Di Has Stories…

(and they’re all true)

American Billing Systems November 16, 2007

lol-blogthis.jpg

A few months ago, Kristy talked me (and Jeff) into going to a seminar held by American Billing Systems.  The basic  premise is that they sell you a “business opportunity” to do medical claims biling (and some other services) from home, for almost nothing (only $15,000!!), guaranteeing immediate riches and early retirement.

 

K has been looking for something for the two of us to do for several years.  We are both disenfranchised with corporate whoredom, and would love to be able to make money in a way that is more flexible so that we can do more important things, like spend time with children (K) or  yarn and animals (me).  Medical billing seemed like a great thing – it can easily be done from anywhere, anytime, and since we have both worked in the medical/insurance industries for a long time, we figured we knew the right language, and could pick up the actual billing pretty quickly.  When in doubt, consult the coding books.  🙂

 

American Billing Systems would supply us with the software, marketing materials, and ongoing training and support to set up our business.  It’s not a franchise – it’s in a different class of business called a “business opportunity” which is basically showing you how to do something, and then releasing all activities (and responsibilities) to the “licensee”.   It sounded great – get to pick the brains of people that knew what they were doing, but still get to do everything our own way, in our own time.

 

The problem?  We needed money.  I think that our personal assets at the time were about seven dollars, and we were both about to buy new homes.  I had just gotten married.  We were flat bum buster.  We needed an investor.

 

Banks sure weren’t going to give either of us money, so I asked my Local Bank of Daddy if he might be interested in getting involved.  He has mentioned over the years wanting to get into some sort of business, or that if I found something he might be willing to fund it.  I thought this might be the thing.  Local health issues had made continuing “regular” employment difficult for me, and I thought that he would agree that it was time for me to strike out on my own.

 

I talked to him about lending the money, but he wanted a lot more answers than I had.  I was going to have to research.

 

American Billing Systems had provided K with a list of licensee references, but I didn’t want to talk to them.  I knew that, as with any reference list, the people on it were only going to tell me glowing things about their experience.  I wanted to talk to real people.

 

My friend Google and I did some research, and found about 40 licensees that I could identify online.  They all had about the same web page (ABS can set you up with one –  a $2,000  value FREE!!) and I filled out a bunch of contact forms so that someone would call me and talk about their experience.

 

What I found out about the company through their licensees didn’t impress me, and what I found out at the seminar downright terrified me (but that’s a story for a different day).   However, what was interesting was that a couple of days after I started talking to people, I started getting phone messages from Sarah King, the Director of Licensing (and the daughter of the founders/owners).  One day, I had three messages on my voicemail after work.  And then the emails started.  And the mailings.

 

Now, I had never contacted ABS on my own, and I asked K if she had given them my information, which she hadn’t.  She was also not receiving any emails or phone calls.  I figured that one of the people I had spoken to as references squealed that I was asking questions.

 

After the seminar, and the treatment we received there, K and I decided that we were not interested, and were pretty much told by their “Success Coach” that we were not a fit for them.  We started thinking of other opportunities (if you have any ideas, we are open to suggestion!)

 

Even after we had been summarily dismissed by ABS,  I continued to get email and mailings.  Even though I moved almost two months ago, they sent me something just this week – to my new address.  A while ago, I had sent an email in reply to the one I received asking to be taken off the mailing list.  I got a reply from Sarah King herself that there was an unsubscribe button on the messages.  (I never found one until today – Gmail automatically filters out “pictures” from unknown sources, and that link showed up as a picture,  and not at all as text I could follow.)

 

The messages kept coming and I kept ignoring them.  Until today.

 

I got yet another message, and replied – again – to TAKE ME OFF YOUR MAILING LIST.

 

Here is the response I got:

You could’ve unsubscribed yourself at ANY time.

I have gone into our system and gladly done it for you.

Thank you and have a nice day!

 Sarah King

Director of Licensing

American Billing Systems, Inc.

Phone: 866-565-8413 Ext. 102

Fax: 817.281.3748

www.americanbilling.com

Excuse me?  Do we need to be listed on Passive-Aggressive Notes? I had apparently not had enough coffee, and I shot off this reply:

Considering the fact that I never signed up for your email lists, and that my personal information was given to you by one of your licensee stoolies when I was investigating investing, I don’t feel as if I should have needed to request that the harassing emails and phone calls cease.

To which I got:

I’m sorry you feel that way, because it’s simply not true. No one is harassing you.

Please do not respond as your e-mail address has been blocked.

Thank you,

I particularly like the complete avoidance of how they got my information, since it wasn’t from K, and it sure as hell wasn’t from me.

And can I point out what a Big Woman this is?  I ask to be taken off your mailing list.  You refuse.  I ask again.  I get a snarky reply.  I point out my irritation of your techniques. So you BAN me from every emailing your organization again?  Have I just been un-friended?  By a business entity?

I’m going to go ahead and admit that I was less than polite, and that had I unlocked the “pictures” which turned out to be links, I could have been off this list quite a long time ago.  However, this exchange just further confirms my opinion that this is a poorly run, unethical organization that is out to make a cheap buck off of unsuspecting and uneducated people.  In my opinion, if you are going to sell a “business opportunity”, you want people investing in this opportunity to check you out, and independently verify your claims.  To be vilified for doing just that tells me that ABS is not a company to be trusted – or invested in.

(Interestingly enough, I got that last email when I was on the phone with my mom, and she suggested I blog about it.  I had been just waiting for an opportunity to use that picture from LOLtheist.)

