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15 min read

Primary Solutions: Interview With President, Brian Marshall

“The most experience in the industry due to their technology and staff!”

Tell Us About Primary Solutions.

Primary Solutions’ software is used by many developmental disabilities organizations and individuals dedicated to serving the developmentally disabled. An Ohio-based software development company, they focus on creating software for developmental disability providers, organizations and county boards of DD.

How Did Primary Solutions Get Started?

Brian’s beginnings were nowhere close to the developmental disabilities (DD) community. He initially worked for The Ohio State University and then a bank writing software. A friend of his owned a DD agency and needed software developed. This was the catalyst for DD software development.

Primary Solutions came about in 1998 when Brian and his team were working with this supported living agency. When that company was sold, they carried the products forward and formed Primary Solutions. So, since its start, it has been working with the developmental disabilities community. They started with County Boards and then expanded into working with private providers. After this, they started a Medicaid Billing Service using their own products.

Primary Solutions developed their Advisor product for private providers. They are the market leader in Ohio for private provider software. In 2013, Primary Solutions acquired a competitor, Mitchell and Associates, and brought onboard their Infal product that was for County Boards. At this point, they had all the products needed to take over the DD market in the County Board world.

Primary Solutions has grown steadily since then. In addition to Ohio, they work with providers in Indiana and Florida. Currently, Primary Solutions provides services in all 88 counties in Ohio.

What Types Of Software Products Does Primary Solutions Provide?

Primary Solutions strives to cover everything a DD Organization, County Board, or provider would need. It all started with Gatekeeper, which was built for County Boards. It manages all aspects of their operations. And as their world has changed, Gatekeeper has too with everything from Medicaid Billing and Authorizing Services to Service Planning, Case Notes and basically anything a County Board needs to do.

Infal is used by County Board business managers to manage funds and payroll. It can be used in the same environment with Gatekeeper.

How Does Primary Solutions Rank With Other DD Software Solutions

Primary Solutions also has a website called so County Boards can communicate with private providers. They can exchange information, view Service Plans, see what services are authorized, bill for services the County authorizes and get payment information. It is expanding to allow anyone on an individual’s care team to use the portal.

In 1999, the Advisor product was developed for private providers. This product has really taken off. It was originally written for a private provider in North Carolina. The Primary Solutions team brought it to Ohio. It does everything a private provider needs such as payroll, billing, case management, incident reporting and more.

Primary Solutions Is In 88 Counties In Ohio & Is The Most Relied-Upon Platform.  Is This Due To Great Marketing And Sales?

Not at all. It’s because the DD community is constantly changing, and they focus on one of their four core values which is “Continuous Improvement of Self, Company, Products & Services.”

As new rules and regulations are enforced, the Primary Solutions team finds ways to help their clients meet them. They continually enhance and update their products to align with these changes. As a result, they have become a thought leader in the industry. Up until recently, all of their new business has been due to word-of-mouth. They are now developing effective marketing strategy to sell their products.

How Similar Are Primary Solutions Products To Others In The Market?

A lot of people in the industry are only using Excel spreadsheets, or they’re using the State’s website to do their billing. They’ve simply cobbled together systems. These are the biggest wins for Primary Solutions because they provide a complete solution that’s much more effective. Where they were having to navigate changing rules and regulations on their own, these are baked into Primary Solutions’ products. Clients don’t have to worry about rule changes. They’re incorporated into the products and kept up-to-date with upgrades.

A way Primary Solutions differs from other products is they focus on billing and compliance. They have the most advanced solutions in the industry to help providers and County Boards maximize billing and stay compliant with rules and regulations.

How Can Using Primary Solutions Benefit I/DDs – OODs & County Boards?

Primary Solutions has spent the last 20 years building a team with professionals who have worked for providers and County Boards in Ohio. Between the excellent staff, monitoring changes and working with clients to evolve Primary Solutions’ products, this is the key to their success and the success of their clients. Working with the best in the industry results in the best products and the best results.

Primary Solutions products can be used on the Web, on the client’s server, or in the Cloud. This way the customer has lots of options and can use the product that makes the most sense for them.

Is Primary Solutions Only A Premise-Based Solution?

This is not entirely true. Primary Solutions started in the late ’90s when this was necessary. The benefit of being premise-based is the client can host the solution in their server environment and have complete control over it.

However, they can also put it in the Cloud and run it from there as well. They have the ability to have a full desktop environment, run all of their office applications alongside it, and go mobile and use it in the field.

When putting a Primary Solutions module in the Cloud, clients have redundant internet, power and world-class security along with experts in networking who monitor the environment. It’s difficult for providers to achieve this on their own.

Primary Solutions has expanded from having a server-only environment to having the ability to use products in the field on any mobile device. They also have web products as well that work with all of a client’s server applications.

Their products are very secure and can be used on smartphones in the field. This is critical because private providers are in people’s homes and out in the community. They can do their work in the field in a secure environment. They don’t have to worry about their laptop or phone getting lost or stolen. All of the information remains in the server environment that Primary Solutions provides clients. Products can also be delivered by an RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) or Citrix connection.

