Florida-based Accessity Corp. announced that Sentaur, its medical subrogation business, has signed its third hospital contract, and has now begun receiving money from insurers on behalf of its first hospital client.
Sentaur scrutinizes a hospital’s billing records to uncover instances when health insurers, often working through Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs), have reportedly used inappropriate or unlawful tactics to obtain discounts to which they were not entitled in paying hospitals for services rendered to insured patients. In such cases, Sentaur pursues the insurer to retrieve moneys owed to its client hospitals, receiving a substantial contingency fee for any sums recovered.
Accessity launched Sentaur after its board of directors reportedly concluded the company needed to diversify beyond its automotive-related businesses. Chairman and CEO Barry Siegel noted that Accessity is actively pursuing potential mergers, acquisitions and new business opportunities while it simultaneously builds its new Sentaur unit.
“We are pleased that Sentaur is taking hold so quickly,” Siegel said. “The extent of the underpayments and inappropriately taken discounts that we have found so far is consistent with our earlier research, which indicated that hospitals all over the country are probably losing hundreds of millions of dollars a year to which they are legally entitled, without even being aware of it. The money we recover improves a hospital’s operating margins, and in some cases, could be the key to its very survival.”
“We are very encouraged by our progress to date,” Siegel continued. “We wanted to be certain that our newest business was on the right track and actually collecting money before we made any further statements to our shareholders. Now we can say with certainty that we are onto something with the potential to improve our Company’s earnings. The revenues we have begun to see from our first client suggest that this is just the tip of the iceberg. An increasing number of hospitals have requested our services and we are ramping up as quickly as we can. We are aggressively hiring and training staff in order to meet the growing demand.”
Sentaur is building on subrogation expertise its parent company developed in nearly 20 years of managing collision claims for self-insured corporate and municipal vehicle fleets, which often required subrogating against insurers and other third parties to recover the costs of damage to clients’ vehicles.
Accessity’s fleet services business, a consistent national leader in percentage of recoveries, was sold in February 2002 to PHH Arval, a subsidiary of Cendant Corp. Sentaur is headed by Steven DeLisi, former Senior Vice President of Health Alliance Network, a subsidiary of QualCare Alliance Networks, Inc., a New York-based nationwide PPO.
Nationwide, hospitals receive more than $500 billion a year from commercial insurers on behalf of insured patients. Siegel noted that one of Sentaur’s first three clients is affiliated with a multi-hospital group, which should quickly lead to additional contracts within that cluster of prestigious health care facilities, dramatically increasing the Company’s odds for success. Of the three new client hospitals, two are located in the Mid- Atlantic region and one is in Louisiana, where laws have been enacted to reportedly prevent and punish inappropriate practices by insurers. Sentaur is now expanding its marketing in that region, as well as other territories that have already or, are enacting similar regulations designed to protect hospitals against various types of dubious and/or illegitimate discounting tactics.
Accessity also operates DriverShield ADS, which offers automotive discounts and services programs to consumers through financial institutions and membership organizations. It also owns DriverShield CRM, a business offering a cost-saving, Internet-based collision repair management solution for auto insurers. That business is now being operated at a profit for Accessity by ClaimsNet, through a strategic partnership.
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