 

Advertisements
 

50 Responses to “American Billing Systems”

  1. Meshia Says:

    Thanx!! I have never been to your site before, or read any of your blogs. I was lead here because I too was on Google…JUST NOW trying to check out American Billing Solutions cause out of my own personal interest, I filled out an ‘interest card’ that they offer online for information, and in exchange, they sent me a link to their website to look further into the company on my own and to jot down any questions I may have for when I speak w/the “owner” or sales rep who would contact me. I went to the site, but I didn’t notice anything about BAD times, HARDSHIPS, turnovers, etc., so I got worried. Cause anything that sounds too good to be true, probably is. So I went to Google to see if I could get real info from a real person, cause my “antenna” goes up (meaning I become very shifty-eyed) of opportunities that offer no pros AND cons to getting into their business. ONLY PROS. Everything has a good AND bad, right? So why not your company. That’s when I found your blog. If you’re able, could you recall some of the licensees experiences or what they say they’ve encountered since they’ve been w/ABS…such as money made — or lack there of? Success or none? Either way, THANKS for posting.

  2. Laura Says:

    Maybe the sales rep of this particular company had a bad day? You were in no means very cordial yourself. I have been researching ABS for a few months now and they have all been nothing but warm, helpful and knowledgeable about this business. They are the largest in the industry and have been helping people succeed in this business for over 15 years. I have spoken to several of their references who were brutally honest and shared with me the successes as well as their struggles in starting up their business. They say it is NOT a get rich quick scheme and ABS never claims it to be. As with any business, you get out of it what you put into it and you have to work very hard to make a business for yourself.

    Honestly, I think you are speaking out of ignorance here and should’ve done a little more of your own research. If you had, you might find out, for example, that a $15,000 investment is on the LOW end for Franchises. You are probably one of the types of people who just need to search for anything negative to justify your “No” for investing. And to actually post a blog about it? You definitely have WAY too much time on your hands.

    • Mark Says:

      Laura or whatever your name is,
      It is pretty obvious that you are a stooge. ABS is a fraud company. They just changed their name to American Business Systems …uhhh!!!
      Folks, if you are interested in Medical billing, do your research. There are tons of hidden cost associated with ABS. Just for 1 example, they charge 1 dollar for every claim you process. Other software providers charge about 20 cents per claim.
      There is much more. Don’t be naive – do a thorough research.

    • Terry Says:

      To “LAURA” — who in all likelihood is from ABS — this woman did the perfectly CORRECT thing by checking about the scam called ABS. And yes, it IS a scam and it is now all over the internet AS such. Apparently you either have quite poor research skills or you do, indeed, work for ABS.

      I’m sure ABS has gotten it’s bucks from those who believe in things too good to be true, and has or will be moving on, to selling to the gullible a differently named “business opportunity.” Only an idiot would NOT check out a company trying to take $15,000 from people who can get the EXACT same information for FREE at the local library!

      One thing I am quite sure they do not tell you … to perform medical coding, you must be certified. ANYONE can bill. You cannot just ‘look it up’ in a manual – “it” being either a procedure OR diagnostic code; you must have both. Care to quickly find what the procedure code is for fabric wrapping of abdominal aneurysm, and while you are at it, perhaps you have the diagnostic code memorized? You DO know there are two types of medical coders, correct? Hospital/clinic and doctor’s offices. QUICKLY and ACCURATELY are the two major key words for any setting! Do either wrong, and YOU lose cause the docs wont get paid, and neither will you. Know how many times insurance companies kick back bills ‘just cause?’ Yep … they’ll ask for chart notes, or say you coded it wrong — why? CAUSE THEY CAN – DO! The longer it takes for the doc to get paid, the longer the ins co has to use the policyholders money. Now, think about how much cash these ins companies actuall have – the INTEREST alone of rejected bills would nearly pay the national debt in half, IN ONE DAY. Yeah … I bet you get SOME of the bigger picture. And all you think you have to do is plug in some numbers from some manual or computerized program and tadah … you’re in like Flynn. Oh and um … just where do you think you are going to get your clients, ie, the docs, the hospitals and clinics? Most prefer IN-HOUSE and MANY send them overseas for nearly 75% LESS than YOU can charge!

      The person who wrote this blog is doing EVERYONE a favor. And I think them! YOU should be, too, unless of course, you are with ABS, as I strongly suspect.

  3. Bob Ziegler Says:

    If you still want a buisness of your own with a small investment of only $498 try Sendout Cards.com. Call me at 248-921-8192 or toll free 888-851-4385 for more information. I will explain how you can make good money in the multi-level marketing buisness of greeting cards using the internet. Some marketing and sales contact is required.

    As far as American Billing Systems. I own a license and went the the 4 day training in Dallas which was excellent. The staff is great, the literature is super, and the support is very good. For starting up a small business in a growing industry for a modest investment it can not be beat.

  4. Bob Ziegler Says:

    Opps I made an error. The start up investment in SendoutCard.com is only $398.

  5. Oscar Says:

    Laura,
    Can you tell me where you found these references. I have been trying to find Licensees to contact but I have had no luck. Also, what are the drawbacks the references told you about. Its always essetial to know the cons of a business before decidng to get into it.

  6. Smauel Says:

    Hello Oscar,

    I have looked into ABS recently as well. If you want the references all you have to do is contact ABS and ask for them. You can go to their web site at http://www.absystems.com to contat them by email or call them.

    In regards to the orignal post here, I do want to say that I experienced the same thing Laura described which was an honest rep who told me this business is not for everyone and that it is alot of hard work. They never once promised me income or said I would be rich, or even successful for that matter. They said like any business I would get what I put into and if I was willing to do the work and put in the time that like anything else, I could make a success out of it.