What Is Support Like? If We Need Help, What Are Our Options And Expected Experience?

Your expected experience is you can call, email, or put in a service ticket and get a response within 24 hours. Primary Solutions has human beings (not recordings) ready to support and the most experienced extended support staff in the industry. They also have a Customer Care Website that contains videos about how to use their products, tips and tricks and blogs about how to succeed in the DD industry. They also have chat services. Support is available in any form that a client needs it.

What About Security, Compliance Rules & HIPAA?

The product itself has an encrypted database, so if the information gets out, no one will be able to read it. They also log user activity so you will know what your people are doing.

In terms of HIPAA compliance, it’s important for the client to educate their staff and ensure their own network is secure. The user must be smart and not use HIPAA-protected data in a public environment. All of Primary Solutions’ web applications are secure with https and security certificates, and all the data that’s sent across the wire is encrypted. It’s also encrypted when sitting on the client’s browser.

Does Primary Solutions Provide User Training?

Yes —They conduct an initial implementation process to help their clients move from a current platform to Primary Solutions’ products. They offer both onsite and web training as well as web-based video for staff. Training is also offered on a regular basis in Primary Solutions’ headquarters in Columbus, Ohio. They work closely with clients to provide the onsite training they need, as well as ongoing web and video training services. The training is updated as products evolve, and rules and regulations change.

How Does Pricing Work?

There are a large group of modules available, so clients can pick and choose the ones that work for them based on their pain points. Then they can add more as needed. There’s an annual license for the product that includes all of their upgrades for the year. The annual subscription is based on the modules that they choose to use. If they add modules, there’s a charge for them on an annual basis. The pricing depends on how many individuals are served by the client.

If We’re Using Another Platform, How Hard Is It To Switch To Primary Solutions?

The client is asked to export the data from their current product into a format that can be input into the Primary Solutions product. Then Primary Solutions does the rest. This may involve some data entry on the part of the client here and there to make sure they have everything they need. Primary Solutions also has some data they host for County Boards, which the client can download into their systems, such as Service Authorizations, and they can do this on an ongoing basis.

Can You Provide More Details About Primary Solutions Products?

Primary Solutions’ Programs Include:

  • Gatekeeper
  • Advisor
  • Advisor Cloud
  • Anywhere
  • Infal
  • Billing Service
  • Audit Service


Following its release in 1998, Gatekeeper was quickly embraced as the preferred software for dozens of County Boards and Councils of Government. The software is currently used to manage data for most county boards in Ohio.

At the heart of Gatekeeper’s popularity is a seamless system of integrated modules. Gatekeeper’s module system increases operational efficiency by allowing data to be entered just once, and then shared across the Gatekeeper system based on each user’s security access.

Counties choose to use some or all of the modules, with the flexibility to incorporate additional modules as needed. It seamlessly interfaces with many standard applications for maximum efficiency.

Gatekeeper is a module-based platform that allows you to track the following:

  • Plan
  • Outcomes & Services
  • Medical History
  • Local Payment
  • Workshops
  • Transportation
  • Surveys
  • Services
  • Individual Budgets
  • Incident Tracking
  • Forms
  • Employment
  • Document Imaging
  • Demographics
  • Day Services
  • County Billing
  • Case Notes
  • Billing Archiving
  • Report Server


Advisor is a module-based software product for I/DD providers. It’s focused on giving a broad picture of the organization’s activities. There is a cloud version as well as a web version called Advisor Anywhere which extends Advisor to staff in the field.

With Advisor, your staff can spend less time managing paperwork and more time working with the individuals you serve. Advisor gives you the tools you need to easily enter, share and retrieve your data, process your billing, manage your program, and position your organization for long-term success. The most advanced and user-friendly software available, Advisor decreases administrative time and increases revenue collection.

Advisor’s integrated modules let your team handle data management and claims processing with ease. You can eliminate duplication of effort entering information in multiple documents and spreadsheets, being surprised by expiring authorizations, or researching if claims were paid at the correct rate.

Advisor includes the following modules:

  • Workshops
  • Transportation
  • Single Entry of Billing and Payroll
  • Scheduling
  • Report Server
  • Outcomes & Services
  • Mental Health Billing
  • Medical History
  • Forms
  • Employment
  • Employee H/R
  • Document Imaging
  • Day Services
  • Consumer Demographics
  • Case Notes
  • Billing & Receivables

Advisor Cloud

Advisor Cloud takes advantage of Advisor’s robust functionality with the convenience of a remotely-hosted service.

  • You can access your data virtually anywhere via an internet connection.
  • Automatically back up your critical business data daily.
  • No onsite server is required.
  • It provides HIPAA-compliant security.
  • It’s available for a predictable monthly service fee.
  • There are options for provider billing assistance.


With Anywhere, you can reduce your paper dependency and create audit-worthy service delivery documentation. Anywhere is an application that ties into Gatekeeper and Advisor, and allows you to create documentation for service delivery and activities on the go.

