In this Business Profile, Scott Schmidt, vice president, Cerner RevWorks, LLC, shares insights on best practices for maximizing a revenue cycle management partnership.

Scott Schmidt from Cerner RevWorks shares insights on best practices for maximizing a revenue cycle management partnershipTell us a little about your organization.

As the world’s largest publicly traded health information technology company, Cerner provides leading-edge solutions and services to more than 14,000 healthcare facilities worldwide. We support the clinical, financial, and operational needs of both small and large organizations.

Cerner RevWorks provides clients with revenue cycle management services to meet two primary objectives: reducing cost and increasing net revenue. We currently serve multiple venues of care, including acute, ambulatory, and post-acute, through two main methods of service delivery: our full alignment partnerships and services administered through our Extended Business Office.

In our full alignment partnerships, we manage a health system’s entire revenue cycle. We deploy a revenue cycle leadership and executive team that is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the client’s revenue cycle function. We take full accountability of the revenue cycle strategy, delivery, and performance.

Our Extended Business Office can run a client’s entire billing department or help with specific business issues. We also provide tailored services to address specific aspects of revenue cycle, such as legacy system A/R liquidation, eligibility verification, coding, insurance follow-up, and payment posting.

What are some of the biggest challenges you see affecting healthcare organizations?

Changing reimbursement models coupled with regulatory updates are making it even more challenging to improve margins and profitability while balancing the care provided to communities.

As they prepare for tomorrow’s challenges, many healthcare organizations are recognizing they don’t have the internal resources to competitively address core issues. According to a Blackbook survey, more than half of hospital CFOs (54 percent) anticipate the need for next-generation financial system solutions—including software and outsourced services—to keep their organizations solvent. To be successful in these efforts, these organizations will need to be selective in finding the right partner, someone who fully aligns with them—in values, incentives, and investments— through a multiyear relationship.

Setting priorities is another challenge. The alphabet soup of health care—ICD-10, ACA, FFS, MCAID, HIE, M&A, and so forth—pulls leaders in multiple directions. Prioritization becomes increasingly difficult when you have limited resources to deploy.

How does Cerner’s RevWorks product address these needs?

At RevWorks, we are experts in revenue cycle management. We take on the challenges of navigating payment shifts and regulatory changes for our clients, so they can focus on what they do best: providing quality care for their patients and communities.

Our client partners are often seeking new ideas and leadership that bring insight, better solutions, and improved reporting, as well as the cultural change management necessary to materially improve the performance of their revenue cycle. RevWorks packages these services into a single solution that allows our clients to achieve these goals.

Our clients also benefit from Cerner’s significant commitment to research and development. We’ve invested more than 12 percent of Cerner’s revenues in research and development annually, with more than $450 million of investment expected just this year. Revenue cycle in particular is a space where we are dedicating considerable resources and investments. As a result, we are at the forefront of understanding industry change and are able to share innovative practices with our clients.

What advice would you offer to healthcare leaders choosing among potential revenue cycle management partners?

Define what you are looking for in a long and fulfilling partnership; then do your research. Consider these questions:

  • Do you share common values?
  • Revenue cycle fundamentally manages people, process, and technology. What is their approach to these core areas? Are they innovating in these areas as well as offering new services?
  • What is their track record of performance? Do they deliver on their promises?
  • Looking ahead five years, how does the partner’s business model adapt to changing reimbursement models as well as broader industry trends?
  • Do they have both a regional and national presence?

Ensure that you build key performance indicators and service level agreements into your contracts and understand how the supplier tracks and calculates them. If you have specific or unique reporting requirements to run your business, clearly define what those are and seek agreement on the time and manner in which related data will be reported.

As healthcare organizations implement RevWorks into their day-to-day operations, what advice would you offer so they can best set themselves up for success?

Several actions are particularly important:

  1. Plan and communicate internally in your organization.
  2. Throughout the implementation period, treat the engagement as a partnership where you bring nuances of your organization, its culture, mission, and values, and we bring best practices and proven methodologies.
  3. Stay engaged as things get underway. Ask good questions, hold us accountable, and encourage performance transparency.

Also, participate in peer learning opportunities. At RevWorks, we encourage tight alignment not only between ourselves and the client, but among our clients. We support peer-to-peer interaction, so our clients can see how others are tackling today’s problems and preparing for tomorrow’s challenges.

Where can readers learn more about Cerner’s suite of solutions?

I would recommend readers visit There you can easily explore the solutions and services we provide to different healthcare venues. You can click on “hospital and health systems” or “population management,” for example, to view the variety of solutions available for that type of venue.


HFMA is the nation’s leading membership organization for more than 40,000 healthcare financial management professionals. This Business Profile is funded through advertising with leading solution providers. Learn more.

Content for this Business Profile is supplied by Cerner. This published piece is provided for advertisement purposes. HFMA does not endorse the published material or warrant or guarantee its accuracy. The statements and opinions of those profiled are those of the individual and not those of HFMA. References to commercial manufacturers, vendors, products, or services that appear do not constitute endorsement by HFMA.

Publication Date: Monday, December 01, 2014