MAP Event News & Updates

October 7, 2014

MAP Award Winners to Share Best Practices in Action

Revenue cycle management is difficult for even the most driven organizations, given payment pressures, the increasingly complex regulatory environment, shifting technologies, and demands for improved customer service. Yet as shown by this year’s winners of HFMA’s MAP Award for High Performance in Revenue Cycle, progress is possible. 

Throughout HFMA’s MAP Event, HFMA MAP Award winners will share tips ranging from easy-to-implement ideas that may leave you wondering, “Why didn’t I think of that?” to innovative approaches requiring extensive engagement and planning that are sure to be on your radar soon.

Tip No. 1: Systematize your approach to improving the patient financial experience. Many organizations take a “once and done” approach to revamping patient statements to be more consumer-friendly. Although such work is important, MAP Award winners frequently take the effort further, creating processes to ensure the organization continually improves its financial interactions with patients. 

As an example, Atlantic General Hospital/Health System has a patient-friendly billing committee that meets monthly to focus on revenue cycle management communications. Recent projects have included developing wayfaring cards to direct patients to the centralized registration area, revamping communications to include a summary of charges and address the questions most frequently heard from patients, and changing the layout of statements to make the information easier to understand. The group has also spearheaded a project to develop price estimates for the most commonly ordered lab tests, X-rays, and outpatient procedures. 

In addition, the organization holds “Through the Eyes of the Patient” meetings in which department associates with patient-facing roles hear about positive and negative aspects of service directly from patients. The efforts are paying off. Atlantic General Hospital's patient satisfaction scores are above the national average, ranking 76.2 in the emergency department (compared with the national average of 62.5) and 89.7 in surgical services (compared with the national average of 85.7 ), according to the National Research Corporation.

Tip No. 2: Support revenue cycle knowledge in nonfinancial areas. Once those outside of finance understand their roles in revenue cycle efforts, they’re better able to support performance improvement. 

At The Valley Hospital, time is set aside each month during all-staff meetings for a member of the finance management team to discuss an interesting or newsworthy topic relating to patient financial services (PFS) or healthcare finance. Also, finance leaders routinely hold meetings to educate ancillary department leaders about revenue cycle issues: The vice president of finance provides training sessions on revenue cycle functions, the assistant vice president of managed care discusses payment concerns and trends relating to high-cost items and new technologies, and the Medicare billing manager provides one-on-one reviews of patient bills to explain the payment process and ways in which registration and charting functions affect patients’ financial and service experiences.

Tip No. 3: Let the right skill set be your guide. At Rochester General Hospital, access team leaders are so dedicated to hiring individuals with a strong commitment to service that many front-end staff come from retail environments. Leadership would rather spend additional resources training someone without the technical experience of others if the individual's service background is particularly strong.

Read all 25 tips from HFMA MAP Award winners, published in the September issue of HFMA’s hfm magazine.

More Insight from MAP Award Winners

During HFMA’s MAP Event, learn how to achieve high levels of patient and staff engagement from leaders from St. Luke’s Hospital. Using a process improvement committee, St. Luke’s Hospital has implemented a variety of revenue cycle improvements while creating an environment focused on patient and staff engagement.

Explore the future of the revenue cycle in an era of clinical transformation during a fast-paced panel discussion with representatives from three healthcare organizations. Gain physician, provider, and payer perspectives on healthcare costs, value and payment, and impacts on the revenue cycle. You’ll hear viewpoints on the future of healthcare relating to the revenue cycle from a physician, a practice executive, an integrated delivery system senior executive, and a payer. 

And learn how to create a revenue integrity department and employ strategies to effectively enhance outpatient charge capture during a session presented by representatives from Froedtert Health. Identify ways to optimize net revenue in a metrics-based revenue cycle during this presentation. 

September 5, 2014


Case Study from Texas Health, New Networking Session, and More 

Texas Health Resources (THR) records patient encounters with revenue cycle staff to provide feedback to staff on the quality of their customer service—and has significantly improved both patient satisfaction and point-of-service collections through this approach. 

