To work from home, employees are required to maintain a productivity rate of at least 105 percent.

Texas Health Resources (THR), Arlington, Texas, initiated a work-from-home option as a benefit to revenue cycle employees who demonstrated the ability to self-direct and meet productivity requirements. To work from home, employees are required to maintain a productivity rate of at least 105 percent. Fifty percent of the system’s 100 pre-service employees now work from home, while some choose to remain on site or are ineligible due to internet speed, office space, or other issues.

To measure productivity, leaders evaluate the number of accounts secured each day for insurance authorizations and pre-registrations. For insurance verification, 100 percent productivity is set at seven insurance authorizations every hour, or 56 per day. In evaluations, leaders have found that staff who are working from home perform at 113 percent productivity, while staff working in the office perform at 108 percent. Pre-registration has experienced similar results.

Supervisors also conduct phone call reviews to ensure work quality does not slip. A scoring module is built into the call recording platform and allows supervisors to randomly select recordings and produce online scorecards to measure criteria such as data elements captured, tone of voice, etc. The department is also testing an audio search tool that searches the recording database for key phrases, such as asking for patients’ primary care physician. The tool reports on all instances when certain phrases are requested versus not.

Leaders track monthly scores at the individual and team level, comparing quality between staff working from home and those working in the office. A virtual approach to coaching—a meeting is scheduled through Skype and recorded using THR’s voice recording technology—and corrective action allows supervisors to address issues in a timely manner rather than waiting for employees to come into the office. Supervisors record calls with employees and keep them on file along with electronic disclaimers signed by employees that allow THR to record and maintain the recordings.

Employees must maintain a certain quality percentage to continue working from home and may be asked to return to the office for a period of time if quality improvement is needed.

See related article: Texas Health Resources Work-from-Home Program Increases Productivity, Employee Satisfaction

Patti Consolver is senior director, patient access, Texas Health Resources, Arlington, Texas, and is a member of HFMA’s Lone Star Chapter.

Publication Date: Monday, July 17, 2017