Did you hear about our training seminar held in Chicago? We thought our first seminar was a great success. The event was part of a larger series called ETHOS which brings low-cost, actionable business and ethics training to addiction treatment providers. Our next session is coming up in just a few weeks in Denver, Colorado on August 25th.
If you’re looking for opportunities to connect with like-minded professionals to discuss the future of the addiction treatment industry, you should consider joining us! Our lineup of experts will deliver training to immediately impact your treatment center’s operations in areas ranging from billing to marketing and call handling operations.
James Gibson, owner of Elevated Billing, is pleased to join us as an ETHOS speaker. James gave us his backstory on why the recovery industry is close to his heart and how ETHOS fits into his personal and professional mission to help people find and fund treatment.
Recovery Brands: You have worked in many different facets of the addiction treatment industry for years. What ultimately influenced your decision to start your own company focused on treatment funding solutions?
James: The field of behavioral health has been a constantly evolving specialty over the past few decades. One of the biggest barriers to treatment has always been the lack of adequate funding.
I worked as an admissions counselor for over 4 years in the nonprofit sector as well as the private sector. I found that both sectors had the same issue which was a lack of adequate funding. Health insurance wasn’t viewed as a viable funding source until the Affordable Care Act (ACA) came to be about 5 years ago. Non-profits were primarily surviving off of private donation as well as federal, county and state funds however, much of these funds were already allocated to other issues and it always seemed that addiction and mental illness received the “scraps” of the allocation.
Lack of funding was a constant weight that I felt everyday while working as an admissions counselor. I was working with individuals who had a deep desire to obtain help, but in their current state of mind and wellness, most had no finances to get the help they needed. It was an extremely frustrating time to be in this line of work, but I was driven to find solutions. I helped people find finances through government services, donations, and scholarships. My biggest goal was to ensure that those who were willing to seek treatment would find the necessary means to receive it.
This is the primary motivation for starting Elevated Billing Solutions. We wanted to break down the financial barriers to treatment. This is exactly what we have done and continue to pursue.
Recovery Brands: Why do you think ethical billing practices are important, especially in the behavioral healthcare industry?
James: The primary importance of ethical billing practices in behavioral health is to ensure that no harm comes to the patient or the facility. Unethical practices not only affect the facility negatively but also harm the patient.
The behavioral health industry is under great scrutiny in part due to the many instances of negligent or fraudulent billing practices committed by internal billing operations and third party billing structures. Billing is an integral part of any financially sound operation, but it must be a well-oiled machine with ethics at the core.
Billing in other industries is relatively simply; however, when we look at behavioral health specifically, there are different rules that must be considered. Not only must behavioral health billing companies abide by financial industry regulations, but we must also observe HIPAA and NASW code of ethics.
Recovery Brands: Some of the listed benefits of using Elevated Billing include: helping patients find help; freeing up time, and increasing revenue for the facility. What are other benefits to using a third-party billing system such as yours?
James: Elevated Billing strives to create a long term, mutually beneficial relationship with all of our clients. We have extensive knowledge and expertise specific to behavioral health billing, and we want to be a valuable partner to our clients by providing industry insight and knowledge to help facilities grow. I believe that our relationship with our clients is one of our greatest benefits. We truly want to help our clients grow their business and prosper.
Recovery Brands: How does the ETHOS seminar series align with Elevated Billing’s mission and why do you think addiction professionals should attend?
James: The name ETHOS says it all “Ethical Training for Healthy Operational Success.” Our industry has been plagued with unethical practices and behaviors whether deliberately or unknowingly. I was very attracted to a group of people that are fighting to ensure ethical practices are being performed and patients are receiving the help they need.
Finding and entering treatment is a difficult process, and once an individual finally makes the commitment to enter treatment, it’s paramount that they receive quality care. Anything less is an atrocity. I’m very thankful that all who are a part of the ETHOS event are willing to take the time to help steer the industry in the right direction.