    They do send you a lot of emails usually every few days for about a month, but they all have an unsubscribe link at the bottom so you can stop them from coming at any point. I am sorry to hear that your rep responsed to you in a rude manner, she was probably lacking coffee herself.

  7. Drewmanchoo Says:

    If I’m gonna be in a race, do I want to speak with somebody who has won it or someone who crashed and quit a long time ago. NEWS FLASH–There are no “get-rich-quick” businesses except for dealing crack, and I’m sure nowhere on the ABS site did they “Guarantee” anything.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but suppose you were busy making a business work; would you want some broke, negative loser calling you up and asking you how they might fail? No. In fact, you would call the people who sold you the business and try to find out how your name got out. That company would then assume the broke negative loser was interested and then try to sell him. Duh. Welcome to the real world.

    Now, pull your head out of your butt and make something of your life. Stop dragging your wife down with negativity and by wasting time blogging.

    By the way, I’ve run several businesses, and none of them was easy.

  8. Hi Diana – We received your information on 6/20/2007 from a Franchise Website called Betheboss.com (now FranchiseExpo.com). So, either you, or someone you know, submitted your info and requested that we contact you. We NEVER make any type of unsolicited calls or send unsolicited emails. I am so sorry you had a bad experience with us. Should you consider us in the future, I’d do my best to make it up to you. Regards, Adam Phillips

  9. gman Says:

    I am skeptical of companies that give you prescreened references. They are called “singers’ according to the FTC and should be regarded as a red flag. Most times they are paid. It’s like singing to the choir and you’re going to hear only positives about the company. They are not arms length references but sales tools. The FTC has a publication about medical billing fraud and lists what to watch out for. Also the Texas Attorney General’s office has some guidelines for doing business there, such as if a business opportunity makes claims like, “the majority of our licensees make six figure incomes”, then they must give you the names of those people in the last three years (I think that’s the time frame. Go to the website under business opportunities). If it’s too good to be true then it probably is. According to the FTC the medical billing industry competition is strong with some very reputable large billing providers. Why would a doctor want to trust some inexperienced housewife do it out of their house? Also $15,000 isn’t chump change.

    • germorama Says:

      No reputable doctor would risk prosecution for fraud by medicare or being underpaid by thousands of dollars because they resorted to hiring an independent medical biller. They would go to a large billing provider because it is trustworthy and reliable. I don’t believe there is any validity to this business as I have a degree in health information. No one should pay this money.

  10. Teri Vezzani Says:

    You mentioned…”what I found out at the seminar downright terrified me” Can you please elaborate…I am planning on going to one of their seminars and would very much like to hear your story…Thanks!

  11. Half - full Says:

    Wow… I am in the process of going with ABS for my billing company. I have heard nothing but good things and I think that those of you that look for the negative in anything will always get what you are looking for. If you are looking to start a business on your own, you have to believe that this business will be successful no matter if you have a few rough days or so. If you believe that it is a scam or negative or any other negative connotation I’ve read, you will get only that. If you don’t think anyone will trust you because you are an inexperience housewife, then you will not succeed. But if you believe that every big conglomerate started off somewhere and if they can succeed so can you. Go back and read the story of Bill Gates. Read the story of Opray WInfrey and even the guys that started Youtube just a few short years ago in their garage and yet they sold their company less than one year later for a billion dollars.

    If you believe that $15000 IS too much money to invest in your future then don’t do it. If you believe all of the negative reports, pass this oportunity by. You will only be as successful with anything in life as you believe.

  12. Diana Staggs Says:

    I too have tried to remove my name from American Billings email list but I still continue to get things. If this actually reaches someone at ABS, please remove me from your list. I’ve been requesting this off and on for about a year. Thanks!

  13. gman Says:

    Half-full. Come on now. Why would a doctor that has spent 6+ years of school after his undergraduate degree trust his entire receivables to someone with no experience. If I’m a doctor and I see 20 patients a day, work my tail off, why am I gonna give you a 7% cut right off the top just to do my billing which according to ABS takes just a few hours a day. Answer is….I’m not! If it’s too good to be true…it is!

  14. Go Says:

    Agreed. You simply are not going to do that. It’s too much. Also, the trust factor is serious. This is your billing. This is a big customer service issue and needs to be done correctly or you can lose your customers. That’s the life of your business. Doctor or not!

  15. Wow Says:

    Not sure about his. Don’t think I’m going to listen to advice from anyone referring to the “local bank of daddy” LOL Any home-based business is hardwork. Maybe your missing the point. Don’t underestimate the power of a motivated housewife either 🙂

  16. Teri Says:

    ABS is a legitimate company. As a real licensee I can tell you it is one of the most awesome systems out there. Is it a get rich quick business? No. Can you make a lot of money from it. Yes. BUT, you have to get your clients and do the work. ABS never has promised anything but that. They have one of the most incredible computer systems around. You get good tech support also. They staff is great and so are the other licensees. I agree that $15,000 is not that much to pay for what you get from this company.

    • Cindy Says:

      I wanted to ask you, Teri, are you still with ABS and are you happy with your decision to go into Medical Billing?

  17. Some people are Clueless Says:

    Gman, obviously, you have no clue about the outsourcing of medical billing. That doctor you spoke about, has a degree in helping patients get better or maintain their health, not running their business, I’m sorry that you are not schooled becasue if you were, you would know that some medical billing professionals command a percentage as high as 15% (I negotiate between 6-10%, depending on practice and type of claims processed) and that doctors are now starting to outsource to INDIA…SCARY….Just wanted to through in my expertise, since I am a medical billing pofessional.

