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Passport Health Communications: Personal approach to healthcare's revenue cycle

July 24, 2008
by root
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Franklin, Tenn.-based Passport has been keeping healthcare's reimbursement and business processes humming since 1996. The company has supplemented its steady organic growth with partnerships and acquisitions – including its May acquisition of Nebo Systems Inc. (Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.).

Passport's client base after the Nebo deal includes more than 5,300 hospitals, clinics and outpatient sites, including clients in all 50 states. It also has relationships with nearly 250 payers. The partnerships Passport has forged in the past few months, Lackey says, are primarily focused on reaching out to a market it has not tapped before: Smaller physician practices.

Adding claims management services, a cost-estimation engine, and other features to its product portfolio allows Passport to offer a comprehensive scope of revenue cycle solutions, explains Passport's Chairman and CEO Jim Lackey.

The company's flagship product, Passport One Source, now has pre-certification rules; and later this year Passport will expand its financial services offerings to include more automated tools for patient payments, Lackey says. “In short we help providers find out what they need to collect and from whom, and also give them the ability to collect that payment prior to or at the point of service.”

Serving hospitals and other providers in today's demanding financial environment means understanding every part of the business, Lackey says, and delivering tools that add tangible value. “Hospitals need a product that has a clear ROI. And it's got to do what you say it's going to do.”

A unique personal touch is part of the company mission, right down to the product's “Ask Jim” button, which sends an email question or request directly to Lackey. “Other CEOs are terrified to do that, but it's important and rewarding to me,” he says.

Lackey attributes a lot of the company's success to the collective healthcare experience of its employees and its personal approach to customer service. “Most people who go into healthcare are relationship-focused,” he explains. “And when you're providing a product or service to them, they expect you to be that way, too. They expect to have a strong relationship with you, and they want to trust you. That kind of customer support is very important – you can't just fake it.”

Healthcare Informatics 2008 August;25(8):52