It’s a web-based application that interfaces with the Advisor and Gatekeeper software programs. Anywhere replaces paper documentation sheets and increases documentation accuracy.

With Anywhere, direct support staff can create real-time entries for attendance, notes, goal activity, and service delivery directly from the service location. Information can be entered by an individual, or as a group, with the ability to view existing activity and edit information that they have entered.

Anywhere’s user-friendly interface includes dashboard alerts and visual cues to ensure documentation is complete. Staff can access Anywhere using their secure user information via desktop computer, laptop, tablet or kiosk. Data entered in Anywhere is immediately available in Gatekeeper or Advisor.

Anywhere empowers your direct support staff by:

  • Reducing paper dependency.
  • Improving documentation integrity.
  • Creating audit-worthy service delivery documentation.
  • Securely connecting via any device with internet access.
  • Providing entries that are immediately available in Gatekeeper or Advisor.

Now available:

  • Day Services:
    • Capture attendance and document outcomes.
    • Eliminate paper sign-in sheets for day programs.
    • Record attendance times by individual or group.
  • Outcomes and Services:
    • Provides staff with visual cues to easily gauge daily progress, including complete and incomplete goals.
    • Has simple, configurable settings to define outcome entry prompts.
    • Demographics:
  • View key consumer data.
    • Case Notes:
  • Real-time case note documentation
  • Document case notes without logging Gatekeeper or Advisor.
  • Workshop
    • Capture daily work activities for piece rate and hourly pay.
  • Single-Entry
    • Capture payroll for staff along with billing information for individuals they serve
    • Infinite number of work code available to capture all work performed.
    • Supervisor time approval
    • Also capture mileage for billing and staff reimbursement.


Infal is designed to meet your organization’s specialized accounting needs. Since its introduction in 1993, Infal has been a tool for county governments. Users embrace Infal’s flexibility and applaud the ability of Infal to accommodate their unique accounting needs.

Infal offers a specialized application for professionals in the Developmental Disabilities support community with Fund Accounting and Employee Payroll Accounting features. This is a complete fund accounting package that allows organizations to track all revenue, expenses, and payroll data including leave balances and department budgets.

Billing Service

Billing Service is for billing and claims management. You didn’t get into the I/DD field to agonize over billing forms. Primary Solutions’ billing experts know Ohio’s Medicaid billing rules. Navigate the process with ease, and with Primary Solutions’ experienced billing staff you can count on having your questions answered.

With Primary Solutions, you’ll spend less time at your keyboard and more time touching the lives of the individuals you serve. Whether you are an independent provider or an agency, you can have confidence in Primary Solutions as your billing partner.

Billing clients get a complete billing package:

  • Level One, I/O waiver, county-funded local services, and private-pay billing
  • Claims monitoring for each billing cycle
  • Assistance with error resolution
  • DRA rate calculations for ADL consumers
  • Reports mailed monthly, including DODD reports (weekly claims, payment, error, and adjustment reports) and an itemization of all claims keyed into our Advisor software
  • Per consumer fee includes all services billed for the consumer
  • Flexible billing schedules allow you to submit billing weekly, biweekly or monthly

Additional Services Available for Agencies:

  • Single-entry option that includes:
    • Calculating billable hours for each service type.
    • Calculating DRA hours for each group home.
    • Calculating staff payroll hours.
  • The Claims Management option includes:
    • Key weekly reports sent via email or fax, including processed claims and utilization reporting.
    • Payments applied to claims.
    • Monthly aging reports.
    • Quarterly claims reconciliation completed by Primary Solutions Audit Services staff.
    • Semi-annual review with Audit Services staff.

Claims Assurance Services

Do you have time to review your agency’s financial details? Do your payments match your invoiced claims? Are you writing off thousands of dollars due to unpaid adjusted claims that can’t be resubmitted? Don’t let your dollars slip through the cracks. Primary Solutions’ Claims Assurance Specialists will review your claims. They can help find you the money you are owed.

Primary Solutions’ Specialists have years of experience pursuing unpaid claims. They have found hundreds of thousands of dollars of potentially lost revenue.

OhioDD.Com and the new

County boards and service providers have an essential partnership. supports and strengthens that connection. allows counties using Gatekeeper to quickly share relevant information with providers through a secure internet portal. Counties using discover substantial operational efficiency through decreased support calls, reduced payment processing time, and reduced postage costs.

With a single keystroke in Gatekeeper, a provider’s account is activated at Information transmits between Gatekeeper and seamlessly.

With no staff intervention necessary, providers can access electronic service authorizations, track utilization and submit billing for locally-funded services, submit locally-funded billing with a user-friendly billing tool, enter and bill case notes and download county payment files directly into the provider’s billing software.

Individual Service Plans can also be viewed and downloaded from to ensure staff have accurate and up-to-date information for service delivery.

The Leading Provider in The DD Industry

With all of that to offer, it’s easy to see why Primary Solutions believes they have the most experience in the industry due to their technology and staff. It’s about hiring the best people from the industry with extensive knowledge and connections, which has been what makes them the best at what they do.

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