During HFMA’s MAP Event, Nov. 2-4 in Las Vegas, leaders for THR, an HFMA MAP Award Winner for High Performance in Revenue Cycle, will share the health system’s strategies for improving patient satisfaction with the revenue cycle experience.

THR’s ‘Patient Delight Project’

THR captures every patient encounter that takes place in the revenue cycle, whether it occurs by phone or in person, via technology that records the conversation. Then, supervisors listen to a sample of conversations for each staff member to gauge performance and offer constructive feedback. 

For example, one longtime registration employee who was a high-performer for THR was receiving low marks for patient satisfaction. Upon reviewing recordings of her interactions with patients, supervisors found her to be on-script, asking the right questions and collecting the required information. But instead of listening and responding sympathetically to the patient, she came across as hard and unresponsive. Her manner was abrupt and lacked the warmth and empathy that patients need when arriving at the hospital, such as for a scheduled surgery that may be causing anxiety.

Supervisors met with the employee and asked her to listen to the recordings. When she did, she was brought to tears: She immediately recognized what patients had perceived in her tone.

Without realizing it, this employee had been focusing more on the processes related to her work and less on the people in front of her. After 25 years in her position, listening to the recordings gave her new resolve to change her approach to working with patients. She asked to review her recordings with a supervisor every week so she could monitor her progress and continue to look for opportunities to improve. As her approach has improved, so have her survey scores.

Learn more in an article in the September issue of HFMA’s hfm magazine, and attend a session that will be presented by authors Patti Consolver, corporate director, THR, and Scott Phillips, director, patient access, THR, at HFMA’s MAP Event, “Ensuring Quality Pre-Service Communication with Patients.”

Education, Networking, and More at HFMA MAP Event

Gain one-to-one insight from leaders from THR and other revenue cycle experts during a a preconference networking session from 9:45-10:45 a.m. on Sun., Nov. 2, at HFMA’s MAP Event. Sponsored by Optum 360, this session, which is new to HFMA’s MAP Event, is an excellent opportunity to connect with other revenue cycle leaders and professionals. Light refreshments will be served. To suggest a topic for discussion, contact Sandra J. Wolfskill, director, healthcare finance policy, revenue cycle MAP.  

Find strategies for achieving high levels of patient and staff engagement from St. Luke’s Hospital of St. Louis, a 2014 HFMA MAP Award for High Performance in Revenue Cycle winner. Using a process improvement committee, St. Luke’s Hospital has implemented a variety of revenue cycle improvements while creating an environment focused on patient and staff engagement.

And learn how to enhance physician revenue cycle efficiency and performance during a MAP Event presentation by leaders for Mayo Clinic, also an HFMA MAP Award for High Performance in Revenue Cycle Winner. Gain insight on how successful strategies drive end-to-end improvements, and take home an assessment tool to help your organization’s revenue cycle become more integrated. 

 August 11, 2014

Creating a Positive Environment for Patient Financial Communications
Ensuring a superior experience for patients as they seek to understand how much they will be expected to pay for their care after insurance is one of the biggest challenges facing hospitals and health systems today. During HFMA’s MAP Event, MAP award winners will share strategies for success.

Three best practices from OhioHealth, winner of HFMA’s MAP Award for High Performance in Revenue Cycle, offer a starting point for financial communications that are timely, clear, and reliable.

Establish internal transparency for collections efforts. Internal transparency builds leaders’ confidence that payment is being handled fairly and appropriately, says Jane Berkebile, system vice president, revenue cycle, OhioHealth, Dublin, Ohio. Explain why the organization has adopted a specific approach, how the organization’s financial assistance programs work, and the benefits that a POS collections effort can provide for patients.

“Be sure to include nursing leaders in these discussions, as their support is critical to the success of a POS initiative,” Berkebile says. Additionally, revenue cycle staff should always take care to ask nurses’ permission before approaching a patient within the hospital setting so that they may be sensitive to the nature of the patient’s illness and his or her ability to communicate with finance staff, she says.

