Celebrating 30 Years of Ponderosa

Karen Lee

On the 30th Anniversary of our business inception, we are looking back at how we started and how we have grown over the last three decades.

The date is December 28th 1989 and the paperwork to start what will become Ponderosa Billing Company has just been submitted. 

Jan reichman started the business after a friend wanted her to take it over as she was leaving for Australia.  Jan was a 25 year veteran nurse and jumped at the opportunity to move on to a new career.

So, without fear Jan took over Ponderosa Billing in her friend’s absence.  Remember, cell phones are a thing of the future at the time so getting ahold of her business mentor in Australia had to come in the form of handwritten notes sent via snail mail. 

The team was made up of two people in the office, which was downtown at Giuseppe’s Depot Office, with their one window overlooking the train tracks. 

The office was equipped with just one computer working of the DOS system.  They also used a typewriter & carbon paper to make duplicates. The old school printer used perforated paper with tear off circles along the sides to hold it into the printer. 

Calls were made on clunky phone with a long curly cord, where one call could be made at a time.  Although we tried to type or print from the computer all the insurance forms we needed to submit, but it wouldn’t be unheard of to hand write the HCFA insurance forms. 

Our patients were billed monthly, with paper statements along with a return envelope to return back to our office.  There was no EFT, ACH or credit card payments. Many of our older clients would stop by the office in person to pay in cash. 

Our small office was filled with filing cabinets & our accounting system was a pegboard.  We would need to back up the computer program nightly onto a floppy disc to ensure we didn’t lose our information.  At one point, we were up to 10 dics per night and took us over 30 minutes to upload the information.

It was a much simpler, quieter time then and it is incredible to look back and see how much our office has grown & changed. 

In March of 2007, we moved to our new and current location with 6 employees.  

In January of 2010, we purchased an electronic records system that enabled us to get rid of 30 file cabinets.  At the time, it cost about the same as a car ($25k). This purchase saved us tons of time in filing documents and finding documents. 

Our first office manager was hired in 2014  and in 2017 we created our four departments & promoted within to create a department lead for each department.   We continue to grow & add to our amazing team and we can’t wait to see what the next 30 years brings.

Staff Halloween Party – 2015