“How well does this vendor integrate with Epic?” It’s an increasingly important question among hospitals and health systems that run Epic and are considering a new claims and clearinghouse solution.

It was one of the questions Community Health Network—a non-profit health system with more than 200 sites of care throughout Central Indiana—asked as it sought to consolidate the number of revenue cycle solutions in use across the organization. Charlie Meadows, Community’s vice president of revenue cycle, led the effort to evaluate leading claim and reimbursement vendors in the market by assembling a team of billing experts from across the organization, including physician billing, surgical, home healthcare, and others.

Availity demonstrates its capabilities

Because Availity was an existing Community vendor with a high satisfaction rate among its clients, we were invited to respond to Community’s RFP. Although we had extensive experience integrating with Epic in physician practices, Community had concerns about our experience at the hospital level.

“At the time, Availity only had one [Epic] health system up that was live,” Meadows said. “There were many hospitals using their solution, but not in the hospital space. They’ve added a number since then, but at the time there was only one.”

Despite this, Availity made the cut to the final four, at which point Community met with Availity’s reference clients. Through the references, they were able to confirm that Availity had fairly extensive integration capabilities.

When it came down to a final vote, Meadows asked the team to rate the strengths and weaknesses of the final four vendors. He was surprised to find that Availity ranked number one across the board. “I’ve never seen that before,” he said.

What set Availity apart

Meadows surveyed his team to find out why Availity was the overwhelming choice, and several factors seemed to make the difference. First, the Community team was impressed with the professionalism demonstrated by Availity throughout the process.

Second, Community viewed Availity’s in-depth preparation as a strength. Although Availity was not present during Community’s visit to the reference site, we anticipated the type of information Community would be looking for, and ensured the reference site was able to address any concerns Community might have. Additionally, we were able to not just explain how the claims data would integrate within the Epic workflow, but to demonstrate it with a sample file.

Finally, Availity was capable of delivering the level of integration Community wanted. They did not want their users exiting the Epic workflow in order to edit claims or check the status. With Availity, Community’s users could continue to work in Availity while managing claims edits and submissions.

“Availity checked every box better than anyone that I had seen before,” said Meadows. “I took a lot of comfort in hearing from people in a variety of capacities selecting one vendor and having a good rationale. I have confidence we made the right choice."