Set target goals for collections and share progress with revenue cycle staff. “At OhioHealth, our POS collection goals are developed by facility and down to the department level based upon the percentage of opportunity,” Berkebile says. “We regularly provide feedback to individual registrars and financial counselors, comparing their individual collections with the target. A focus on target goals by facility and department has enabled OhioHealth to increase POS collections year over year.”

Monitor complaints and share them with revenue cycle staff. “Our organization has established a patient complaint log where calls received from unhappy customers are recorded, investigated, responded to, and tracked by category of complaint,” Berkebile says. “This is a great tool for identifying areas where process improvements are needed within the revenue cycle and within our organization. The number of complaints we receive is very minimal, but being able to quantify and communicate such complaints to executive leaders is critical to establishing transparency and trust.”

Learn more about OhioHealth’s efforts to create a positive culture for patient financial communications in this article from HFMA’s hfm magazine.

More Insights from MAP Award Winners
A variety of sessions from this year’s HFMA MAP Event, to be held Nov. 2-4 in Las Vegas, will feature strategies for improving patient financial communications from MAP Award winners with demonstrated success in this area.

By implementing new strategies for patient financial communications, UPMC has increased patient cash from an average of $16 million per month in the third quarter of 2012 to an average of $20 million per month since March 2013. During this conference kick-off workshop, April Langford, vice president, finance, UPMC, and CEO, Prodigo Revenue Cycle Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of UPMC, will discuss how UPMC has significantly reduced bad debt and enhanced patient relationships through greater financial advocacy.

Texas Health Resources will share strategies to better manage communication with patients through monitoring, scoring, and focused training with staff. This best practices session will highlight improvements in patient satisfaction, staff performance, and up-front patient collections that resulted from the initiative.

Achieving high performance in revenue cycle operations requires attention to detail in a number of segments of the revenue cycle. Using a process improvement committee, St. Luke’s Hospital has implemented a variety of revenue cycle improvements while creating an environment focused on patient and staff engagement. Learn more at this MAP Event session.

HFMA’s MAP Event is an annual revenue cycle conference that is geared toward employees of provider organizations, including healthcare executives; key staff from patient access and patient financial services; revenue cycle leaders, directors, and managers; CFOs and vice presidents of finance; physician integration project leaders; physician office revenue cycle professionals; health information professionals; clinical documentation professionals; billing, coding and finance professionals; claims adjudicators; and managed care contract liaisons.

June 20, 2014

Keynote Speaker, Brent James, MD

Join HFMA's CEO Joseph Fifer on Sunday, November 2 at 4:15 p.m. as he provides provide an update on the organization’s key initiatives in the areas of patient financial communications, price transparency, and medical account resolution.

Fifer will set the stage for Brent James, MD, chief quality officer and executive director of the Institute for Health Care Delivery Research at Utah’s Intermountain Healthcare, to discuss changes to organizational infrastructure that will be required to create real performance improvement. Essential to these changes is managing in the evolving world of ACOs, bundled payments, population health, value based purchasing, medical homes, pay for performance, and more. James will provide insights based on his experience in leading innovations that result in high quality, cost-effective health care—and will draw parallels between performance improvement in clinical settings and those in the financial setting.

June 18, 2014

MAP Event: What to Expect at HFMA's Revenue Cycle Conference

Join us at MAP Event 2014 where you will:

you need in coping with expanded coverage, new payment models, better informed consumers and more self payers

you need to manage physician practice integration, ICD-10 delays, Clinical Documentation Improvement (CDI), and more

how patient-centeredness drives both quality and savings with keynoter Brent James of Intermountain Healthcare

17 CPEs

on industry initiatives to improve Patent Financial Communications, Price transparency, and resolution of medical accounts

with award winners and colleagues to create tools, tasks, and "next practices" for your organization

at the event that brings together across the industry working to improve the revenue cycle in healthcare

June 17, 2014

Las Vegas: Selected for MAP Event 2014


MAP Event 2014 will take place at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas from November 2-4, 2014.

Join your peers at HFMA's revenue cycle conference.