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These short synopses of hfm articles give board members insight into relevant topics. The articles below were published in 2012.
Hospitals Face New Challenges in Funding Employee Retirement Benefits
Cost pressures are forcing healthcare employers to scale back on the benefits packages they traditionally have offered their employees. Nonetheless, many promising ideas exist for optimizing employee retirement and health programs while containing costs.
View Board's Eye View version or full-length article.
Healthcare Reform Requires Increased Provider Focus on Value
As health reforms emerge over the next few years, hospitals, physicians, and payers will face greater pressure than ever to deliver more value for the dollar.
Building a Top-Performing Hospital: What Board Members Should Know
Hospitals should build meaningful scale and scope as well as focus on integration, cost, quality of care, and customer service to be competitive under value-based business models.
Independent Hospitals May Need to Assess Feasibility of Continued Independence
Increasingly challenging financial circumstances are forcing leaders of independent community hospitals to ask whether their “stand-alone” can continue to stand alone. To answer this question thoughtfully and meaningfully, these organizations need to perform detailed internal assessments of their ability to continue to meet the current and future healthcare needs of their service areas as independent organizations.
Preparing for Value-Based Purchasing
The Medicare value-based purchasing program is an initiative described in the Affordable Care Act whose purpose is to provide a practical means to reduce costs to the nation’s healthcare system while improving quality of care. Hospitals that achieve the highest total performance scores under this program’s scoring methodology can earn incentive payments.
Developing a Physician Compensation Plan
Hospital board members and other leaders should consider market characteristics, base salaries and incentives, and the structure of the compensation package when developing a physician compensation plan.
Maintaining Revenue Cycle Health During IT Change
An electronic health record (EHR) implementation, particularly one that includes other system components such as patient access and patient revenue, can disrupt many areas of hospital operations. But one of the greatest financial risks may be its impact on the revenue cycle.
Designing Long-Term Incentive Pay Plans
Long-term incentive pay plans for key leaders can help advance important strategic goals at not-for-profit hospitals and health systems. When designing executive pay plans for key leadership positions, not-for-profit hospitals today should consider much more than base salary and annual incentives.
How Hospitals Can Engage Physicians Without Hiring Them
If employing physicians or achieving clinical integration is not financially and/or politically practical, hospitals should consider alternative strategies for aligning with physicians.
Transparency Can Build Trust Between Hospital Leaders and Physicians
Meetings between hospital finance executives and physicians should be important, productive steps in building collaborative business models around issues, such as supply cost, utilization, productivity, and compensation.
Making the Transition from Fee-for-Service to Population-Based Health Care
Capitation again seems on track to displace fee-for-service as the industry’s predominant payment model. Unlike in the 1990s, the casualties may be the providers that cannot adapt.
Addressing the Problem of Medicare Readmissions
Hospitals should focus on three areas where poor performance is contributing to high numbers of Medicare readmissions: execution of the discharge plans, patient education, and coordination of postdischarge care.
Transforming the Structure of a Health System
As the healthcare industry moves from a traditional volume-based context to a value-based model, finance executives are focusing on transformational planning that emphasizes physician alignment, care coordination, and operational efficiency.
What Board Members Should Know About Mobile Apps in Health Care
Mobile applications and technologies are improving quality of care, patient satisfaction, safety, and convenience—and reducing costs. There are important considerations that hospital board members and leaders should keep in mind as they use medical apps and technologies to improve value in health care.
Financing Health Care Today
Economic uncertainty, healthcare reform, and future funding for Medicare and Medicaid caused many healthcare organizations to postpone financings in 2011. Because of current near-record low interest rates, health systems may want to revisit financing-needed capital expenditures this year.
What Board Members Should Know About RAC Extrapolation
Adventist HealthCare saved more than $8 million through a comprehensive approach to facilities maintenance, construction, and real estate management that could produce similar benefits for other organizations.
