• Intermountain Invites Clinicians to Improve Revenue Integrity

    Oct 18, 2011

    By Kelley Blair

    Finance leaders at Intermountain Healthcare gained buy-in from clinicians to join a multidisciplinary revenue integrity team by touting their importance in the organization's ability to charge for care and services.

    Intermountain Healthcare, based in Salt Lake City, was facing a big challenge: How can clinical and financial staff collaborate to improve revenue cycle performance? One solution was forming a multidisciplinary revenue integrity team.

    To solicit clinician interest in a collaboration to promote revenue integrity, Eric Liston, corporate revenue integrity director, and Todd Craghead, vice president, revenue cycle, attended clinical meetings where they discussed billing and charging in relation to clinical practices. They then identified subject matter experts in key areas-compliance, chargemaster, patient accounts, and coding-and invited clinicians to participate on the team that would develop the revenue integrity strategy.

    The team focused on why the role of clinicians is so vital to revenue integrity, and how documentation influences the organization's ability to charge for care and services.

    At Intermountain, workflow technology supports communication and education about regulatory changes, providing both clinicians and finance with access to current compliance information needed for accurate charge decision making.

    With a better understanding of why their role matters in terms of both revenue integrity and patient care, clinical leaders at Intermountain began to recognize risks and understand how their roles influence both patient care and the financial health of the organization.

    "Our main priority is to continue providing high-quality care to the patients we serve in our community," says Craghead. "With a sustainable revenue integrity program, we've achieved our goal of sustained positive financial performance."

    Kelley Blair is senior vice president of professional services, Craneware, Atlanta, and a member of HFMA's Minnesota Chapter (k.blair@craneware.com).

    This article is excerpted from a longer, more detailed article by the author, "Building a Structure to Support Optimal Revenue Integrity," which appears in the September 2011 issue of hfm. (After Oct. 31, 2011, this issue of hfm will only be available to HFMA members.)