancing Practice Management Bridge to address needs.
Josh Cooper 06:56
So, you hit the nail right on the head, Gary, to be honest with you. So, it’s not only what we create, but it’s also how we create it, right? We want to create solutions, but we want to create the right solutions and at the right time while they’re relevant and providing the most value. So, making sure that our solutions are quick to market, making sure that we’re creating feedback loops, where we listen to customers, listen to patients, listen to providers, understand what’s needed from both a small business or an enterprise scale. And getting that to them in a manner that is digestible is really the key to success, I believe.
Gary Tiratsuyan 07:26
And I think one important element you and I spoke offline about is growing with the practice that is ever evolving. You know, technology needs to adapt to, as you mentioned, the needs of the practice and the needs of the patient. So, what would you said there? And it just kind of take a step back, you and I don’t know each other, we just met and you find that a find out that I’m a dentist, I’ll go with a dentist. What can PMB (Practice Management Bridge) do for me?
Josh Cooper 07:57
Well, Gary, I would say first of all, congratulations on being a successful dentist, and we want to make sure that we partner with you. It’s a true partnership. So yeah, a business can have customers and patients are customers, from the business side of things. They’re also patients, but they are customers. And so, for us providers and patients are both our customer base. And so what we aim to do here is to have a true partnership that grows with your business. We don’t want to just offer you a solution, onboard you and then let you use the solution until forever right? What we want to do is we want to have regular touch bases and touch points, what we’re going to do is we’re going to offer you some solutions.
Let’s say we have a payment solution to reduce AR. We have an engagement solution that is going to actively engage with your customer base, your patients, and say, ‘Hey, we have virtual waiting rooms. We have reminders to notify you that you have appointments coming up so that you don’t miss them.’ We have things that can go out and say, ‘Hey, we’re going to fill your provider schedule for the week. We’re going to practically reach out to patients that haven’t had a regular checkup in six months and they’re due. We’re going to try to automatically fill your calendar, or maybe we’re going to allow you to communicate with your patients via text or email or do so in an automated way.’ Or any other such myriad of things like straight-through insurance claim processing for providers; we have so many exciting solutions.
So, first thing I would do is I would try to understand your pain points, what your growing business needs. And then I would make sure that what we’re doing here is providing you a scalable opportunity or scalable partnership where we’re offering you solutions that will last you not just as a small business, not just as a medium size, but if you have the desire, as big as you want to get, Rectangle Health can serve that business side of healthcare for you.
Practice Management Solutions in a Single Platform
Gary Tiratsuyan 09:29
Ladies and gentlemen, the spokesperson for Practice Management Bridge, Josh Cooper! Josh, you mentioned several key features that you know a practice may or may not be deploying in their day-to-day when you spoke about Practice Management Bridge. That’s all in one platform, correct?
Josh Cooper 09:51
Yeah, so Practice Management Bridge is truly a bridge into practice management. So, what it’s representative of is, we have a Bridge payment solution. We have Bridge compliance and Bridge engagement and you’ll hear us refer to those things as such, right? And those are microservices, you can have one, you can have it all. It’s really up to you. We can offer it to you a la carte, if you like. Compliance, straight-through insurance processing, automatic bulk Text-to-Pay, all of those solutions are all under the one umbrella that is Practice Management Bridge, because again, half of your business is patient care, and we want to make sure that you can focus on just that. We’re going to help you take care of everything else. All of the business side.
Gary Tiratsuyan 10:31
It’s incredible stuff there, Josh. And just the evolution of Rectangle Health and Practice Management Bridge… there was a recent big announcement, a partnership with Zelis, a healthcare technology company, introducing a never-before-seen solution in healthcare, straight-through processing for healthcare and dental digital payments. What is it? What does it do?
Josh Cooper 10:57
Yeah, that’s a great question, what a what a massive achievement it is for, for Zelis and for Rectangle Health and a little bit of that as a pat on the back for Rectangle Health. But it’s such an exciting thing to see come to market and come to fruition for us. And just for everyone involved.
Really, what we’re offering here is, we understand that, first of all, providers have to submit claims every day. Everybody, most of their patients, if not all of their patients, have insurance, and they’re submitting claims. They’re waiting for the claim payments to come back to them. What we’re able to do here is we’re able to say, ‘Providers, you can submit claims to your middleman, which would be Zelis, they’re going to issue your claims to payers, to insurance companies.’ And then those are going to issue payments back to Zelis, which would then funnel those back down to the provider, traditionally.’ What we’re offering is Zelis, with this partnership, will actually pass the payment and explanation of payment to Rectangle Health. We’re going to normalize those explanations of payments so that you have an itemized statement or claim statement that shows you everything that was provided and paid for. And also, we’re going to automatically process your virtual credit card or your payment from Zelis. So, you don’t have to have paper checks, you don’t have to go to the bank and deposit them. You don’t even have to key in the virtual credit cards yourself anymore; we’re going to automatically do that as fast as possible in the background. And we’re going to notify you, ‘Hey, you just got paid Dr. So-and-so, and come check out in Practice Management Bridge, your explanation of payment that you’ve come to know and love.
