CFO details the positive impact of leveraging revenue cycle technology

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CFO details the positive impact of leveraging revenue cycle technology

Advocare CFO Todd Mallon said Advocare’s net payback rate is near perfect.

Improving net recoveries and overall revenue cycle management processes is a top priority for revenue cycle leaders, and adding new solutions and automation to streamline these operations is a priority for many organizations. Required.

Todd Mallon, CFO AdvocareOne of the largest independent physician-owned and physician-controlled multi-specialty healthcare organizations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, recently announced the implementation of new technology to streamline the revenue cycle management operations of the healthcare system. , spoke with HealthLeaders.

With more than 650 providers and 3,000 staff in more than 150 independent care centers that facilitate about 2 million patient visits annually, Simplifying the revenue cycle is essential, Maron said. rice field.

Since implementing eClinicalWorks’ new technology to help with revenue cycle management operations, Advocare is now achieving a 99% net recovery rate. With an industry standard ratio of 95% for net collections, Advocare is now operating well above average and all of its care centers are experiencing the positive effects of that change.

“We have spent a lot less time discussing processes and denials with our accounts receivable team. We now have the space and flexibility to focus on expanding our operations and meeting the needs of more patients in our community.” says Maron.

HealthLeaders: What issues have you encountered in your revenue cycle that you’ve noticed need to implement changes? What were your main drivers?

Todd Marron: Net recovery rate was the strongest indicator that the revenue cycle management solution needed to change. Net recovery rate measures how effectively our practice collects reimbursement for services from patients and payers. This metric has always been the greatest identifier of financial success in healthcare organizations.

However, the previous work management system continued to reduce net recoveries. It felt like we spent most of our time discussing receivables, rejections, and current processes at every financial review meeting to get to the heart of the matter. It meant we were spending most of our time modifying operations, which limited our ability to grow and provide quality care to more patients. A key driver was providing the finance and accounts receivable teams with the support and resources they needed to improve their net collection rate.

HealthLeaders: What was the process of implementing the new technology and who was involved in the decision making in your organization?

Marron: Everyone on the leadership team supported the decision-making process. Decision-making for all stakeholders between the CEO, who provides the medical perspective, the management team and myself, who provide the financial and operational perspectives, and a multi-physician leader across all specialties. wanted to participate in process.

Prior to implementation, we held several meetings with vendors to define specific goals, metrics, and deliverables to improve net returns. After tweaking the basic workflow and backend operations, the next step was training. The system was new to everyone, from CEOs to providers to management staff. So we needed a lot of support to train our employees. Without proper training, there was little improvement in net recovery.

Prior to launch, a select group of our staff traveled to Boston for a complete overview and training of the new system. Three months before his implementation, the vendor’s team trained the provider to build confidence in the system. We also provided pre-launch training courses for the remaining staff. However, even after training, the team was able to answer questions and troubleshoot potential system and workflow issues with a quick phone call or chat.

HealthLeaders: How long did it take your organization to fully implement the technology? And your practice spans so many clinics, how has the implementation performed?

Maron: The system launch was extremely difficult, and the technology could not be implemented smoothly without vendor support. Deployed the new solution to all 150 health centers in one day. I was all-in from the beginning, so I needed to start strong.

For about a week or two after launch, we had eClinicalWorks trainers in all care centers to help with the transition process and to train additional Advocare staff. During implementation, we trained our internal staff to be his person on the point of the solution so that further implementation and staff training could continue.

HealthLeaders: What positive results have you noticed since implementation?

Marron: The most noticeable result is increased net recovery. This increase was due to several factors.

First, we now have a dedicated eClinicalWorks team that handles day-to-day collections and follow-ups to ensure we receive claims on time. To create an efficient workflow, the team helped set up billable rules for care centers to accurately complete their reports. Create alerts for missing information and incomplete billing. In addition to these in-workflow rules, the team will notify us of any issues. This will give you plenty of time to gather additional information from your provider and communicate your next steps to the payer.

Second, our vendor team also handles denial complaints to our Care Center. So, if a denial comes back on a claim from a particular center that needs to be addressed or changed, that center will file an appeal and help track the progress of the claim within the system. Once payment is received, they process the cash collection and post it internally so you can track your earnings in real time.

HealthLeaders: What are the keys to success you can share with other organizations looking to do the same for your facility?

Marron: The number one key to success I want to share with other organizations looking to improve their revenue cycle is knowing where you stand. Know your net recovery rate and days outstanding on your accounts receivable. Once you have a baseline, you can set goals and implement strategies to improve your workflow and grow your collection. And once you have these measurements, track them and update them regularly. Meet regularly with your team to discuss your current metrics, compare them to your revenue and collection goals, and track your needs. Adjust workflows and operations accordingly. Everything needs to be measurable to be successful, especially in the revenue cycle.

Then train your team on the new technology. Especially in multi-site healthcare operations, it is imperative to have personnel in each care center who can monitor the success of the solution and train new staff as needed. Currently, each care center is operating at its best. In addition, since the system is unified, it is easy to open a new facility.

Finally, choose a healthcare IT vendor that listens and learns from your organization. Open communication between healthcare IT vendors and healthcare customers is a win-win. For example, based on their experience with technology and conversations with our staff and his eClinicalWorks team, we came up with a bulk lock button to lock multiple charts at once to minimize clicks and improve billing efficiency. . The most valuable part of our partnership is open communication. We are happy to learn from them and they are happy to learn from us. This open communication has enabled providers and staff to take advantage of more efficient workflows and increased net collections. Through them, we also touch on new opportunities to improve health IT solutions.

Ultimately, patients get a better experience, and everyone wins.

Amanda Norris is the Revenue Cycle Editor at HealthLeaders.