Increasing Capacity and Improving Resource Utilization by Improving Patient Flow
A pilot project to redesign patient flow at Intermountain Medical Center resulted in the creation of 21 virtual beds, reduced severity-adjusted average length of stay, enhanced patient satisfaction, and improved bed turnaround time.
View Board's Eye View version or full-length article.
The New Wave of Hospital Consolidation
As consolidation is expected to be a major strategy for not-for-profit hospitals in the next two to three years, there are several bond rating factors that health systems should keep in mind when assessing short-term and long-term financial risks.
A Guide for Managing Costs and Refining Cost Structure
Hospitals and health systems can effectively and sustainably transform their costs by following nine strategic recommendations related to both types of initiatives.
Cutting Costs in Financial Services
Reducing expenditures and improving financial performance is typically targeted in areas such as physician preference items, energy costs, clinical supplies, and discretionary items. But CFOs might overlook savings opportunities in their own backyard: the finance department.
The Transition to ICD-10
Healthcare providers with a long-term view are looking beyond compliance and seeing ICD-10 adoption as a systemwide business process transformation that touches every person, process, and system throughout the organization.
How Hospitals Can Use Technology to Reveal True Costs
Healthcare CFOs and other leaders should consider a number of factors in determining the right approach to costing within their organizations—and when selecting and implementing technologies designed to improve costing.
Understanding the Impact of Value-Based Purchasing
A study of the potential impact of the VBP program on 3,178 hospitals of various types focused on the likely impact of the program by analyzing what hospitals’ total performance scores are likely to be under the program and how incentive payments will be calculated.
Leading Change in a New Era
As the healthcare industry moves from a traditional volume-based context to a value-based model, finance leaders are in a position where they need to embrace new techniques that require more than traditional healthcare management.
Read our 2011 Board's Eye View Archives.Read our latest Board's Eye Views.
TriMedx helps health systems control costs and uncover savings opportunities by optimizing the clinical engineering function.
Patient financial engagement is more challenging than ever – and more critical. With patient responsibility as a percentage of revenue on the rise, providers have seen their billing-related costs and accounts receivable levels increase. If increasing collection yield and reducing costs are a priority for your organization, the metrics outlined in this presentation will provide the framework you need to understand what’s working and what’s not, in order to guide your overall patient financial engagement initiatives and optimize results.
A leader from McKesson discusses how healthcare reform is forcing hospitals and health systems to take a different approach to capacity management and patient flow.
No two patients are the same. Each has a very personal healthcare experience, and each has distinct financial needs and preferences that have an impact on how, when and if they chose to pay their healthcare bill. It’s no longer effective to apply static billing techniques to solve the complex challenge of collecting balances from patients. The need to tailor financial conversations and payment options to individual needs and preferences is critical. This presentation provides 10 recommendations that will not only help you improve payment performance through a more tailored approach, but take control of rising collection costs.
Emad Rizk, MD, president and CEO of Accretive Health, discusses the uncertainty facing hospitals and the transitions affecting revenue cycle management.
This white paper, written by Apex Vice President of Solutions and Services, Carrie Romandine, discusses the importance of patient segmentation and messaging specifically related to the patient revenue cycle. Applying strategic messaging that is tailored to each patient type will not only better educate consumers on payment options specific to their billing needs, but it will maximize the amount collected before sending to collections. Further, targeted messaging should be applied across all points of patient interaction (i.e. point of service, customer service, patient statements) and analyzed regularly for maximized results.
Jim Bohnsack, vice president, solution & corporate development for Conifer Health Solutions, explains how the company helps healthcare providers leverage data to deliver better outcomes while optimizing reimbursement for all payment arrangements.
This white paper, written by Apex President Patrick Maurer, discusses methods to increase patient adoption of online payments. Providers are now seeking ways to incrementally collect more payments due from patients as well as speeding up the rate of collections. This white paper shows why patient-centric approaches to online payment portals are important complements to traditional provider-centric approaches.
Steve Scibetta, senior director of channel sales for Ontario Systems' healthcare product line, shares insights into effectively managing receivables.
Increased electronic engagement between healthcare providers and patients provides significant opportunities for improving revenue cycle metrics and encouraging patients to access EHRs. This article, written by Apex Founder and CEO Brian Kueppers, explores a number of strategies to create synergy between patient billing, online payment portals and electronic health record (EHR) software to realize a high ROI in speed to payment, patient satisfaction and portal adoption for meaningful use.
Elena White, vice president of risk, quality, and network solutions for Optum, discusses how healthcare providers can leverage data and technology as they enable risk in their organization.
Faced with a rising tide of bad debt, a large Southeastern healthcare system was seeing a sharp decline in net patient revenues. The need to improve collections was dire. By integrating critical tools and processes, the health system was able to increase online payments and improve its financial position. Taking a holistic approach increased overall collection yield by 10% while costs came down because the number of statements sent to patients fell by 10%, which equated to a $1.3M annualized improvement in patient cash over a six-month period. This case study explains how.
Somnia President and CEO Marc Koch, MD, MBA, explains how hospitals can drive transformative change in the perioperative experience for outstanding clinical and financial outcomes.
With the ICD10 deadline quickly approaching and daily responsibilities not slowing down, final preparations for October 1 require strategic prioritization and laser focus.
PMMC President Roger L. Shaul discusses the effects of healthcare reform on revenue cycle management and how PMMC's products help clients adapt to a changing financial environment.
Read how Gwinnett Medical Center provides clear connections to financial information, offers multiple payment options for patients, and gives onsite staff the ability to collect payments at multiple points throughout the care process.
Greg Burgess, Founder and Chief Product Officer at Burgess Group shares insights and opportunities for payment integrity in the rapidly changing healthcare IT landscape.
Read how Orlando Health was able to perform deeper dives into claims data to help the health system see claim rejections more quickly–even on the front end–and reduce A/R days.
To maintain fiscal fitness and boost patient satisfaction and loyalty, healthcare providers need visibility into when and how much they will be paid–by whom–and the ability to better navigate obstacles to payment. They need payment clarity. This whitepaper illuminates this concept that is winning fans at forward-thinking hospitals.
Financial services staff are always looking for ways to improve the verification, billing and collections processes, and Munson Healthcare is no different. Read about how they streamlined the billing process to produce cleaner bills on the front end and helped financial services staff collect more than $1 million in additional upfront annual revenue in one year.
Effective revenue cycle management can be a challenge for any hospital, but for smaller providers it is even tougher. Read how Wallace Thomson identified unreimbursed procedures, streamlined claims management, and improved its ability to determine charity eligibility.
Before launching an energy-efficiency initiative, it’s important to build a solid business case and understand the funding options and potential incentives that are available. Healthcare leaders should consider taking the steps outlined in the whitepaper to ease the process of gaining approval, piloting, implementing, and supporting sustainability projects. You will find that investing in sustainability and energy efficiency helps hospitals add cash to their bottom line. Discover how hospitals and health systems have various options for funding energy-efficient and renewable-energy initiatives, depending on their current financial structure and strategy.
Health care is a dynamic mergers and acquisitions market with numerous hospitals and health systems contemplating or pursuing formal arrangements with other entities. These relationships often pose a strategic benefit, such as enhancing competencies across the continuum, facilitating economies of scale, or giving the participants a competitive advantage in a crowded market. Underpinning any profitable acquisition is a robust capital planning strategy that ensures an organization reserves sufficient funds and efficiently onboards partners that advance the enterprise mission and values.
The success of healthcare mergers, acquisitions, and other affiliations is predicated in part on available capital, and the need for and sources of funding are considerations present throughout the partnering process, from choosing a partner to evaluating an arrangement’s capital needs to selecting an integration model to finding the right money source to finance the deal. This whitepaper offers several strategies that health system leaders have used to assess and manage capital needs for their growing networks.
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