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Transformation toward value-based healthcare is reshaping the delivery of care, patient expectations, and payment structures.
Improve your revenue cycle performance through standard metrics, peer comparison, and successful practices.
After this fall's disastrous flooding in Colorado, it's easy to forget that, like many areas in the West and Southwest, the Denver metro area is just coming out of one of the worst droughts in its history. Indeed, notwithstanding the recent historical rainfall, Denver's climate is basically semiarid, and the area's propensity for drought demands continued vigilance in protecting water resources.
Prior to the recent downpours, experts noted that to meet its water requirements, the Denver metro area needed to save at least 16 billion gallons of water in the next year, with no certainty of whether future precipitation will be sufficient to meet that need. The good news is, Denver is prepared.
About a decade ago, the Denver Water Department launched the "Use Only What You Need" program to reduce water waste. The department collaborated with area schools on educational programs and partnered with appliance manufacturers to provide incentives for the use of water-saving equipment. Penalties for improper water use were also implemented.
Advertisements on billboards and sidewalk benches featured phrases, such as "CNSRV" and "B STNGY," that omitted unneeded materials and letters.
And it worked. Water usage dropped 30 percent in just one year, and citizens consume 20 percent less water to this day, despite a 10 percent population increase.
Health care is facing its own drought. Provider margins are depleting at a time significant investments in technology, labor, and other resources are necessary to transition to new care delivery models. And our industry is enduring a shortage of physicians and other clinicians while an increasing number of the aged and people with multiple chronic conditions require additional care.
But like the Denver Water Department and its community, care providers have been preparing for this situation for years.
It started with collaboratives, such as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Physician Group Practice demonstration and CMS’s collaboration with Premier healthcare alliance on the Hospital Quality Incentive Demonstration value-based purchasing program. More-recent efforts focused on accountable care include CMS's Medicare Shared Savings Program, Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Initiative, Partnership for Patients Program, and Pioneer Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Model Program.
Each of these collaboratives has documented cost and quality successes among its participants. Now, we're seeing the affect they’re having on the industry as a whole.
A recent report shows healthcare inflation rising at the slowest rate in nearly 50 years. It's premature to think this trend will continue, and clearly the recession and other economic factors played a role in this decline. But an article in Health Affairs argues the slowdown "preceded the recession," and that spending "slowed more than the drop in income in the most recent recession would predict." And Harvard researchers directly associate a portion of the slowdown with the implementation of value-based purchasing and accountable care organizations. I couldn't agree more.
University Hospitals (UH) Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital created the UH Rainbow Care Connection—one of the country’s first pediatric ACOs—to improve care and overall health for children while lowering costs.
The program targets children with chronic and behavioral health problems. Focusing on patients who under- and over-utilize the care system, the ACO offers alternatives to high cost EDs, where about 70 percent of visits shouldn't require emergency care.
Nurses and physicians are available via phone 24/7 to prescribe medications, and provide care advice. Children and their families also have direct access to medical teams with their personal health information. And state-of-the-art telemedicine stations, monitored by a physician, consult on minor issues such as colds and earaches.
Though in its early stages, UH Rainbow Care Connection will impact 200,000 children in Northeast Ohio, one-third of them Medicaid enrollees.
Last year, in Chicago's inner city, Mount Sinai Hospital’s Sinai Urban Health Institute (SUHI) launched a program to educate citizens about preventing and managing diabetes.
Community health educators go door-to-door in area communities hit particularly hard by the disease, some having a diabetes rate three times the national average. Among the major reasons for the high rate of diabetes is a lack of access to healthy foods—the overall area covered by the program is known as a "food desert," with only one grocery store serving it.
SUHI partnered with that store to offer healthy shopping and food preparation classes, as well as free health and dental screenings. Opportunities now exist for parents to enroll their children in wellness programs at local schools, day-camps, and other youth programs.
Through 2012, health educators had canvassed well over 1,000 homes, working with 300 individuals with diabetes. They have increased their outreach in 2013, and plan to partner with Wal-Mart to expand their wellness program.
Publication Date: Tuesday, September 24, 2013
In this Business Profile, Bruce Haupt, president and CEO of ClearBalance, discusses how a patient loan program can increase patient collections, reduce bad debt, and speed cash flow.
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.
In this Business Profile, Jerry Bruno, principal with Deloitte Consulting LLP, discusses the importance of choosing revenue cycle solutions that help an organization meet the challenges of a quickly evolving healthcare environment.
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.
In this business profile, Lane Jackson, a partner in the Grant Thornton LLP Health Care Advisory Services practice, with extensive experience in overseeing system implementations and revenue cycle reorganizations, discusses best practices for elevating revenue cycle performance during an EMR implementation. Grant Thornton LLP is a sponsor of the Large System Controllers Council Affinity Group.
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.
In this business profile, Amy Gross, senior vice president of Key Government Finance, discusses the benefits of private placement transactions to support large-scale financing projects.
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.
In this business profile, Doug Polasky, executive vice president at Xtend Healthcare, explains the importance of having sound workflow processes in a consolidated business office to ensure optimal performance and reduce costs.
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.
In this business profile, sponsored by SSI, Jay Colfer, vice president of sales and marketing, shares how patient access solutions are reversing the trend toward increased bad debt resulting from the rise in high-deductible consumer health plans.
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.
In this business profile of Deloitte Consulting, Matthew Hitch and David Betts explore the potential benefits of elevating the customer experience and outline strategies to change service delivery.
With the ICD10 deadline quickly approaching and daily responsibilities not slowing down, final preparations for October 1 require strategic prioritization and laser focus.
TriMedx helps health systems control costs and uncover savings opportunities by optimizing the clinical engineering function.
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.
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.
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.
Announcements from several commercial payers and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) early in 2015 around increased efforts to form value-based contracts with providers seemed to point to an impending rise in risk-based contracting. Rather than wait for disruption from the outside in, health care providers are now making inroads on collaborating with payers on various risk-based contracting models to increase the value of health care from within.
Yuma Regional Medical Center (YRMC) is a not-for-profit hospital serving a population of roughly 200,000 in Yuma and the surrounding communities.
Before becoming a ZirMed client, Yuma was attempting to manually monitor hundreds of thousands of charges which led to significant charge capture leakage. Learn how Yuma & ZirMed worked together to address underlying collections issues at the front end, thus increasing Yuma’s overall bottom line.
Kindred Hospital Rehabilitation Services works with partners to audit the market and the facility’s role in that market to identify opportunities for improvement. This approach leads to successes; Kindred’s clinical rehab and management expertise complements our partners’ strengths. Every facility and challenge is unique, and requires a full objective analysis.
As the critical link between patient care and reimbursement, health information enables more complete and accurate revenue capture. This 5-Minute White Paper Briefing shares how to achieve cost-effective revenue integrity by your optimizing HIM systems.
Speedier cash flow starts with better CDI and coding. This 5-Minute White Paper Briefing explains how providers can improve vital measures of technical and business performance to accelerate cash flow.
Qualified coders are getting harder to come by, and even the most seasoned professional can struggle with the complexity of ICD-10. This 5-Minute White Paper Briefing explains how partnerships can help improve coding and other key RCM operations potentially at a cost savings.
The point of managing your revenue cycle isn’t just to improve revenue and cash flow. It’s to do those things effectively by consistently following best practices— while spending as little time, money, and energy on them as possible.
How Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford increased payments received within 45 days by 20% and reduced paper submission claims by 70% by using ZirMed solutions.
The reasons claims are denied are so varied that managing denials can feel like chasing a thousand different tails. This situation is not surprising given that a hypothetical denial rate of just 5 percent translates to tens of thousands of denied claims per year for large hospitals—where real‐world denial rates often range from 12 to 22 percent. Read about how predictive modeling can detect meaningful correlations across claims denials data.
Emergency Mobile Health Care (EMHC) was founded to be and remains an exclusively locally owned and operated emergency medical service organization; today EMHC serves a population of more than a million people in and around Memphis, answering 75,000 calls each year.
Since the Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI) introduction, CMS has paid more than $100 million in bonus payments to participants. However, these bonuses ended in 2015; providers who successfully meet the reporting requirements in 2016 will avoid the 2% negative payment adjustment in 2018, so now is the time to act! Included in this whitepaper are implications of increasing patient responsibility, collections best practices, and collections and internal control solutions.
Getting paid what your physician deserves—that’s the goal of every biller. Yet even for the best billers, achieving that success can be elusive when denials stand in the way of success, presenting challenges at every turn. Denials aren’t going away, but you can learn techniques to manage and even prevent them.Join practice management expert Elizabeth W. Woodcock, MBA, FACMPE, CPC, to: Discover methods to translate denial data into business intelligence to improve your bottom line, determine staff productivity benchmarks for billers, and recognize common mistakes in denial management.
From payment incentives to value-based purchasing penalties, the national focus in healthcare is on improving patient care and lowering costs. Coordinating care for patients as they move from one care setting to another can help meet these goals, but the greatest success will come when the patients healthcare providers work together. By enhancing a team approach to care and providing cost efficiencies, partnerships between acute and post-acute settings benefit patients and the healthcare providers taking care of those patients.
Physician practices must improve organizational efficiency to compete in this era of reduced reimbursement and escalating administrative costs.
Many healthcare organizations are pursuing next-generation health information systems solutions. Learn more about Navigant's work with University of Michigan Health System.
Copyright 2016, Healthcare Financial Management Association.
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