Local family takes over medical billing firm

Tammy Schilke,

Tammy Schilke, director of client relations for MMSI. The firm is now under new ownership as its founder approaches retirement. Photo courtesy of MMSI.

A local family has made its first foray into the medical industry.

Charles E. Ayers Jr. and his family purchased Richmond-based Medical Management Solutions Inc. this summer for an undisclosed price, snagging both the company and its West End headquarters.

MMSI services local physicians’ offices, managing their payment posting and billing and providing them with management software. It was founded in 1992 by John Kleski, who is now moving toward retirement, said Tammy Schilke, MMSI’s director of client relations.

“He wanted to let somebody else take over, someone with innovative ideas on how to grow the business,” Schilke said.

The Ayers family, according to daughter-in-law Lois Ayers, who is now MMSI’s head of marketing, has some other real estate investments, but this is their first step into the business of healthcare.

“I think what’s interesting about this company is that they have been very successful through word-of-mouth referrals,” Ayers said. “One thing I’m interested in is putting together a comprehensive and strategic marketing plan to help the business grow.”

The company’s 15,000-square-foot headquarters building at 5000 Monument Ave. was included in the sale with a $1.4 million price tag. Buckhill Partners LLC is the owning entity. MMSI takes up about 7,500 square feet in the building, sharing it with a few other tenants.

James Ashby of Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer represented the buyer in the sale of the property.

Schilke said MMSI works with businesses up and down the East Coast, with one in Texas. Between 60 and 70 percent of its clients are in Richmond.

The company has added employees since the sale closed this summer and now has a headcount of 17.

“And we are continuing to look for ideal candidates for our growth,” Schilke said.

The sale took place during a busy time for the company and the medical industry at large. MMSI was preparing to transition all its customers into a new International Classification of Diseases system, a diagnostic monitoring system mandated for medical practices across the country. The implementation took place on Oct.1.

“Our company has been preparing for over a year now,” Schilke said. “It’s definitely been very hectic, trying to educate our clients, getting them information so their practice will continue to run with very little bumps and bruises. It’s been a challenge, but I think everybody is doing very well, considering.”

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