The MSB story
So you want to learn more about MSB? The MSB story began nearly twenty years ago. During that time, MSB has grown from a small service company meeting the needs of a few Maine school districts to a leading provider of consulting and/or billing services for hundreds of school districts in a dozen states. Our approach was simple: offer school districts unparalleled and comprehensive Medicaid administration services on a personalized level. We offered not only a streamlined billing process, but also a “feet on the ground” delivery system that has distinguished MSB from our competitors. Ever adapting to the needs of schools, during that time we developed electronic web-based software solutions for Medicaid administration, IEP management & Section 504 management. We’ve done all of this with the highest standards of excellence, professionalism, and integrity . . . and we fully intend to keep doing it that way!
How we began.
Our company began in 1995 when veteran school administrator Mary Meroff and her husband Bill, a successful design engineer of twenty years, made the decision to combine their backgrounds and talents and offer Maine school districts a way to recover vital federal Medicaid dollars for health related services provided to students with special needs. Bill and Mary redirected their professional and personal lives and began to offer affordable and reliable Medicaid administration services . . . the response from Maine school districts was overwhelming (literally at first!) . . . and Maine State Billing Services (MSBS) was born.
It wasn’t always this way.
Our beginnings were humble. In 1995, no school districts in Maine were seeking reimbursement from the federal Medicaid program. So the Meroffs (working together each day in their living room well into the night) created a system which would successfully interpret and simplify state and federal Medicaid program rules as well as provide a paper-based documentation retrieval system that could be used to submit claims to Medicaid. Middle son, Chris Meroff, joined the MSBS team (making it three!) and we were off! By June of 1996, MSBS was contracted with over one hundred Maine school districts, and by October of 1997, MSBS would be contracted with all 250 school administrative units in Maine.One Director in an effort to convince his Superintendent to seek Medicaid reimbursements made this plea: “It (receiving Medicaid reimbursements) means we can bring some of our kids home.” And they did . . .
A major turning point
By the fall of 1997, MSBS had earned the trust and confidence of the majority of Maine school districts, and the annual Medicaid revenues to schools statewide were approximately 4 million dollars. With no school Medicaid program, the revenues were meager in light of Maine’s Special Education population. It was at this time that MSBS was invited by Maine’s Departments of Education and Health and Human Services to collaborate with the state’s revenue maximization vendor in developing and implementing a statewide school-based Medicaid program—a program that would eventually increase the statewide Medicaid revenues from approximately 4 million dollars annually to more than 30 million dollars annually a decade later . . . MSB successfully contracted all 250 LEAs and worked with the state to implement the school-based program . . . and schools continued to “bring [even more] kids home.”
In 1996, cell phones were just beginning to appear in bulky form. Believing that the only good service is a personal service, Bill, Mary, and Chris were travelling all over Maine meeting the needs of districts. Bill recalls that distances between school districts in Maine were not always easy to calculate, and sometimes they would run late. “We had to find a telephone booth in order to let the district know we’d be a little late—which, of course, made us later!” (It’s possible that some of our readers are scratching their heads and wondering what a telephone booth is!)
You can drop the “S” in MSBS
What began in a living room in New Hampshire with two people who just wanted to work together and make a difference had, by 2010, flourished into a company of more than 60 employees working in eleven states. Our unwavering determination to provide the very best service possible, along with a growing staff of qualified professionals, allowed us to not only serve the entire state of Maine, but also:
- Acquire MA Billing Services
- Acquire Granite State Billing Services (NH)
- Establish Vermont Educational Services
- Acquire (and later sell) Centennial State (CO) Billing Services
- Provide Consulting services in Idaho, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina
- Develop a web-based IEP case management system (Case-e, later known as Adori)
- Develop a web-based documentation retrieval system for Medicaid administration including Direct Service and MAC claiming (X-logs, later known as Lumea)
- Successfully expand the MSB service delivery system to Texas and Ohio
The company name of “Maine State Billing Services” was no longer going to work! And so, we dropped the second “S” in MSBS and became MSB (Multi-State Billing Services). And now, twenty years later we’re simply known as MSB—a recognized leader in Management Systems for Student Services. In 1999, oldest son Scott, joined the MSB team as our CFO. In 2000, youngest son Michael joined the MSB team as our Art Director and web master. A true family-owned business!
“Good Enough”–never an option
Through the years MSB has, alongside our districts, “weathered” literally hundreds of audits (both state and federal). Our mantra has been (and continues to be), “never leave a rightful dollar on the table” (maximization), and “be audit ready” (compliance). Audit readiness isn’t a process that is tacked on once the dreaded audit letter arrives, but starts with the very first claim. We pride ourselves on preparing our districts from the start to put their Medicaid house in order before the audit letter arrives. One of the hallmarks of MSB through the years has been its unwavering and complete audit support on behalf of the districts we serve. Shoulder to shoulder we have supported each of our clients in an audit from beginning to end. We have supported our districts in state audits and have been resoundingly successful in significantly reducing the amount of “paybacks” in an audit wherever appropriate. MSB has also assisted clients with OIG audits—never fun, but necessary.
What’s in your water?
This is a question we hear frequently in regard to the amazing people we employ. Customer Care has been and continues to be another hallmark of MSB. We work hard in finding helpful, kind, and competent employees. They have been the heart and soul of the MSB “family” through the years—it’s not in the water—they’re just good people. We answer telephones. We return calls. We respond to emails and chats in a timely and friendly manner. We solve problems. We like what we do. If it’s in the water—then drink up!