Paul Criswell, Principal, CrisSoft, LLC
“We were free spirits, living the good life!”—that’s how Paul Criswell, Principal at CrisSoft, LLC describes his humble beginnings in 1980. Back then, Criswell along with his wife Geraldine was proving their data processing acumen by writing software applications for specific industries, including medical billing. He went on to work for a leading systems analyst RK Guthrie, who mentored Criswell, to write an inventory management and accounts payable system. Criswell’s work rapidly found success as it made its way through large corporations all over the U.S. From The Dallas Cowboys to The HealthSouth physical therapy environment, multiple companies soon reaped the benefit of this system— marking the beginning of the long and lustrous journey of CrisSoft.
"Mercury Medical is extremely robust software. Its integration potential is endless, and the support group is extremely responsive"
It was essentially in 1990 that CrisSoft got its big marketing push. “It was the moment when my brother, Stephen entered my office,” remembers Criswell. Along with his brother, Criswell started marketing his software under the brand name Mercury Medical System and soon enough, they wrote a trust system for SCI and Neptune. And the rest is history!
Today, with a glistening record of delivering to their clients’ requirements in the medical practice management arena, CrisSoft’s Mercury Medical software billing application is used by the largest hospital groups, service bureaus, and provider offices to offer a comprehensive solution to a backend billing system with full HL7 integration. “For over 35 years, CrisSoft has created products that range from Medical Billing Software to comprehensive Complete Trust Contract Management Software. Our products are created for business environments that serve production, process, and customer service needs,” adds Criswell.
Sharpening the Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) Pencil
Over their success trajectory, CrisSoft has witnessed the RCM industry face some of its biggest challenges. While the impediments were from a technological standpoint in the 80s and into the 90s, the recent history saw RCM managers facing major predicaments including the cost to collect, price transparency, and claims denials. Even though effective medical billing processes are the key to any effective healthcare RCM strategy, Health Data Management reports that approximately 30 to 40 percent of medical bills have errors. “Mercury Medical is the solution, end users start claim scrubbing in the batch and audit the entire RCM process,” mentions Criswell.
Our products are created for business environments that serve production, process, and customer service needs
These challenges are compounded by the fact that hospital revenue is now coming from different sources than what it was five years ago. In many cases today, 33 percent of the payment comes from government, 33 percent from insurance companies, and 33 percent from the patients which vary from practice to practice. Here, providers are struggling to get their arms around the fastest growing payer—the patient.
CrisSoft’s flagship medical billing system, Mercury Medical automates the payment process and delivers an efficiency that “sharpens the RCM pencil,” as Criswell states it. Powered by automation, CrisSoft’s Mercury Medical is table driven offering permanence to the clientele. An extremely robust system, Mercury Medical manages all billing needs, whether they are being collected for a single provider in one database or 70 databases with 150 providers. Mercury Medical can communicate with RCM systems through the HL 7 interface or any other proprietary interfaces, making it configurable to accommodate any RCM process, seamlessly and efficiently.
On the backend, Mercury Medical performs extensive reporting which provides RCM managers with valuable metrics and analytics pertaining to the revenue collected and denial accounts, including a comprehensive and structured contact history. This information is also stored in data warehouses for financial tools to carry out multiple types of analysis and a day sheet management system where the day-sheet is balanced strictly back to the ER office. “All of this is built into what we call the ‘Transfer Master System’ which allows us to map cards and perform all kinds of work that we need to do in order to communicate to the outside world on the backside of the software,” states Criswell. Mercury Medical also includes MACRA and MIPS to measure outcomes. “For instance, we have an anesthesiologist in California using our MACRA system to capture information. So, it gets reported to the payers and actually affects the reimbursement of our doctors as they get paid more,” says Criswell.
The Intent to Absorb Change
“We put our customers at the top, and we use technology to achieve the goal of delivering to their needs”—a mantra that has driven CrisSoft from the very beginning. A phase of continual development and improvement means that the firm has delivered to the shifting needs of their customer with the intent to absorb change. The accolades that CrisSoft receives from their client speak for themselves. One of their prestigious clients, Melissa from Compu-Med Billing Services, INC states, “Mercury Medical is an extremely robust software. Its integration potential is endless, and the support group is extremely responsive.” The firm has built Mercury Medical to evolve with the demands of medical offices, which are driven by three key factors: insurance companies, payers, and the federal government.
Offering a time-tested solution, CrisSoft can serve different medical practices with unique requirements. For instance, anesthesiology may require distributions, and a radiology environment may require a tech Profy split. Mercury Medical is built to master every requirement that a healthcare discipline may have.
Mercury Medical was built for large service bureaus dealing with millions in AR. To satisfy the needs of the small practice, CrisSoft Development has created Mercury One. By devising Mercury One—a perfect solution for single-provider practice, the firm aims to deliver a concise SaaS product that reaches an all the necessities of small practices’ billing requirements. When CrisSoft surfaced in the 1980s and built their first software, they started in a large medical practice. “We never went into single offices. And when we went onto the Internet with our an up and coming market. “We realized the huge market where we can take Mercury,” says Criswell. Currently in the beta phase, Mercury One is set to bring a concise program which will provide the information of small practices’ billing data accumulated over the years into a single provider’s office. Mercury One will be released on October 2, 2017.
The ‘Cris’ Effect
With heaps of experience and expertise, CrisSoft is miles ahead of their competitors in the Medical Practice Management landscape. The company’s excellent work culture is one factor that makes them different. CrisSoft emphasizes on the educational prowess of their employees and nurtures their strengths to support the spirit of entrepreneurship. “We enjoy a non-traditional work environment with a focus on product quality and customer support—small business, big product!” Employees are motivated to take ownership of their tasks which ultimately resonates into their empowerment and character building.
Criswell believes that motivation and responsibility can help people to push their limits and achieve greater success. Leading by example, Criswell comments on his hard working abilities and how that motivates his employees to achieve better results. “Watching me work hard and push my limits every day motivates my employees to deliver their best and generate the right kind of environment.”
Striding forward, CrisSoft has a well-planned road map as they aim to improve Mercury Medical Products even further. According to Criswell, the next step in development is a mobile app with management triggers, to be available with all Mercury Medical Products at no additional costs. “We want to connect management to Mercury Medical to audit their RCM process at all times from any device.” CrisSoft has also created a new feature called People System which will provide resources for users to be trained and educated online with the expertise required to operate Mercury Medical Products. Fully integrated into Mercury Medical, the People System will augment CrisSoft’s outreach program to educate and support Mercury Medical users— revolutionizing their onboarding process. “CrisSoft provides affordable Practice Management solutions in that our customers can anticipate their monthly accounts payable with our flat rates. Our customers are our partners.”