Cuil New Search Engine

The self-proclaimed “biggest search engine” and major competitor to Google, Cuil (pronounced “cool”) went live this week.  Cuil’s web site boasts:

“Rather than rely on superficial popularity metrics, Cuil searches for and ranks pages based on their content and relevance. When we find a page with your keywords, we stay on that page and analyze the rest of its content, its concepts, their inter-relationships and the page’s coherency.

Then we offer you helpful choices and suggestions until you find the page you want and that you know is out there. We believe that analyzing the Web rather than our users is a more useful approach, so we don’t collect data about you and your habits, lest we are tempted to peek. With Cuil, your search history is always private.

Cuil is an old Irish word for knowledge. For knowledge, ask Cuil.”

Most of PRN Funding’s clients find us on the web, so we wanted to check out just how “cool” Cuil’s search results would be when we entered some of our favorite key word phrases like: nurse staffing factoring, medical transcription funding, medical coding factoring and health care staffing funding.

We were extremely excited to PRN Funding, LLC on the first page of results for all of these healthcare vendor factoring phrases, and we look forward to watching the new search engine grow.

New Travel Healthcare Group Launched

The National Association of Travel Healthcare (NATHO) launched this month.

According to their web site, the purpose of NATHO is to provide a forum for companies who provide travel healthcare services (i.e. travel nurse staffing agencies). This forum helps set ethical guidelines which provide the foundation of relationships between NATHO members and their clients.

In addition, NATHO is committed to continuous educational programming that focuses on the exchange of ideas about the standards of the industry and changes in the Travel Healthcare marketplace, which affects NATHO members.

Because the travel healthcare staffing industry has very unique needs, PRN Funding is pleased to see that there is now a specific organization out there dedicated to serving the industry.

For more details, visit National Association of Travel Healthcare Organization online.

Cash Crunch Hits New Orleans Hospitals

Five New Orleans-area hospitals struggle to pick up the pieces in a post-Katrina version of the healthcare cash flow crisis, according to an article in The Times-Picayune.

A report issued by the Government Accountability Office broke down the exact losses:

  1. Tulane University Hospital and Clinic lost $42.6 million in 2007 and is projected to lose another $37.6 million in 2008
  2. Touro Infirmary lost $36.4 million in 2007 and is projected to lose another $15 million in 2008
  3. West Jefferson Hospital lost $5.8 million in 2007 and will likely lose another $3.5 million in 2008
  4. East Jefferson Hospital lost $29.6 million in 2007 and is projected to lose another $23.9 million in 2008
  5. Ochsner Health Systems lost $31.6 million in 2007 and will likely lose $23 million in 2008

Click here to read the entire story: N.O.-Area Hospitals Bleeding Red Ink, Federal Report Says

New Jersey Hospitals Battle Healthcare Cash Flow Crisis

As a result of the faltering healthcare cash flow crisis, the Garden State will bid farewell to Muhlenberg Regional Medical Center later this year.  The Plainfield, NJ-hospital has lost $16.8 million last year and will lose another $18 million before closing its doors this year.

The huge growth in uninsured patients, underfunding of Medicaid and Medicare and the New Jersey’s budget cuts are just some of the reasons why Muhlenberg Medical Center has become the 36th hospital in the state to close its doors in the last 15 years.

Click here to read the entire Washington Post article: Without Funds, NJ Hospitals Face Crisis.

AHDI Supports Dress for Success

The Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity will be supporting Dress for Success, whose mission is “to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.”

Dress for Success representatives will be on-site at the 2008 Annual Convention and Expo near the registration desk on Saturday, August 9 from 8am-5pm to accept donations.  The non-profit organization is in particular need of suits, separates and blouses in plus sizes.  Donated items should be in excellent condition, should be cleaned, pressed and on hangers ready for immediate use.  Below is a list of suggested clothing items to bring for the cause:

  1. Business suits (skirts and pants)
  2. Jackets and blazers
  3. Skirts and slacks
  4. Blouses
  5. New nylons and new undergarments
  6. New and nearly new shoes
  7. Scarves, purses, belts jewelry
  8. Unused cosmetics
  9. Giftcards from a national chain, Visa or Mastercard gift cards or personal checks

    The organization does NOT accept the following:

    1. Men’s wear
    2. Children’s clothing
    3. Used cosmetics
    4. Pre-worn undergarments
    5. Dresses

    Essential Requirements for Medical Coding Vendors

    There was a great article in June’s edition of For the Record Magazine detailing how medical coding vendors and healthcare organizations can build lasting relationships.  All in all, PRN Funding feels that well-written articles like this one show how much the outsourced medical coding industry has grown, and we’re pleased to see it happening so fast.

    We summarized some interesting observations from the article for our medical coding service owners and medical coding consultants below.  The article can be viewed in its entirety by clicking here: Seal the Deal.

