Our Interview with
Dr. Audrey Raley:
The Importance of a Compliance Partner that You Can Rely on to Protect Your Largest Investment
A consulting group she was working with recommended Practice Compliance Solutions. Having previously met Dr. Peter Cass and Dr. Joe DeLoach, two of PCS’ founders, during her training, she didn’t hesitate. “I think the way that I worded it to Dr. DeLoach was that I felt like compliance was a little black cloud following me until I was able to deal with it, so I was just really thankful for what they do,” she told us.
We caught up with Dr. Raley to talk about her experience with PCS and how she reflects on the first few years of their partnership.
PCS Makes Everything Easy
The first thing Dr. Raley impressed upon us was that she feels that no doctor can handle compliance on their own — staying up to date with the latest laws and regulations surrounding HIPAA, OSHA, and other compliance areas is a full-time job: “I’m definitely not an expert and I don’t want to be. I just want to align myself with professionals who are experts and leverage the resources that are available to me.”
To that end, she said that PCS is the perfect partner for her practice. To start, they made onboarding seamless. After filling out some simple questionnaires, the rest was done for her. “They were able to take all of my answers to the questions and then build out a personalized app for the office where all of our documents live,” she said.
About one year after she started with PCS, Dr. Raley had them come out to her practice for an on-site compliance audit. She told us, “The on-site visit was extremely helpful because it laid out exactly what we needed to address. There are simple, actionable items and things that you can do, and it doesn’t feel like it’s this huge stressful situation because they make it so easy.”
The Value of a Partner Who Knows the Industry
Dr. Raley expressed that she feels that a great compliance partner has to have a deep familiarity with the optometric industry: “I think that our profession is very niche in a lot of ways. I think having people who really understand the ins and outs and know what I’m doing on a daily basis is really important. I know that there’s no question that PCS can’t answer.”
PCS is not only owned and operated by practicing ODs, they’ve made it their mission to give back to the industry in the 10+ years they’ve been in business. According to Dr. Raley, “PCS has really supported the profession of optometry and donated lots of their money and time to furthering the scope of practice so that’s also something that’s very important to me. I think it really gives them more accountability to the people they serve.”
Tackling the Challenge of Billing
Dr. Raley, like many cold-start ODs, made the decision to outsource her medical billing to a third-party provider at the beginning, but this endeavor was not without significant challenges. She actually worked with two different billing companies in succession and was frustrated with billing partners that seemed undertrained, made costly mistakes, and overall, were simply too difficult to collaborate with.
“It was very hard to make contact with the account specialist,” she told us. “It didn’t feel like a relationship, it felt like I was doing my part over here and they were kind of doing theirs somewhere else — there was a huge disconnect.”
She brought these frustrations up with Dr. DeLoach, who made her aware that PCS offers a remote billing service as an add-on to their comprehensive compliance packages. It just made sense to Dr. Raley to use one vendor for everything, and she said that after making the switch, everything changed: “I felt like even though my PCS billing representative isn’t in my office physically, I feel like she could be. She understands my EHR and she understands how to communicate with us. We can email, we can call — she actually allows me to text her.”
Dr. Raley’s Message to the Industry
Dr. Raley told us that she felt extremely fortunate that she knew to seek a reliable compliance partner as soon as she started her practice. “My practice is the biggest investment I’ve ever made. It’s my livelihood, so I really wanted to make sure that I protected it,” she said.
When asked about her message to any doctors or administrators not partnering with a compliance company, she likened it to insurance — you might not realize you need it until it’s too late:
“It’s not worth it to roll the dice. For many of us, this is our main source of revenue and the way that we support ourselves and our families. With how things are moving in the world today, I don’t think that I could sleep at night knowing that I wasn’t making sure that I’m protected.”