June 09, 2009 08:00 ET

Trumbull Laboratories Sees 55% Reduction in Accounts Receivable Days Using Joint ZirMed®/Cortex Billing Solution

Memphis-Based Anatomic Lab Enjoys Fewer Claim Errors, Dramatically Improved Turnaround Time; Client Services Staff Is Automatically Updated With Latest Payment Status Information

LOUISVILLE, KY and SEATTLE, WA--(Marketwire - June 9, 2009) - Over 50 years of loyal service to the tri-state area of Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi has taught Trumbull Laboratories something about the value of partnerships. So when the Memphis facility, which provides analytic, diagnostic and interpretive lab services to a host of medical facilities throughout the region, began looking for a way to streamline its insurance claim procedures, trust and compatibility were high on its list of priorities.

"We already had an excellent working relationship with Cortex Medical Management, the maker of our pathology and billing software systems," said Norman Hill, Executive Director of Trumbull Laboratories. "So we asked Cortex what clearinghouse service would integrate well with their software. They replied, 'ZirMed.'"

Cortex, based in Seattle, Washington, specializes in clinical systems for anatomic pathology labs and medical billing software for most medical specialties. Trumbull Laboratories had been using The Gold Standard®, Cortex's pathology application, and Cortex Medical Billing, the firm's comprehensive medical billing software, since 2003.

"We had chosen Cortex in part because its products could interface with the systems software used at our largest health services customer," stated Hill. "We liked the fact that Cortex also had a strong relationship with ZirMed, because if a problem were to arise, we could count on the two vendors to find a solution without us having to be in the middle of it."

After reviewing ZirMed's credentials, Hill, along with Julie Millican, Trumbull's billing supervisor, was convinced the firm was the right choice. ZirMed, headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, is a healthcare revenue cycle management company offering a complete suite of Web-based solutions. Covering the entire payment process from eligibility to online bill payment, check processing and even payment plans, ZirMed brings efficiency to the entire revenue stream through its integrated suite of Internet-based services.

"We found that ZirMed works with virtually every insurance company that has electronic claims capability," noted Millican. "Its claims submission tools are very sophisticated, but also very easy to use. It was clear we would be able to enter and edit claims quickly, with minimal effort."

Once the decision was made to begin using ZirMed, Millican and her staff discovered that very little training was needed. "ZirMed provides a user's manual and online instructions for different functions, but overall it only took a day or two for our staff to become proficient," she said. "We began getting responses from our carriers within the first 24 hours -- that was extremely exciting."

Soon Hill and Millican were seeing the efficiencies that the joint ZirMed/Cortex solution could bring. Claims submission times, as well as patient statements, were much faster than before; these improvements, combined with others made over time by the practice, resulted in an eventual drop in accounts receivable days of more than 55%.

"Cortex made sure its electronic claims forms were compatible with ZirMed's Web connection. That eliminated a number of manual processes and made the whole system incredibly efficient," commented Hill. "As for ZirMed, in the past we had to wait for a paper response from the insurance carrier in order to discover errors in our claims. That could take weeks. ZirMed's online technology allowed us to find and fix incorrect or missing information in minutes, before a claim was submitted."

While improved claims efficiency has been perhaps the most prominent result of the ZirMed/Cortex partnership, other advantages are also evident. As an example, Hill points to the ability of Trumbull's client services staff to access up-to-the-minute account information.

"Our client services staff fields calls from doctors, surgery centers and patients regarding billing and payment. Where other labs might have separate systems and databases that make answering questions difficult, The Gold Standard and Cortex Medical Billing work together as one big system," Hill notes. "What's more, Cortex uses status codes that tell the status of a submission made through ZirMed. When payment status changes, Cortex updates the account automatically. That allows everyone -- our billing department as well as our client services people -- to have the latest information."

Having an inter-connected, reliable technology system is a real plus, according to Hill. "Cortex makes navigating information very easy through its user interface. When our client services team can access current data quickly, calls are shortened and more people can be serviced faster," he says. "That, plus our greater insurance claims efficiency, has kept our business cutting-edge."

About ZirMed:

Founded in 1999, ZirMed is a nationally recognized leader in delivering revenue cycle management solutions to healthcare providers. ZirMed enables healthcare providers to leverage the power of technology to cure administrative burdens and increase cash flow. ZirMed solutions include eligibility verification, credit/debit card processing, check processing, claims management, coding compliancy and reimbursement management, electronic remittance advice, patient statements, patient e-commerce solutions, provider credentialing, and lock box services. ZirMed solutions are designed to complement provider workflow and to provide innovative, creative and flexible solutions for healthcare's most pressing administrative challenges. For more information about ZirMed, visit

About Cortex:

Cortex serves anatomic pathology laboratories and the healthcare community nationwide with lab management and medical billing systems. With its end-to-end solutions, Cortex provides pathology labs with everything they need to deliver and collect for their services. Cortex's system is flexible -- with easy retrieval of data and customized reporting at every stage -- allowing each laboratory to optimize the system to meet their specific needs. With streamlined, hands-on implementation and personalized training and support, Cortex works collaboratively with laboratories to serve their customers -- both healthcare providers and patients -- and meet their business objectives. Cortex systems have been installed in more than 150 pathology laboratories across the country and two overseas. Cortex is a licensed Microsoft Certified Partner, headquartered in Seattle, WA. For more information about Cortex, visit

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    Jim Lacy
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    Bret Coons
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    Stan Gordon
    Cortex Medical Management
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