    The need for outsourced medical coding vendors arises when…

    1. There are long-term (one or more positions is open for three or more months) medical coder vacancies.
    2. There is an abnormal increase in discharged not final billed (DNFB) records.
    3. There is a need to cover regular medical coders when they are out for vacation, illness or maternity leave.
    4. There are seasonal spikes that cause more hospital visits and coding backlogs.
    5. A facility is having a hard time recruiting and retaining qualified medical coders or if there is a persistent  staff shortage.New medical coding guidelines, such as the Present on Admission’s (POA), are issued.

    When selecting a medical coding vendor, healthcare institutions look for…

    1. Medical coders who are both certified, have at least two years of experience and be reliable.
    2. Medical coders who have professional liability insurance.

    Some questions a healthcare facility may ask a medical coding vendor include:

    1. What are the pricing guidelines for contracted medical coding services?
    2. How does the medical coding vendor plan to perform quality checks?
    3. Who will perform the quality checks?
    4. What steps need to be taken to ensure records are coded accurately?
    5. How will the facility make sure patient records have been coded correctly using internal guidelines?

    Some qualities medical coders need to make a successful transition to working for a vendor are…

    1. Be able to work independently and make independent decisions.
    2. Be flexible and able to adapt to change easily.
    3. Have a strong motivation to find work and a designated work space if working from home.
    4. Have a willingness to learn.

    For medical coding vendors to stay at the top of the profession, they should…

    1. Develop and maintain a Web site.
    2. Ask facilities where you have worked to give a testimonial to include in marketing materials.
    3. Print business cards and network.
    4. Attend local, regional and state medical coding meetings, such as the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC).

    PRN Funding Preps for AHDI’s ACE08

    The president of PRN Funding, Phil Cohen, and Nikki Flores, marketing associate, will be representing PRN Funding, LLC in booth 608 at the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity’s (AHDI) 30th Annual Conference and Expo (ACE).  Phil and Nikki will be available during show hours to speak with medical transcription service owners about the benefits of PRN Funding’s medical transcription accounts receivable factoring program.

    Held at the Hilton Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, the AHDI meeting is expected to draw between 600-700 medical transcription industry professionals.  It all starts on Wednesday, August 6 at 7pm with a ’70s-Themed Welcome Reception .

    Click here to read the official press release: PRN Preps for ACE08

    PRN Funding: Not a Commodity Business After All

    Last week, we had the opportunity to welcome back a client who had previously left us for a “cheaper” factoring firm. In exchange for “lower rates,” this client received less industry experience, poor customer service, and numerous hidden fees and surcharges, which PRN is fundamentally opposed to. In the end, all of these things drove them right back to PRN Funding barely three months after leaving.

    Some services PRN Funding offers that the other factoring firm did not:

    Familiarity with the agency’s clients:

    Because of PRN Funding’s specialized niche in healthcare staffing funding, we worked with this company’s debtors (clients) before, so we already knew what type of payment terms to expect and who to call when there was a question about an invoice or recent payment.

    Quick turnaround time:

    Because PRN Funding has been in business for nine years, we understand the complexities of the accounts receivable factoring industry. We were able to process the buyout agreement quickly and initiate a funding within days.

    Superior customer service:

    PRN Funding takes pride in our customer service. Every time the nurse staffing agency calls the PRN office, a live human being answers the phone and directs the nurse staffing agency owner to his personal account manager.

    Dedicated staff:

    The account managers at PRN Funding take the time to research and post complicated deposits directly. The well-trained and committed staff at PRN Funding work diligently to correctly post deposits in a timely basis every day.

    Real time online reporting:

    PRN Funding’s clients have access to the e-Factor reporting system via our web site 24/7/365. Rather than wondering what payments came in or what invoices are still open, this nurse staffing client is able to log into the reporting system and view their account in real-time.

    Frustrated with the new factoring company’s lack of nurse staffing industry knowledge and inexperience in the factoring industry, this client found out the hard way that accounts receivable factoring firms are not a one size fits all.

    This isn’t the first time that a client has come back to us after an unpleasant experience with another factoring company. And we have to admit that we’re really happy they came back!

    2007: The Year of Small Business Firm Lending

    According to a recent article in the Washington Business Journal, there was an 8 percent increase from 2006 to 2007 in the dollar volume of small business loans.

    Citing a report conducted by the Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy, the article also announced that the number of outstanding small business loans under $1 million increased by 15 percent between June 2006-June 2007.  In addition, the number of small business loans in the $100,000 to $1 million range increased by 32 percent!

    Click here to read the entire write up: Lending to Small Firms up in 2007.

    KLAS Reports Decline in Offshore Medical Transcription Usage

    Healthcare Informatics posted a brief article in regards to a new Orem, Utah-based KLAS Medical Transcription Services Organizations (MTSO) report.  The data from the report shows a decline in MTSOs using offshore medical transcription services.

    38% of the 400 MTSOs surveyed said they used offshore transcription services in 2007, and this year, the number has dropped 3 points to 35%.

    KLAS also reported that “quality, turnaround time and cost continue to be the main drivers for engagements in this market segment…Adding that healthcare providers are faced with growing dictation volumes, a shrinking transcription labor force, and rising costs due to the influx of new technologies being introduced to hospitals.”

    Click here to read the entire post: KLAS: MTSO Use of Offshore Transcription Services Dropping