    • HKI Says:

      Some Questions for “Some people are Clueless”…. 1) Are YOU a CMBP (Certified Medical Billing Professional)? 2) Do you own your own business? 3) Is it required (by State/City) for a Medical Billing business to have a credentialled/certified billing professional (for example a CMBP designation)? 4) In your billing work, what software do you use? Is it a stand alone package or a web-based system like ABS? – Will appreciate very much your feedback.

  18. Toni Crouch Says:

    I believe that American billing System is legit and I have a license but never
    pursued the career and wondered if anyone out there would like to buy my license for $7500.00 WHICH is half the price they are charging right now and I remember when I went through the classes that they said you could sell it if it didnt work out for you.

    Please email me if you are interested at

    tkcrouch@yahoo.com

  19. Sandi Says:

    Hi Toni Crouch,

    I have been looking ABS to purchase and I am just wondering why you have not start your own business! I am interested in the system but I am not sure how this would work! It might be better for me to buy from the company….not sure!

    SV

  20. Lee Says:

    American Business Systems has not lived up to their promise of support for us or others in our class. We went with ABS because of the support and we are very disappointed. ABS has a good sales pitch and the class teaches, get the doctors and we’ll help you, we got the doctors, but no help, what does this do for your billing business. We found out the hard way, Buyer Beware!

  21. Karen Says:

    Myself and my partner are starting a medical billing business and we are looking at ABS as one of 2 contenders. We thought we’d do a little engine surfing and found this site. I can’t say that your experience has turned us off to them, but we’ll probably go with a company who can get us going for half the price. The company we’ll probably use is Medical Billing Business Resources. Not as much on their site but we were impressed with our phone conversation and knowledge. They are at http://www.medicalbillingbusinessresources.com.

  22. Jane Says:

    I am going to purchase the ABS, but apparently it is not a good idea. Is there other good Opportunity I can get? Need your help.

  23. Ken Says:

    Hi!

    I know these turkeys personally. Or should I say knew them, or thought I knew them? I mean we go waaaay back. They screwed over a lot of people for a lot of money (a heck of a lot more) in another business (internet check cashing scheme) that went defunct. They are clever in not calling it a franchise. They are not as liable this way. Oh, did I tell you ? No I almost forgot! They became millionaires off the backs of hardworking people that saved, borrowed or whatever, then the business went belly up, with these poor people left with nothing. Well they had nothing to start with as far as the business is concerned. This guy’s conscience is about as seared as they come, imho, and I hope he is reading this! Hi Pat! Say hi to Nathan for me, and thanks for all the damage you’ve done to my family, ya hear? Ya, I hear you’ve never cheated on your wife, with another woman before. Hmmm….. I won’t take THAT any further.

  24. I want to thank Karen for the link she gave for Medical Billing Business Resources. This company has been fantastic in helping us to get our Medical Billing Business going! Great folks with a lot of knowledge. My wife and I recommend them without hesitation. http://www.medicalbillingbusinessresources.com.

  25. Art Says:

    I am seeing a lot of negative and positive comments about American Billing Systems. How can so many people be so right or so wrong about them? I am a firm believer of what you put in is what you will get out. Could this is the case here?

    I am seriously considering purchasing an ABS franchise. I certainly don’t want to costly mistake. I am seeing a lot about medicalbillingbusinessresources.com. I would like to know from this blog if this company has all that is needed to start a medical billing company with the recourses that are offered through them? If any is interested in passing on some referrals it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  26. Rick Says:

    Art, I too am looking at this as an opportunity for which I need more information. I am really impressed with ABS presentation but wonder how easy it would be to get clients.

    As for the comments in this blog it seems to be a draw between positive and negative and there are a few who are just axe grinders looking for a cause.

    • Lee Says:

      If you go on http://www.Ripoffreport.com and look up American Business Systems or Patrick Phillips, this is an accurate description how this company works. I found three complaints in the last 3 weeks. I wish I had this information before I was scammed.

    • Mark Says:

      It is not easy.
      Find any other Billing software. There are tons of them out there. Kareo, DAQ, Lytec, Zirmed, AdvancedMD, Altapoint. Their charges are in a few hundreds, not in thousands. Their per claim cost is less than 25 cents. … and with ABS it is around 1 dollar. Just do the math.
      And there is no such lists where doctors have expressed an interest in you and are waiting for you. You have to do the hardwork to find clients.

  27. Ilene Richman Says:

    I would like the names of the licensees and their phone nos. so I can check into this company. I asked some questions and people at ABS have refused to respond. Why? Is there something wrong with this company? Do they take your money and leave you hang out to dry?

  28. An upset customer Says:

    I bought alicense from these scammers and its bullshit!! Trust me they will con you in to thinking they are your best friends and that they want to see u make money but they are all full of shit!! Its a scam and anyone who says otehrwise id love to discuss it with them. The problem is people are afraid to speak up and are iven the guilt trip from ABS in thinking that something is wrong with them and tht is the reason they cant make their business work. the software is outdated, the marketing meterial is an outright lie, and their “support” is bullshit, the wont supoprt anything!!! I am considering a class action lawsuit agaisnt these scammers, if anyone else got scammed message me to get together and take these bastards down!!!

    • wendy Says:

      those who have been scammed by ABS should file a complaint with the BBB, the more that do, the more the BBB will look into this scam of a company. i filed and now ABS is taking my issues seriously.

    • don Says:

      I’m glad I found this blog. I have been considering buying a license. Did you go to the training in TX? They say after the class if you’re unhappy they will return your money. Did you ask for your money back? Did you talk to any other licensees before you spent your money? Hope to hear back from you.