And from there, you can do a couple of things. You can either accept your claims at a claim level not at a aggregated multiple claim rejection or approval. You can take the claim level approval, and you can record that payment automatically into your system of record, which is typically a Practice Management System or EHR. If you need to, we even offer claim level refunding, which is something unheard of that we’ve never seen offered in the market before. Typically, it’s an all-or-nothing type of thing. But we want to make sure that providers get paid and stay paid. So, if there is a dispute on one claim, but not another, you can just dispute the one claim and go from there. It is tremendous. It really is.
The Partnership between Rectangle Health & Zelis
Gary Tiratsuyan 12:53
It sounds like it. It’s just another layer of innovation and really changing the game coming out of Rectangle Health, in partnership with Zelis. I just want to unpack that a little bit more. How does it work for an existing Zelis Zap or Practice Management Bridge user? And for practices who are not currently on either platform? How do they onboard?
Josh Cooper 13:18
Yeah, sure. So, if you’re a Zelis and Practice Management Bridge mutual customer, you could reach out to your account manager at any given time and say, ‘Hey, what is this exciting, Zelis thing that we keep hearing about? What is this exciting partnership with Rectangle Health and Practice Management Bridge that we keep hearing about? What is straight through processing?’ We have tons of help and educated employees that can really tell that practice how we can best benefit them, how fast we can get them onboarded. What are their goals? Do you know what you’d like to see in terms of an automation solution? So, for mutual clients, it’s actually really easy. So, just reach out to your familiar Rectangle Health are Zelis friendly face, or customers that are on one platform, but not the other or really are on neither platform, I would suggest that both companies actually have persons of contact where we can actually say it’s a partner agreement where we can we can offer referrals or get customers introduced to the other party, offer them collateral, offer them incentives to move to Zelis or move to Rectangle Health and really get the customer excited and offered. And we can even do some comparative analysis so they can see transparently, what am I gaining by moving to Zelis from another platform or what am I gaining by moving to Rectangle Health from another platform. What we aim to do is be completely transparent and aboveboard and just truly evangelize what a cool feature this is to have straight-through automated processing for insurance payments.
Gary Tiratsuyan 14:35
It’s definitely cool. And I want to ask, is there a ballpark figure for what providers looking at realistically as far as savings in payment processing time using this partnership through Zelis and Rectangle Health?
Josh Cooper 14:50
Yeah, it’s a great question. So, it does vary a little bit but what we’re looking at is in terms of a little bit of tangible/little bit of intangible. So if you have Rectangle Health automatically processing your credit card, now you’re not looking at the same rates in terms of keyed-in processing rates that you might be exposed to in your pricing model for whatever processor you use. Also, if you’re on a paper check, and even if you are using virtual credit cards, there’s a level of manual work. You have to figure in your labor savings, your efficiency savings, your ability to automatically record those payments into your EHR using this solution. So, you’re saving almost a part-time employee, right doing these things every day or a couple of times a week. So, there’s significant savings. And really, we’d be happy to show those to someone to a provider that would be interested, we would look at what how much they’re processing with us in terms of insurance payments, or with their current process or we can give them a real figure.
Completing the Revenue Cycle
Gary Tiratsuyan 15:40
Amazing stuff and in the press release announcing this partnership between Zelis and Rectangle Health. Mike Peluso, Rectangle Health’s Chief Product and Strategy Officer is quoted as saying that this solution completes the revenue cycle. What did he mean by that?
Josh Cooper 15:57
Mike has a way with words. So what he means by that is Rectangle Health is able to really offer solutions, like we’ve talked about earlier in the podcast, that fully automate or make efficient your revenue cycle management piece of practice management or running a business for a provider for practice. And so what Rectangle Health has been so successful with for the past 30 years—it is our 30 year anniversary this year— what we’ve been so successful with for over three decades, is really the patient side of revenue cycle management. And it really led us to where we are today. And this Zelis partnership allows us to tap into a claim payment or insurance level industry, which was recently a niche that we have not entered. And so now that we have this partnership in place, we really satisfy all angles of revenue cycle management for a provider and offer that full scope of tools. So, that’s what he means. And it’s really it’s a tremendous step. I will say that the insurance payment industry is has had a lot of pain points for a long time. And I can’t wait to tell you about all of the enhancements and iterations that we have coming soon. Because this partnership is growing already. We already have enhancements that we’re working on today that should be released soon, that are going to even further automate the straight-through processing piece. It’s amazing,
Gary Tiratsuyan 17:14
Truly exciting stuff. And we’ll definitely have you back on the show to give us an update in the near future. Josh, shifting gears here for a little bit. I read in Forbes not too long ago that it’s close to 50%… 47% of US healthcare workers plan to leave their positions by 2025. So, there’s a myriad of reasons why that’s happening. And I don’t know what that bottom line number nets out to, but it’s a big number. So, with that figure, what’s your reaction to, to that? And does how much more of an impact as a consolidated platform like Practice Management Bridge, with the capability to partner with a company like Zelis prep a practice and an organization for more potential staffing shortages and issues in hiring on the clinical and administrative side?
Josh Cooper 18:13
Yeah, that’s a real concern. And not just for the healthcare industry and practices but for every business these days. Turnover is something that’s really costly. Hiring and recruiting new talent, and even onboarding new talent for one to two years is the average turnover these days in those industries, is really, really costly and really, really tough. So, what we do is we make sure that our solutions can interface, integrate or automate—really those three priorities with as many systems as possible. So not only can a practice vendor consolidate, which is a big priority we see out in the market, they can have us that solves all of their practice management solutions, they can have their EHR to do clinical tasks and document clinical data. And then what we do is, if we can automate a lot of that stuff to work with their native systems, then when you do have unfortunate turnover, the level of education is really simple, because we’re automating a lot of the stuff in the background. So, we’re reducing the amount of stress that you have when you’re faced with talent, turnover, or even people working multiple positions and kind of wearing multiple hats. When you automate and integrate, you truly reduce that stress as much as you can for a business. And that’s what we aim to do.
Gary Tiratsuyan 19:21
So perfect segue; you mentioned integrations. And I want to get into that a little bit. Can you talk to me about Practice Management Bridge’s ability to integrate with a practice management system or EHR? Does it work with any solution?
Josh Cooper 19:37
Yeah, I could talk about this all day. I’m going to try to make this brief. I want your eyes to glaze over from boredom. So why is Rectangle Health so focused on integrations? Well, it’s because in today’s market, standalone products, at least in our industry, just don’t cut it anymore. Standalone products can be great. You can have the objectively the best product in the world, the best idea, but when you go to my monetize it, if it only stands alone and doesn’t talk to other systems and doesn’t natively integrate or partner with those systems, you’re creating friction, right? You might try to avoid it. But you have friction there.
And so, what we aim to do and what Rectangle Health has dedicated itself to, is saying, we want to make this as automated and as integrated as possible. So, all you have to focus on is patient care. And we can’t stand by that focus and claim if you’re having to use two and three different systems at a time, and you have things up in multiple windows, and you have to worry about, your login for one system versus another system we’re working on. You have one place, that’s Practice Management Bridge. We have several solutions in there that can solve your practice management needs. And they’re all going to talk to each other inside Practice Management Bridge. And they’re going to talk to your practice management system as well. So, hope that answers your first question.
And then number two, our ability to integrate into any practice management system or EHR, really any system of record, it could be your CRM, it can be a homegrown solution that you’ve developed in house, we can kind of do it all. We have a very talented in house team of developers here that have years of integration experience now. And we’re able to really match our level of interoperability to the destination. So, if an EHR or a practice management system, or CRM, if they have APIs, or they have SFTP, or they have flat files or direct database connections, we have agents and Windows services, we have the technology essentially, to match any method of integration. So, I use this analogy all the time, and you’re going to laugh, you’re going to roll your eyes, I’m sure. But I tell customers and I tell potential partners, if you’re ordering dinner tonight, and you know what you want, do you really care if you order it through DoorDash, or Uber Eats, or any other food delivery service? Granted, the food quality and the price are the same? Probably not, you just want dinner for tonight, and you want it delivered to your doorstep, right? So, the method of which we deliver value, we can do any and all of those things, we do it all. All you have to worry about as a customer, as a provider, or patient is the value that we provide in our solutions. And that sounds simple, but to have that level of confidence that no matter what method we need to introduce to integrate, we can do so, is a good feeling.
Compliance and Cybersecurity Solutions
Gary Tiratsuyan 22:16
Gosh, I’ll be honest, I had to look up several words in the dictionary as you spoke there. But I think it does definitely speak to you, your team. Rectangle Health as a whole has the ability to connect into any system in use to make the day-to-day simpler for the for the provider or for the healthcare organization. So, I love that. And thank you so much, because I think what it ties into is the learning curve and really prevents a disruption to the business from an efficiency standpoint. We’ve spoken about staffing shortages, and we’ve spoken about employee retention. Having it all integrated having to learn one very powerful, strong system is much easier than managing 15 different logins and 15 different systems at a time. So I think that’s a very, very powerful point you made and speaks volumes about Rectangle Health’s capabilities.
The one thing we haven’t spoken about yet is compliance and cybersecurity. Going back to Mike Peluso—he published an article not too long ago, and it had a scary number in that piece. Almost 600 organizations reported healthcare data breaches. If that’s not a scary enough number, I’ll take it a step further. Those breaches impacted nearly 49 million Americans. So, within PMB, is there a system or solution in place that can manage that risk, manage compliance, and take some of that risk out from underneath the practice?
Josh Cooper 23:53
Yeah, absolutely. So, our compliance solutions are fantastic. And what we do often see is cybersecurity is often something that is out of sight, out of mind for a lot of organizations. And that that transcends healthcare; that’s any business whatsoever. Any business, historically, right through data, unfortunately, doesn’t spend money on cybersecurity and compliance until there’s been an event. Right? Until they have an event. And then they do so, because they recognize the importance of it. I think the best way a business can move forward or a practice can move forward, is understand that a lot of times these things are reactionary, and if you’re proactive, you can save yourself a ton of stress, a ton of heartache. And what we offer is that that security to know that you’re safe, you’re compliant, you’re protected. We even offer a level of cybersecurity insurance; you might even be liable up to a certain point. Having someone come in and take a look at your system and say, ‘We’re doing preventive maintenance. We’re just coming in and making sure that everything is working correctly and that you’re protected as a business.’ There’s a level of security there that you really can’t put a price on. So, absolutely, we should encourage practices and providers to be proactive, not reactive, like most of the world is these days, and carry with them this level of confidence here that no matter what, my patients are protected, my patients’ data is protected, and I’m protected. As, as a physician, I can continue to care for my patients with a peace of mind.
Gary Tiratsuyan 25:21
Absolutely, Josh. And just before we get to the last question for our listeners, who would like to get in contact with you and you know, ask some questions about Practice Management Bridge or healthcare tech in general, where can they do that?
Josh Cooper 25:34
They can reach out to me directly on LinkedIn if they’d like to. So, I have a public profile on LinkedIn. That’s Joshua Cooper, and you can search Rectangle Health and find me as an employee there. Outside of that, you’re welcome to reach out to integration at Rectangle Health. That is an email distribution list that I monitor and my team monitors and happy to answer any questions you might have.
Gary Tiratsuyan 25:52
Thanks, Josh, we’ll have a link to your profile in this episode’s description. And I encourage you all to reach out with any questions. It’s very clear, Josh has a wealth of knowledge here. So, what’s next for Rectangle Health, anything you can share with the audience? As far as developments coming out of the product, anything you can tease out?
Josh Cooper 26:11
Yeah, so I don’t want to steal anyone’s thunder because we have some very, very special people both in development and our flagship solutions that work on those things that I’d love for you to have those resources on as well. But what I can tell you, I’ve already kind of given you a sneak peek, that there’s some new stuff coming out for our Zelis straight-through processing, which is going to be fantastic. It’s from an integration perspective as well. We just launched five partnerships, five integrations at once in Q3. So, we’re super excited about that. Again that’s Eaglesoft in terms of engagement solutions, Open Dental and payment solutions, Next Gen Enterprise that’s both for PM and the enterprise EHR. Right now, we’re working on Athena, we’re working with Henry Schein on a couple of engagement pieces. We have a lot of stuff in the hopper, we’re super excited to see what the rest of 2023 holds. Please pay attention to the Rectangle Health social media feeds, because we’re going to be notifying everyone very soon about all of these exciting things coming up. And if you’re ever wondering if we do have plans and you haven’t heard about something, if you use a solution, does Rectangle Health integrate to this, reach out, we’ll be happy to talk to you about and let you know where that sits.
Gary Tiratsuyan 27:14
Thanks so much for that Josh and shameless plug for the show, I’d love to have you back on and members of your team back on to dive in either even further in the future.
Josh Cooper 27:24
Yeah, I’d love to, anytime.
Gary Tiratsuyan 27:26
Awesome, Josh, and great insights today. Like I said at the top of the show, always a pleasure when we get to talk. Thanks for taking the time.
Josh Cooper 27:34
Yeah, it’s great. Thank you for having me.
Gary Tiratsuyan 27:36
For our listeners tuning in today, if you enjoyed this episode, be sure to like, subscribe and leave us a review on Spotify. As always, if you have a topic you’d like to hear covered on future episodes, let us know. Thanks for tuning in. Till next time, everybody.
Editor’s note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity.