Browse by Topic
More than 40,000 members value HFMA's thought leadership and practical strategies. HFMA is where you need to be.
Get acquainted with the
healthcare finance industry's leading professional association. Find out why our
members rely on HFMA as their go-to source for insight and
Members have many
options for helping them advance their careers. Conferences, seminars,
eLearning, certification, and more -- our education and events will keep you
Connect the dots on today's big issues, explore collaborations, get career-boosting tips, and network with colleagues nationwide at the leading finance conference. Save $100 off the full conference rate when you register by May 8.
Real-time presentations with nationally recognized experts, networking opportunities, and industry solutions—no travel required!
Learn about timely healthcare finance topics and earn CPEs. Most live webinars are free for HFMA members and $99 for non-members. View the latest schedule.
If you're a subscriber to any of our three newsletters, you have access to online education. Learn more or subscribe.
Get the perspectives of leading healthcare finance professionals on today's hottest issues.
Information about leading vendors helps your buying decisions.
Forum members can network during live webinars or access a library of past webinars on topics such as bundled payment, charity care, and ICD-10.
An ever-expanding collection of spreadsheets, policies, job
descriptions, checklists, and more that you can adopt and adapt.
Forum members can submit vexing questions to a panel of experts
using our Ask the Expert service.
Your source for employment solutions.
Find new employment opportunities or
reach out to qualified candidates.
Distinguish yourself as a
leader among your peers and advance your career by earning certification in our
healthcare finance programs.
Get an objective third-party evaluation of products and services used in the healthcare finance workplace.
MAP App is a web-based application that helps organizations improve revenue cycle performance based on industry-standard metrics called MAP Keys.
Find suppliers and products in this comprehensive vendor directory for healthcare finance professionals.
Guidance for understanding and communicating about the price of health care.
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.
By Lauren Phillips
Like many resource-strapped small and rural hospitals, 25-bed Jersey Shore Hospital and 88-bed Fulton County Medical Center?located 2.5 hours away from each other in Pennsylvania?felt that attesting to meaningful use in time to reap any incentive money might be an unreachable goal.
This is a sample article from HFMA's Strategic Financial Planning newsletter, which provides healthcare finance leaders with how-tos for strategic, financial, and capital planning.
Learn more about Strategic Financial Planning?and subscribe
It was the beginning of 2011, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was about to allocate $12 million for grants to rural health networks to support IT adoption and help them meet meaningful use requirements. The money is slated for purchasing technology, installing broadband networks, and training staff.
The two critical access hospitals (CAHs) didn’t know about the new HHS grants. They were just looking for a means to share IT resources needed to achieve meaningful use, including joint installation of an EHR that would otherwise have cost each organization an estimated $2.3 million, according to Carey Plummer, Jersey Shore’s CEO.
Thanks to the Pennsylvania Mountains Healthcare Alliance, a 19-hospital collaborative to which both belong, Jersey Shore and Fulton County found each other. Over the last year, the partnership has saved each facility about $300,000 on EHR implementation?and provided needed grant money, too. Both CAHs expect to attest to Stage 1 meaningful use by Sept. 1, 2013.
Today, Jersey Shore and Fulton County share CIO, Christine Haas, as well as IT resources across the board, including:
The Pennsylvania Mountains Healthcare Alliance has played a multifaceted role in the arrangement:
When third-party vendors were needed—for example, for voice recognition software?Jersey Shore and Fulton County negotiated the contracts together. In some cases, each signed a separate contract in what is still considered a joint pricing venture. In addition to a lower price, the partners saved an estimated $40,000 in legal fees.
So how did the two hospitals manage to bring their clinicians and staff into sync while still maintaining their independence? With a lot of planning, work, and travel between the two facilities, says Haas. The hospitals created cross-functional core teams for each of the 16 areas of implementation (e.g., pharmacy, operating room, payroll). These teams reached consensus on all the specifics around installing the hospitals’ shared infrastructures, such as establishing naming conventions for data elements.
“Each team has co-leaders representing the two hospitals, and one of these co-leaders was chosen as the single point of contact with the vendor,” she says. “We also held joint core team leader meetings to discuss logistics every week. In addition, we have an executive oversight committee that also met weekly.”
The collaborative effort, Haas says, has been “amazing. The progress we made together is so much more than if we had done this alone."
Hospital leaders were warned that getting their physicians involved would be difficult: It wasn’t. “The two hospital teams collaborated on clinical decisions and documentation,” says Haas, “working through a physician champion selected for the project and the core team leaders in charge of the physician care manager system. In addition to one-on-one training, there were one-hour lunch-and-learn sessions for physicians in the weeks leading up to the go-live date in July.”
Plummer attributes the smooth physician collaboration to the fact that “the physicians viewed the venture as two hospitals working together rather than some big system wanting to take over their practices; nobody was trying to be king of the hill.” As a result, employed physicians will be able to attest for meaningful use on schedule, although only one independent physician accepted the invitation to join the physician practice management system and pay a monthly service charge.
The IT project has gone so well, says Plummer, that the two hospitals are considering joining forces in other ways, such as payroll, marketing, and public relations.
The key, he believes, is the similarities between the hospitals?both CAHs, both rural, both very community-minded?and a leadership commitment to honesty and integrity. If you’re open and honest on everything, Plummer says, the financial savings will come along.
Meanwhile, word of the partnership has spread, and another hospital would like to make it a threesome. That’s fine with Jersey Shore and Fulton County. Plummer says they have the potential to develop into a partnership of 10 or twelve small and rural hospitals around the country?all of which would benefit from those third-party contracts the two hospitals already negotiated.
“The way we set things up, the hardware is not sitting in either of our hospitals; it’s off-site, so it would be easy to bring in other organizations, as long as we could extend that same trust and honesty,” he says. “We wouldn’t necessarily gain any further advantage by expanding, but that’s not why we did this in the beginning. We did it to save rural health care in our communities.”
Lauren Phillips is president, Phillips Medical Writers, Ltd., Bellingham, Wash., and a frequent contributor to Strategic Financial Planning (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Interviewed for this article (in order of appearance):
Carey Plummer is CEO, Jersey Shore Hospital, Jersey Shore, Pa (email@example.com)
Christine Haas is CIO, Jersey Shore Hospital, Jersey Shore, Pa (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Publication Date: Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Tom Myers, chief strategy officer, The SSI Group, discusses the shifting payment environment and how it affects providers' patient access and claims management processes.
Jeff Chester, senior vice president and chief revenue officer at Availity, shares his thoughts on "Revenue Cycle 2.0" and how to best meet its challenges.
Mitch Morris, vice chair and global leader, healthcare, Deloitte, and Michael O'Rourke, senior vice president and chief information officer, Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), share perspectives on the need for transformational IT in health care today.
Brian Kueppers, founder and CEO, Apex, discusses the importance of a robust patient payment strategy in boosting organization revenue and enhancing patient satisfaction.
Brian Grazzini, CFO, HealthPort, describes the importance of efficient and compliant information exchange and audit management in helping HIM staff spend less time on paperwork and more on mission-critical projects.
Cindy Matthews, executive vice president, Community Hospital Corporation, discusses how rural and community hospitals can use collaborative partnering to position for success through tough market conditions.
Rick Heise, senior vice president, revenue cycle, at Cerner Corporation, discusses the importance of integrating clinical and financial data to excel in health care’s changing payment environment.
Russ Graney, founder and CEO for Aidin, and John Laursen, head of business development for Aidin, share insights on how to improve care transitions between acute and post-acute care settings and incentivize high-quality patient outcomes.
Scott Elston, strategic accounts manager, GE Healthcare Services, describes how substantial cost reduction in health care requires rethinking business strategy and asset use.
Robert Williams, MD, director, Deloitte Consulting LLP, and Arielle Freiberger, product strategist, ConvergeHEALTH by Deloitte, explain how sophisticated retrospective, real-time, and predictive data analytics can inform decision making to reduce costs and improve care.
Stuart Hanson, director of business development (healthcare solutions) at Citi Retail Services, discusses how improving the payment experience can benefit consumers and healthcare providers.
©2015 Copyright Healthcare Financial Management Association
HFMA.org is best viewed using IE9 or the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.
Join HFMA today and enjoy: