We talked to Adam Nager of Quest National Services about its medical billing services and COVID-19.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Adam Nager: My family and I are coping well through the pandemic. Like many others, we’re finding ways to protect ourselves while still enjoying time together. We’ve found it beneficial to still get outdoors and travel locally via car to secluded places to enjoy long weekends away.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Quest National Services.
Adam Nager: My background was in executive recruiting and process engineering for a Department of Defense contracting firm. Working on both classified and non-classified projects, I was always amazed at how poorly our federal government handled the technology and service behind serving active and retired military members when they needed quality healthcare. In 2007 when looking for an opportunity to start a recession-proof business, I found myself investigating and studying the opportunity of starting a medical billing company. In 2008 I incorporated Quest National Services. Today, Quest National Services serves medical practices, laboratories, and healthcare organizations in over 40 states nationally and over 500 physicians.
How does Quest National Services innovate?
Adam Nager: Since the inception, I’ve believed in the theory of investing back into the business at every step. My theory is that if no solution meets 95% of our needs, build one that meets 100% of it, and others may be interested in using that solution in the future. To this point, over the years, we’ve conducted surveys with each of our clients to identify what they need most in their medical practices, and we’ve adapted to those needs. Some examples of this are: we conduct video conference calls with each of our clients on a scheduled, regular basis; we own our own Contracting and Credentialing service, currently serving clients in 30 states and also serving other competing billing companies; we offer appointment scheduling services for our medical facilities saving the medical practices’ time and allowing them to focus on the patients that are coming into the practice; we provide EMR solutions at a fraction of the cost of competitors; we’ve developed our own proprietary reporting solution offering medical providers the ability to login from any device, anytime and see real-time reports on their revenue and aging receivables; we’ve developed our own proprietary medical billing software program that has completely revolutionized reporting, workflow management, and the automation of daily processes.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Adam Nager: Serving medical providers through the pandemic has proven to have its set of challenges. A majority of US healthcare providers have had to create a tele-med aspect of their practice due to social distancing and stay in place orders throughout the country. This has proven to be challenging, introducing, training, and onboarding several hundred medical providers onto new technology in a very short amount of time to ensure their practices can continue to serve the patients that rely on them. In addition, the insurance companies that pay the insurance claims have had to modify their hours of operation and, in many situations, have had large layoffs causing longer than normal hold times on the phones in addition to delayed payments to our providers. Throughout the pandemic, we’ve remembered to take one day at a time, not make promises to our employees or clients that we couldn’t be certain would hold true, and to stay 100% transparent with everyone we deal with.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Adam Nager: We, like most businesses, had to make difficult decisions, whether or not to furlough certain employees, when to bring those employees back, whether or not to send everyone into a work-from-home environment or to keep the offices we maintain open, among many other decisions. In the end, we were fortunate to not shut our office at all throughout the pandemic. We learned through the process to ensure we always have a back-up person or procedure to the back-up person or procedure, yes, a back-up to the back-up.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety, how do you project yourself and Quest National Services in the future?
Adam Nager: I try to remember that only 80% of things are within my control. The 20% that isn’t can consume 80% of my time if I allow it. Typically the things that I find give me stress and anxiety are part of the 20%. Throughout the pandemic, I have always thought ahead – I figured out the worst-case scenario and the best-case scenario for business and planned for each.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Adam Nager: In the space of medical billing (like many other industries), there are many, many competitors. We’ve withstood the test of time by having a pro-active approach to communication, transparency, and knowledge with each of our clients. Our business grows year over year primarily by word of mouth, and we conduct 2 x yearly customer satisfaction surveys to ensure our clients are receiving exactly what they need when they need it.
Your final thoughts?
Adam Nager: The pandemic has made those that preserver stronger and has provided thousands of people the opportunity to fulfill their dreams of owning a business or growing a business. In times of stress and need, people rise up, and those that do win and grow from it. I find myself wanting to help those that are looking for ways and are willing to work on ways to help themselves and their communities. It brings me a great deal of satisfaction, seeing someone succeed beyond their expectations when they were once wondering if they had the opportunity to succeed at all. We’ve all learned something from the pandemic. What we do with it could be a memory or a legacy!