Becoming an HFMA MAP Award Winner

Strategy Lessons from Multi-Year Virginia-Washington DC Winners

Have you considered throwing your organization’s Revenue Cycle excellence into the ring for recognition? We “Dare You 2 Move” #DY2M! 

In June, this year’s Map Award winners will be presented to members during HFMA’s Annual Conference (San Antonio, 28 JUN – 01 JUL). The 2021 application cycle is expected to open this fall.  If you have this on the horizon for your organization, we’re sharing guidance from our very own Virginia-Washington DC Chapter MAP award recipients.

Maureen Clancy (Privia Health) and Lovell Davis (Virginia Eye Institute), both multi-year award winners, offer guidance and encouragement for their fellow Virginia-Washington DC Chapter members. We welcome your MAP questions and discussion points within our members-only Virginia-DC Chapter LinkedIn group.

From Maureen and Lovell:

The 2020 HFMA MAP award application (phase 1) deadline was February 18, 2020. You may want to prepare now for next year’s submission. Here are some things to consider. The MAP application is set in 3 phases

  • Phase 1 – Demographics and Key Metrics
  • Phase 2 – Essay questions
  • Phase 3 – The Interview

Upon submission of Phase 1, depending on the outcome, you will be invited to apply for phases 2 and 3. This is to avoid essay preparation when key metrics are not indicative of contention for the award.

Strategies to get you started:

Define a broad organizational team

Gather the revenue cycle leadership team along with other leaders in your organization whose areas may have an impact on this application.  Explain the application process along with the type of input that may be needed from various departments.  You want them to get engaged in this process so when you do ask them for information, they will understand the reasons for your asking and will be more apt to provide the information in a timely manner.  You really want the whole organization to support this process and take it seriously. We share more specific ideas for this team in considerations for phase 3 below.

Take a look at the application to get familiar with what is being asked

You can access the application on the HFMA MAP Award website. The online application contains the exact definition of the key metrics that are measured in phase 1. Review the specific MAP Key calculations needed for each metric, noting one set for Hospitals and Health Systems and another for Physician Practice Management.

Download definitions in .pdf format:

When you apply within the Hospital and Health Systems category, you will define whether you are submitting data as an Individual Hospital, a Critical Access Hospital, a Hospital System, or an Integrated Delivery System.

The MAP Key calculation references linked above help define the data sources (balance sheet, income statement, etc.) along with clarifications of include and exclude criteria for each. Phase 2 is not listed online as it is by invitation only, so focusing on phase 1 at this point is the primary goal.

Click here to review an example from Physician Practice Management criteria set.

Take a look at your organization’s metrics

Be sure to recalculate according to the way in which the metrics are defined for the MAP Award. For example, you may be used to reporting gross days in AR (DAR), but for the MAP application, Net DAR is required. You will need to be able to net down your AR, by payer to the net amount expected. 

Review winning organization metrics by percentiles so you can see for yourself if your organization is competitive. You do not need to be at the top percentile in each metric but rather, use this as a guide for inspiration. 

Identify those metrics most in need of work. For example if your denial percentage is out of range when compared to the winner’s statistics, convene a work group to analyze, strategize and implement denial management improvements. Consider your payer meetings, revenue cycle training or other initiatives you can start today to be more competitive next year. Consider attending the  HFMA Revenue Cycle Conference, March 30 – April 1, in New Orleans to learn from the experts some tips to refine your processes.

Complete a mock application

You have to start somewhere, so dive right in and put your metrics on paper. You can use the following Metric Submission Checklists and the data definitions linked above according to your award submission category to put your data into the format needed for evaluation.

Download Metric Submission Checklists in .xlsx format:

Using the Metric Submission Checklist and the formulas for the Key Performance Indicators, you can get a pulse check on where your organization stands now. Create a roadmap for improvement using those metrics most in need of attention. Set quarterly goals and make them public within your organization so everyone can work toward the same goal.

Consider your systems and access to data

Typically you would write SQL queries to get the data for the various metrics. If your practice management system is robust enough to get to the level of specificity required, then you can use that. Either way, you may want to engage people in finance or reporting to assist with the data pull.

Considerations for Phase 2 and 3

Phase 2 contains essay questions that range in topic from “how to attract and retain talent” to “describe your involvement in strategic planning and how that impacts revenue cycle”. They may ask questions about your IT system and how you may have made process optimizations that resulted in improved results. And of course, there will be questions related to the patient experience and patient-friendly billing practices.

Review the purpose and philosophy of the HFMA Patient Friendly Billing Project and related resources. You will also want to ensure your organization’s status as a Patient Financial Communications Adopter. Review the Adopter Recognition Progam and apply with no deadline and no fee. This is something you can do right away, separate from the MAP award application as it will also help prepare you and give you tips on things to address now to become a more patient-friendly billing organization.

Phase 3 engages your organization, including executive leadership, in conversation regarding your improvement journey. Consider establishing an expanded team with early and regular review of metric improvements that ensures broad team familiarity, gathers insight, aligns perspective, and improves team readiness to speak with interviewers. In addition to Revenue Cycle department leadership, consider interview team members to include Marketing, Performance Improvement, IT, HR, and your Chief Executives.

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