In 1970, when the rest of his college classmates were taking the stage in cap and gown at Virginia Commonwealth University’s graduation ceremony, Richard Usry was hard at work debugging software in Detroit. Just days before, medical supply industry giant General Medical Corporation had offered Usry a job as Data Processing Manager – an impressive offer for a new graduate and one he says he couldn’t refuse.
The offer followed others from companies like IBM and ITT in New York, but Usry, newly married at the time, didn’t want to relocate. The opportunity to work with General Medical Corporation’s 11 divisions in Maryland and Virginia came at the right time, on the heels of a fresh degree – a B.S. in business management with an emphasis in computer science– and the preparatory experience of his work during school as a computer operator and programmer assistantfor the Federal Reserve Bank in Richmond.
Over the course of his 40-year career, lucrative job offers and opportunities followed, and Usry became sought after in the industry by companies like Medical Data Services, who were implementing similar health care processing systems and needed expertise that at the time was in short supply. Usry built a reputation for speed and precision, developing highly saleable systems in a fraction of the time typically required – once developing a complex prototype from scratch in less than a week. The first system sold within hours of final post-production testing, and Usry went on to close more than $1 million in system sales to hospitals around the country. Later, Usry would be instrumental in the development of one of the first medical billing solutions for physicians using the mini-computer.
Today Usry heads up Healthcare Management Systems (HMS), a software division of medical revenue cycle management firm Fi-Med Management, Inc. HMS software, built to be scalable to medical billing operations of any size, was first put into practice by the University of Virginia Hospital System’s new health services foundation in 1980. Under the direction of the university and Price Waterhouse, Usry and his team customized an HMS software installation to bring the foundation’s members – 270 independent physicians at that time – all under one billing umbrella.
Usry continued to develop and evolve HMS through changing technologies and healthcare regulatory landscapes in the 30 years following, its success attracting the attention of ArborMed Corporation, a medical billing firm led by well-know medical billing veteran Charles Morf. ArborMed purchased Health Management Systems in 2005, and both entities were later acquired by Fi-Med Management, Inc. in 2009.
At Fi-Med, Usry continues to expand HMS nationally, and will be instrumental in developing the company’s growing presence in the radiology market. As part of the executive management team, he’ll help to shape Fi-Med’s future as a leader in the fast-changing healthcare billing and revenue management industry.
Richard Usry is a long-time member of the Healthcare Billing and Management Association (HBMA), involved in numerous committees, including vendor and education. He and his wife, Betty, live in Richmond, Virginia, and have three daughters with successful careers of their own.