  29. Terry Says:

    As a certified coder (yep, WENT TO SCHOOL, TOOK THE TESTS, AM NATIONALLY CERTIFIED IN BOTH AREAS – HOSP & DOC OFC) …. May I say this also: medical coding is ONE thing and medical billing is another! REMEMBER THAT.

    Before shelling out $15K to someone selling you an ‘
    opportunity’ aka as a ripoff – GO TO YOUR LOCAL COLLEGE and take classes in coding and learn it, then take the test(s), go to work for a doctor or hospital, and then .. MAYBE .. after a few years, they will trust you enough to let you take the work home. MAYBE!

    Today, alot is being outsourced to Pakistan and India – until about 4 years ago when an Indian woman tried to blackmail a California man with is VERY personal, VERY private medical data which she gained by … yup, doing medical billing for a dumb doctor who thought saving cash was more important than patient confidentiality. Happened, FACT!

    If you DO decide to continue on your own from home, just go buy C-Med software (thats my fav anyway – there are several others), learn IT, get the latest ICD-9’s (are updated annually & are SPENDY), then … go door knocking from doc to doc. You will find your shoe leather wears out before you get one doc to hire you because a) you are not a certified coder and therefore will most likely get a TON of bills kicked back, costing him major bucks, 2) you are not experienced enough to KNOW the major codes by heart which means you are slow. Slow means you dont make money.

    Just like in medical transcribing – you may be able to type 140 wpm, but if you have NO idea what that doc is saying (and believe me, trying to figure out what a doc from anywhre but the USA is SAYING is, of itself, a JOB!) you cant do it! TAKE THE MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY CLASSES AT YOUR LOCAL COLLEGE – no need for a university or its prices and dont use one of those overpriced “Charter” schools or online ones either … these kinds of things REQUIRE in-CLASS education if you want to get your money’s worth and end up making money with your new education!

    Medical Information Technology IS growing and FAST … within a decade we will be short approx 8,000 coders/billers per the US Dept of Labor but … BUT BUT BUT … they will NOT come from places like ABS or from online classes or from ‘teach yourself’ techniques. You will start out at around $36K (per your location) and within five years, you CAN earn up to $52K as a supervisor …. but that is after spending about $3000 for your education and then … going out and getting HIRED for a DOC or HOSPITAL and gaining experience and working your way up that nasty ol’ corporate ladder!

    I am looking for investors for a business related to medicine. I need a plastic surgeon who wants to open a completely unique sort of ‘day spa’ with me for a very special segment of US population: rich, retired, getting OLD, and hating it! I have a well-researched idea with projections/costs, etc. Obviously, this is NOT a ‘work from home’ idea, nor is it cheap to be involved. In fact … it will cost about half a million PER angel investor to even be involved! Within 3 yrs, it will have paid for itself, and then some, a GREAT sum! 🙂 This is NOT for anyone, its ONLY for interested plastic surgeons, willing to relocate to a specific area of Texas, and Alaska, or angel investors!

    WELCOME TO 21ST CENTURY MEDICINE! Hippocrates is likely twirling in his grave!

  30. Peter Says:

    Another Great Resource is

    http://www.ripoffreport.com/

    Although I have not purchased a license from ABS direcltly I am working as a salesperson for one of their licensees. I took the position hoping to one day to purchase a license and run my own business in the near future. I liked what I saw on the website and it looks like they have been in business since 1994 with 1500 licensees. I guess they have only sold one hundred a year since their inception.

    I have reviewed the Training Material that was provided to the licensee and watched the DVDs of the training as well. I have attended the ongoing webinars as well. I am not sure, but it seems like its alway the same individuals who are doing these webinars. I would expect with 1500 licensees the success stories would come from more than 12 individuals.

    I marketed the various services to Physicians and General Businesses. I thought Medical would be a better fit as I have had 10 years of experience in this field.

    It looks like this is not really a business opportunity but a bundle of vendors being sold as a business opportunity, with some templates and spreadsheets that have been created to assist the licensee.

    The Patient Payment Plan revolves around a Client Server Software Program that isn’t all that intuitive to use. There are many other companies offering the same solutions via the Internet. The same functionality can be found in the Intuit Quick Books application as well.

    The billing system they provide is hosted by http://www.medrium.com. It is a watered down version of the software that Medrium uses for their clients. You can view their software here.

    http://www.medrium.com/downloads/Medrium_Sales_Aide.pdf

    Also this vendor does billing for practices so they are in direct competition with the licensees. Why would a provider incur your overhead when it appears you can go directly with the vendor?

    The patient Well-Care utilizes Send Out Cards. You can purchase their package for 400.00. If you attend any Chamber of Commerce meeting you will probaly run into 4 or 5 vendors who offer that service to businesses as well.

    The Profit Recovery Services is handled by a vendor called Money Quest.

    They do seem to be offering new services to the licensees. I applauded that I would have something else to offer physicians as well. I showed the RAC Audit to a Hospital Administrator friend of mine and while watching the presentation said she knew the person who provides the service and works for a competing firm. I did further research.

    The person who is promoting these products works or is profiled at another company which looks to me like a competitor. She uses the same photo from http://www.ats.com > Corporate Overview>Management Team as she does in the Amercan Business Systems webinars. I do not see where iTotalSolutions or ABS has any vendor relationship with this company (www.ats.com)

    Look the premise is good. Retiring Baby Boomers yada yada yada. The reality is that most organizations have in place a system purchased from the larger vendors and are not looking to outsource to some home based billing organization. Just go to some of the venues like BNI, MGMA and Chamber meetings these people are everywhere and have the same story of inability of obtaining clients.

    My recommendation is to go out and figure out how to start a business, find your own vendors it will cost substantially less than the 20,000 that was spent by this licensee.

