- Nebraska Medicine improved the performance of its revenue cycle operation by emphasizing employee engagement, according to a presentation at HFMA’s 2020 Digital Annual Conference.
- Noteworthy progress has been made in discharged not final billed days.
- Quality-related audits and associated training have been key engagement tools.
For hospitals and health systems, achieving operational improvement depends on more than establishing sound policies and processes and installing state-of-the-art equipment.
The ability to engage employees in improvement initiatives is probably the most vital component, two leaders with Nebraska Medicine said during a presentation in August at HFMA’s 2020 Digital Annual Conference.
“We've really focused on employee engagement a lot harder in the last few years than we ever did historically,” said Sheila Augustine, director of patient financial services.
Although the organization’s leaders have always tried to be open to change, that approach may not suffice because “sometimes staff doesn’t know what they don’t know,” so they don’t think to bring up new ideas or questions, Augustine said.
Recent efforts at engagement aim to surmount such barriers. Among the positive outcomes, said Augustine and Stacie Adcock, revenue cycle manager of QA, education and systems, are noteworthy improvements in KPIs such as discharged not final billed days.
In that metric, Nebraska Medicine, a two-hospital, $209 billion system with 809 licensed beds, ranks in the top quartile among comparable organizations in Epic. Over the last year, the organization has reduced DNFB days from more than 9 — slightly above the median among comparable organizations — to 6.8.
“We all play a role in DNFB,” Augustine said. “It's not access [staff], it's not HIM, it's not PFS or rev cycle admin. It's all of us.”