This fall, E Central Medical Management (ECM), a certified minority-owned business, celebrated its 20th anniversary. ECM is a full-service medical billing and practice management consulting firm. With more than 75 employees and a client roster of more than 200 physicians, the company specializes in billing and coding, credentialing, and a host of other back-office functions to help independent medical practices thrive. It was certified as a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) in 2018.
Started in 2000 by friends Bert Lurch and Louis Burke, the firm has beaten the odds. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 20 percent of new businesses fail in their first year; 50 percent do not survive past five years, and only one-third last ten years or more. And while the coronavirus pandemic has tested the viability of many small businesses in 2020, ECM continues to excel, creating new outreach strategies, assisting clients with the intricacies of obtaining relief funding, and onboarding new accounts.
“When we started, we had no idea that our company would reach the level of success and sustainability that we have achieved,” said Lurch. “I’m proud of what we have built over the past 20 years.”
“Our strength lies in our commitment to our clients,” said Burke. “We are much more than just a billing company. We are our clients’ business partners and we over-deliver on value because their success contributes to our success.”
Before becoming business partners, Lurch and Burke met as colleagues at Long Island Jewish Medical Center. They bonded over their mutual ambition and entrepreneurial spirit before deciding to launch their small medical billing operation in a home office. Over the ensuing decades the company has grown with Lurch at the helm as CEO handling operations and Burke as President overseeing business development strategy and customer retention.Along the way, the founders have earned their place among Long Island’s business leaders and given back through various philanthropic endeavors. ECM was honored with a Diversity in Business award by Long Island Business News in 2017. Lurch is a member of the Board of Directors of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island. As a participant in the 2019 Fight for Charity, he helped raise more than $30,000 for local Long Island non-profits. He serves as president of the Health and Business Alliance, Chair of the Queens Chamber of Commerce Health Committee, and is a member of the Long Island Elite. Burke is a certified medical coder and a member of the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).
While Covid-19 has curtailed the lavish anniversary celebration originally planned, employees marked the milestone with an intimate dinner party at the Hotel Allegria in Long Beach in mid-September. Together with staff, Lurch and Burke look forward to the next 20 years.