    • Peter-

      We have joined RipOffReport’s Consumer Protection Program in an effort to help resolve issues that our licensees may have. Please let me know if I can help with anything specific.

      It is sometimes tough as a sales rep to stay up-to-date on all the services and training provided, so I will attempt to clarify some things you have mentioned:

      1. Vendors
      Several of our services are provided by 3rd Party Vendors, that’s no secret. We have spent a lot of time locating/negotiating with these companies. The partnerships ABS has put in place allow licensees to
      A) Be competitive in the marketplace,
      B) Make a fair income, and
      C) Offer services right out of the box that would normally require some extra training (i.e. Medical Coding)

      2. Patient Payment Plan
      Agreed. The proprietary system we have now was created several years ago, and is due for an update. We have just inked a deal with a web-based, patient payment portal that will allow much greater competitive advantage allowing real-time accurate estimation based on eligibility checking, HL7 integration with a doctors existing billing systems and much more.

      3. The billing system
      The billing system vendor does HOSPITAL billing in-house. They do NOT bill for private practices, which is our licensees target market.

      It is also important to note that, due to the negotiating ABS has done on our licensees behalf, in almost every case, a doctor going direct to one of our vendors would be paying more in fees, than they would with our licensees.

      If someone wants to spend the time and money that ABS has to find, and negotiate with vendors for all the various services, develop the marketing materials, etc. not to mention if they are already comfortable marketing to the medical community, then you are absolutely right Peter, they do not need ABS. We designed our program specifically for people who want to start making money as quickly as possible, and typically don’t have any experience in the medical field.

  31. Bob Says:

    Be careful and wise when looking at the ABS opportunity. Attend the webinars and listen to what they never talk about. They never talk about the software because they don’t own it and neither will you. They never talk about clearinghouse on-going monthly cost because it would scare you off. Check the cost of the average clearing house to compare. If you get involved with these folks you don’t have any choice in clearinghouses. The cost is very high and you will never have a choice. Be cautious and careful. When you buy into a business you need to have control over your business and oversee and control the cost of doing business. With ABS this is never an option. You own nothing that you can control which will greatly impact your ablility to make as much money as possible. There are alternatives out there. When you spend the knid of money needed for the ABS program currently close to $25,000 I hope you consider who is really in control of your future earning potential. I think you’ll agree that you need to be. Remember this fact. Don’t be overly impressed by all the spin off services they seem so quick to over emphasize. If you can’t get clients and make it with the medical billing service alone, these other areas of service won’t matter. I have recently gotten involved with another company that offers everything that ABS does and gives you choices with different start up plans and you actually own everything and have the ablilty to make your own business choices. Check out ClaimTek if your interested in this business. I have and I’m glad I did. Thanks and good luck.

    • Bob –

      Wow, this sounds like a radio ad for ClaimTek. ; )

      If ClaimTek was smart, they would have a license agreement just like Microsoft that states that a person can use the software, but they certainly don’t own it.

      Re. Clearinghouses – The average person does not even know where to begin when faced with researching/setting up a clearinghouse. See my post above to Peter. We have a system that ANY person, regardless of background can use to start signing up doctors and making money, right out of training. Our billing system is $.75 per claim, but caps out at $250 per month, for UNLIMITED claims. So you could file 1 million claims a month, and it would only by $250.00!

      Re. Spin off Services, Earning Potential and No control over your future:

      ABS has some very solid new services including Coding, Electronic Medical Records, Digital Document Storage (web-based), as well as improved versions of existing services. That being said, as a licensee of ABS, you are tied to NONE of these vendors, or services, you can choose to offer all, none or even add other services that we don’t currently support. That absolutely gives you the freedom to choose what is best for YOU and YOUR business.

      Ask ClaimTek these questions:

      – Why have you not moved to a web-based system, when that is obviously the future of software (see Microsoft)?
      – Why don’t you offer a money back guarantee?
      – Why don’t you offer Lifetime Support?
      – Why don’t you offer Live Training?
      – Do you have a private, licensee only website containing ongoing education webinars, conference calls, etc?

      Yes, ABS is one price, and ClaimTek has several. We believe that having all the tools upfront is the only way to truly succeed. Don’t believe me? Check out http://www.absystemsblog.com for a ton of testimonials.

      We are always here to answer any questions. You can call me direct at 866-565-8413 x 103.

      Thanks!

  32. money making ideas for kids Says:

    ohhh nice info, keep it coming, let’s all get wealthy

  33. Arnold Says:

    I am someone, along with a partner, were talked into investing well over $20,000 in 2007, including about $14,000 for the ‘licensing’. We were told that if we were not able to get clients, that clients would be provided because some licensees had an abundance of clients. We were very excited & spent much money in hopes of a lucrative investment. We long ago gave up & declared it a loss, ashamed & humiliated that we were taken. Yes, if it sounds too good, it probably is. . .We still have many pamphlets & CDs in a closet somewhere. . .a sobering reminder.

  34. Justin Says:

    glad i saw this post – I no longer have interest in this company

  35. Judy Smith Says:

    I am an ABS licensee. I have read all of the above comments, and I can’t believe how many inaccuracies and untruths are being circulated. Many of you said you wanted to hear from an actual ABS licensee, so I felt compelled to offer some of my first-hand experiences and knowledge about ABS.

