Premier helps AleraCare extend payment terms to increase working capital

March 22, 2024
Key takeaways:
Aligning payments to suppliers with reimbursements from payers is critical for healthcare organizations striving to optimize cash flow and increase working capital.
AleraCare leveraged Premier’s Remitra® Managed Accounts Payable (AP) solution to extend payment terms, increase working capital and obtain better cash flow management.
Discover how Premier’s Remitra® Managed AP solution helped AleraCare improve access to care, labor efficiencies, operating margins and increase working capital.

AleraCare, a leading healthcare organization, specializes in providing patients with specialty pharmacy services, home infusion services and compounded medications. Additionally, they offer ambulatory infusion centers (AIC) that provide patients with intravenous treatments for cancer, autoimmune disorders and other chronic diseases.

AICs are good alternatives to traditional in-hospital settings and can offer comfort and convenience to patients and their caregivers while being cost effective for commercial and government payers.

Despite their cost effectiveness and convenience, AICs can face financing hurdles to ensure their much-needed therapies reach patients. Infusion medications can be expensive with lengthy reimbursement time frames that are dependent on patients’ private health plans, Medicare, or Medicaid coverage terms. With slow reimbursement coupled with costly medications, AICs often need to collaborate with multiple pharmacy distribution groups and obtain credit to ensure they can have medications on hand when patients need them, making extended payment terms a necessity.

Leveraging Premier’s Remitra® Managed Accounts Payable (AP) Solution to Overcome Financial Challenges

Recognizing these challenges, AleraCare embarked on a transformative journey in collaboration with Premier, leveraging the Remitra® Managed Accounts Payable solution.

During a recent webinar, AleraCare’s Chief Financial Officer, Tom Pascoe, shared how this partnership empowered them to overcome thin operating margins and drive operational excellence.

Here’s how AleraCare utilized Premier’s Remitra® Managed AP solution to achieve several key objectives:

Reduce labor costs. AleraCare leveraged the Remitra® Managed AP solution to reduce the need for a full-time employee. Through automation, they were able to ease the burden on their existing accounting team as well.

Extend credit for medication and supply purchases. AleraCare relied on Remitra® to extend the credit they needed and to pay distributors on their behalf so they could maintain access to critical medications and supplies.

Increase working capital. AleraCare knows all too well that distributors want to be paid as fast as possible and often offer prompt-pay discounts. AleraCare was relieved to know that the Remitra® Managed AP solution guaranteed on-time payments to their distributors, and also offered the option to pay as quickly as a few days, in 10 or in 20 days, potentially qualifying AleraCare for payment discounts that often yield significant cash returns.

“Premier’s Remitra® Managed Accounts Payable solution is paying our wholesaler on time, allowing us to match cash flow which has been a huge contributor to our working capital,” said Tom Pascoe, Chief Financial Officer, AleraCare.

Lengthen payables timelines to 30 days or more. AleraCare took advantage of extended payment terms to increase working capital, obtain better cash flow management and fuel organizational growth. Having cash on hand rather than tapping a high-interest line of credit helped AleraCare hire additional salespeople to expand their physician reach and keep operations running smoothly.

“In the past, we would get a medication order, get it approved with insurance and pay upwards of $5,000 for the medication, but the terms were 30 days,” said Pascoe. “With Remitra® Managed AP, we were able to match our payment terms with our collection terms, which means we don’t have to buy three expensive medications before we can collect on the first medication purchase.”

Expand patient care. AleraCare leveraged their increased working capital to add oncology infusions to their clinical offerings, increasing patient access to care.

Optimizing Cash Flow to Increase Working Capital, Fuel Growth

Automating the accounts payable process can help alleviate the challenges that AICs face and provide economic value. By optimizing cash flow, AleraCare was able to ensure resources were available for patients without sacrificing growth opportunities.

The team implemented the Remitra® Managed AP solution in one of its four operating systems in just under six weeks. This quick implementation helped AleraCare realize savings, launch growth initiatives and establish new brick and mortar AIC locations sooner than expected.

These efforts are vital for AleraCare and other healthcare organizations looking to gain better visibility and increased efficiency across payment terms and overall finances.

Premier’s Remitra® empowers healthcare organizations to streamline and automate processes to reduce human error, cut costs, generate revenue and refocus resources on more value-added, strategic opportunities. Automating paper-based processes is a critical step for healthcare organizations seeking to optimize cash flow, working capital and increase efficiency.