    As a disabled woman, I am unable to work outside of our home, but very much want to work and we desperately need two incomes. So my husband and I started researching at-home opportunities. Conservatively, 99.9% of those we researched were obvious scams. But then we found an ad for ABS. Because we were well aware of the scams out there, we were more than diligent in our researching this company. We contacted ABS directly, and yes we did contact the references they provided. But we also found ABS licensees on our own (just google’d ABS licensees — there are plenty out there!), and contacted them as well. Every reference we contacted, both ABS-provided and those we found independently, were pretty consistent in their opinions about the company. Basically, we were told this is certainly not a “get-rich-quick” scheme, that you have to put a lot of work into it, but if you do, it’s exactly what ABS claims to be. We also checked the BBB, and at that time, they had a good BBB report. Sure, they had some complaints, but ABS resolved those complaints. I did as much internet research as I could, and for the most part, we read/heard mostly positive things about ABS. So we invested our money and went to the training in Dallas. We came back home energized and excited to start our new business venture. But the next few months were very tough. I spent all my time sending out direct mailings, while my husband hit the streets visiting doctors offices to hand out marketing materials. We placed numerous ads in phone books and internet sites and periodicals. We consulted with our local Small Business Administration branch. But for months, nothing came from our efforts. To say we were frustrated and even a little disillusioned is putting it mildly. But were were also determined to make this work! In my case, I had no choice. I was physically unable to work outside of our home, and we needed my income, so I simply could NOT give up!

    Then a physician contacted us because he was interested in our Profit Recovery Service. We ended up signing him for PR during our first visit. We tried to interest him in our other services, but he had a biller at that time. Well, just a few weeks later, we received a rather frantic phone call from that physician, stating his biller had just quit, he was desperately needing a biller and wanted to know if I would be interested. That was in January of 2008. I have been doing his billing ever since, and he is EXTREMELY pleased with my services. I was able to get some old claims paid, claims that his previous biller had either dropped the ball on or had been rejected by the insurer. Currently, very few claims are rejected (ABS states their licensees are experiencing 2% rejection rate, but I believe my rejection rate is even lower). And he is a full service client, meaning I provide not only electronic medical claims filing and profit recovery, but also patient payment plan services. He has two offices, averaging 100 claims per week. I have also had a few other smaller, temporary clients during that time. That’s my success story.

    Now, let me address a few comments that have been made by others. First, let me say that ABS is absolutely 100% LEGIT! But just like with ANY business venture, your success is contingent upon what you put into it. Starting your own business requires a tremendous amount of blood, sweat and tears. It’s very, very hard starting your own business. Starting your own business is not for everyone. If you don’t have the intestinal fortitude, you should not even attempt to start your own business. But if you do not have what it takes to start your own business, don’t blame ABS. ABS provides you with the tools to have your own successful business, what you do with those tools is up to you.

    Second, yes, ABS changed their name. When we first became an ABS licensee, they were known as American Billing Systems. But if you look at their services and products — which are constantly increasing — it isn’t only billing. Their services and products encompass many different aspects of the business world. So it became more appropriate for them to change their name to American Business Systems. So what? If they were truly scammers, their name change would be something totally different from their previous name, to distance themselves from any wrong-doings linked to that previous name, don’t ya think???

    Third, it is not necessary to be certified as a coder to do medical billing. There is a difference between medical billing and medical coding. I am a medical biller, and I ensure that my potential clients understand that fact. We were told in training to be sure to represent ourselves as billers, not coders. I personally have taken some coding courses, although I am not certified. When I mentioned to someone in ABS Support that I have some coding knowledge, she told me that they strongly discourage their licensees from doing any coding or offering coding advice to their clients, without being certified. Seems to me if ABS were truly guilty of scamming, they would not discourage licensees from doing coding, since coders make more money than billers, and ABS could then charge even more. In my case, the physician marks the codes on the superbill and I bill what he has coded. I think that is more common than people think. I have spoken to several physicians who have told me that they prefer to do their own coding. For those physicians, a medical biller would suffice, and is more affordable than a medical coder.

    Fourth, ABS does not “control” what you do. In fact, ABS tells you (or told us during training) that this is YOUR business, and you can run it as you see fit. I offer some of their services, but certainly not all of them. And I have

  36. Judy Smith Says:

    CONTINUED FROM ABOVE…

    altered some of the services that I do offer to better fit my clients. For instance, I do not use the software that ABS has for the Patient Payment Plan, and I also offer credit card transactions for the PPP as well as pre-authorized bank drafts. Most of my clients’ patients prefer using credit cards. I use some of ABS’ marketing brochures, and have designed some of my own. I use the ABS-provided website, but I have also added some of my own touches to it as well.

    Lastly, I read the writer’s blog in which he described a rude, uncooperative Sarah King. I have spoken to Sarah on the phone numerous times, communicated through email, and met her in person at training, and I have NEVER met a nicer, kinder, more cooperative person than Sarah. I have met Patrick Phillips and found him to be very kind and very much involved with the licensees and their success as well. And I have communicated with, and met, Adam Phillips, who has responded several time above. He also has been nothing but kind and helpful to us. When a blog is written about a potential job opportunity, and someone responds implying the president of the company cheats on his wife, I have to wonder what the writer’s motivation truly is.

    In summary, if I — as an ABS licensee — had to give the company a grade, I would give it an A-. The ONLY experience I have had that could even remotely be considered a “con” or negative is, in my opinion, their support division could use some improvement. It’s not bad. I’ve just had some prior frustrations in dealing with Support because I feel like maybe they don’t always understand my questions. My impression has been that their Support division is overworked and possibly understaffed, and I sometimes feel like they are rushing through their emails without fully reading through the questions. Also, in my opinion, they don’t post webinars and new information to the website quickly enough. But that’s just my opinion.

    If that’s the ONLY “con” I have after 4 years as an ABS licensee, I think that shows what a GOOD company ABS is!

  37. john robert Says:

    Informative article about Medical billing.Medical billing is one of the good resource to make money from home..Medical billing eliminates doctor’s work..To know more information about medical billing scams please http://www.medical-billing.com

  38. Dave Says:

    In 2008, I was looking for a billing software solution for my own medical practice. I’m in the ambulance business and when I did an online search, I found ABS (which should stand for “All Bull Sh!t). I read through their entire site, and made some phone calls to ABS. All of my conversations were with Patrick, the Founder of the company. After talking with him many times by phone and email, and explaining to him what I was looking for and why, he assured me that ABS would work perfectly for my ambulance business and for my friend’s chiropractic practice. They totally sold me on their Patient Payment Plan and Checks by Phone services too. Everything sounded wonderful.

    Before making the system purchase, I also took some time to communicate and talk with some ABS licensees. The first current licensee I was put into contact with was Marilyn from Arizona. I don’t know what they paid her to pitch me, but her glowing reviews of ABS and its system sold me.
    Luckily, for me, I was the first ABS customer who was able to take “advantage” of their home-training program and I was only charged $10K, instead of the $20K they were asking for the system at the time. With this home training, I wasn’t required to go to Dallas for the seminars, etc. as I had a pretty good knowledge of medical billing and sales. At the $10K price point, I was less apprehensive to make a purchase.

    ABS sent me a book of DVDs in which they videotaped one of their week long training seminars in the Dallas hotel. You can imagine my surprise when I saw that Marilyn, the ABS licensee that they referred me to was one of the instructors. I wondered why, if she was doing so well with her billing business, she was spending time doing this training course and not out there getting more clients.
    The DVDs were informative on how to make the ABS sales pitch to the clients (which I didn’t really need as I wasn’t looking for clients), but as promised, they DIDN’T teach you how to really operate the billing software (which is what I was really looking for). The seminar DVDs gave some brief overviews of the online billing program and that was it.

    Being a licensee, I did have access to the ABS LSS website. This is the site where licensees get all of the promised marketing tools, billing contract templates, etc. What an absolute joke these were. The LSS site was very disorganized and messy, and the marketing materials and contracts were Microsoft Word files and Excell spreadsheets (some with spelling errors) that a licensee could edit and use for their own business. These things were pathetic! They truly looked like a highschool kid wrote them. Thank God I wasn’t planning on trying to make a sales pitch with these materials as they were awful. A physician or office manager would laugh you out of their office if you came in with these ABS provided templates!
    Here’s the skinny on the ABS “Patient Payment Plan.” Don’t bother. It’s an absolute joke. The software that comes with the PPP allows you to print “pre-authorized” checks for your client’s patients. I attempted to use the PPP with my own patients and the bank rejected these checks every time. What you do is input the patient’s information, balance owed, amount of monthly payment agreed upon, etc. and each month you print a stack of these pre-authorized checks (which you have to purchase from ABS) and deliver them to your client for them to deposit. You can imagine how embarrassing this is. The client believes the money will be automatically put into their account, and now you’ve got to drop off these phony looking checks that the bank will most certainly question every time. The ABS Checks By Phone system works the same way. What a joke!

    Now to the ABS billing system. Forget it. It’s clunky, cluttered, and VERY confusing. Thinking about asking your ABS mentor or coach for help? Don’t bother. When you send them a help ticket through the LSS site, you might get a call-back from them in a few days and when they do call you back, it’s one of their licensees that will be calling you. In my case, guess who my “helper” was. You got it. Successful ABS licensee Marilyn again. Wow. That Marilyn is really a busy gal hey?
    The other folks posting on here are quite right. Medrium (now owned by Nightingale) is the middle man for the billing system. You’re uploading your patient information to them and they’re submitting to the clearinghouse for you. They don’t do this for free. Oh now. They charge you a big fee for each claim submitted, which seriously cuts into your profitability. You have to charge the doc or medical provider more to cover your submission fees. Of course, that’s not wise as they won’t want to do business with you so you just have to eat the costs yourself. Not a good idea. Peter, who posted here before was correct. You can just contact Medrium (Nightingale) on your own and get the online billing system for yourself directly from them and it won’t cost you $25K either. Here’s a link directly to their site. http://www.nightingalemd.ca/us/products-services-1/practice-management-emr-asp/.

    Finally, as a licensee, I was supposed to have “lifetime access” to the ABS LSS and their programs. Of course, after finding out what they did and didn’t do for me, I never actually used their system in real world operations for my business or any other business. I still have ALL the ABS materials, including the email from ABS staffer Joel Harrison with my LSS login name and password. Guess what. I no longer exist as a licensee or user with the company and I cannot access the LSS or anything else. “Lifetime access,” right? Ha!

    I would advise anyone looking to get into the medical billing business to stay away from ABS. It’s a complete and total waste of your money. If you don’t know coding…forget it. The ABS way is to have you ask your clients for a copy of their superbill so that you can see their most commonly used codes and charges. What?
    I almost forgot about their cookie cutter websites. Don’t think you’re getting anything special there either. They’re all the exact same site (you can choose from a few different designs) that the ABS developers simply swap in your logos etc. Guess what. Google and other search engines have a tough time putting your site in a top search result because there are so many sites with the exactly same words as yours. No one will ever find your site unless they’re searching for your business name specifically.

    Do yourself a favor. DO NOT waste your money. Patrick, the Founder and his crew are excellent salespeople and they talk a great game. One cannot say they’re lying to you as you will get everything they promise you. The access to the system, the marketing materials, etc. but beware, it’s like spraying a turd with a coat of gold. It might be shiny and pretty, but underneath, it’s still a turd.
    Good luck!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s