Posted on August 17, 2018
“Would you consider bringing your car in for an extensive repair job that takes highly skilled mechanics several hours, and then drive your car away without paying?”
Of course not. None of us would. We have heard this and similar analogies from our clients and colleagues when lamenting all the revenue hits the practices are taking due to patient payment-related bad debt. The healthcare industry spends more than $400 billion annually on payments, billing, claims processing, revenue cycle management, bad debt, and collections. As patients’ out-of-pocket expenses continue to balloon, and high-deductible health plans (HDHP) become increasingly common, healthcare organizations must find a method of collecting more from patients.1
Posted on July 13, 2018
For our clients who are staring down huge amounts of bad debt related to services their patients haven’t paid for, the trend toward much higher patient payment responsibility can mean a hot-and-cold relationship with patients.
It’s possible this stems from a disconnect on both sides of the equation: Many patients don’t understand that they are now responsible for paying for more of their healthcare services, and some practices have not yet optimized their processes to make patient payment easy and efficient.
The world has shifted for many of our clients and healthcare organizations of all type and sizes. According to the Medical Group Management Association’s (MGMA) research in 2010, $1 in every $4 of payments comes from patients, and that trend has only continued and intensified since then.1
The patient wields unprecedented power and responsibility in the new healthcare terrain, and many healthcare organizations aren’t doing enough to facilitate better patient relationships and smoother patient payments, which is directly impacting revenue.
Posted on May 16, 2018
Two common questions we field from clients are: “So how do we know when we’re done optimizing? When do we know our revenue cycle is good to go?”
These are the billion-dollar questions. Similar to a patient with an ongoing condition asking, “When will I be cured?” the answer is always going to be, “Well, that depends on a lot of factors.” That is where we come in.
Revenue cycle optimization is not a one-size-fits-all prospect. Nor is it a process with a discrete start and end date. Think of it as a living organism, affected by any number of variables that can shift from year-to-year, week-to-week, even hour-to-hour. Revenue cycle management isn’t a “build-it-and-leave-it” task. You must shepherd this complex organism through the life of your organization and keep it as healthy as possible.
Posted on March 15, 2018
Finding new ways to optimize your revenue stream doesn’t have to be an exercise in frustration. Looking at small tweaks to tighten up gaps can be an easy way to give your revenue numbers a boost, and it can be done whether you’re just at the beginning stages of evaluating your revenue lifecycle management or if you have a robust system in place.
Our clients are often astounded at how much loss they could prevent by a few simple checks of their physician fee schedule. We recently worked with a family medicine practice in which a few small tweaks netted several thousand dollars monthly in additional revenue that it had been losing simply by not paying close enough attention to its insurance payers’ explanation of benefits (EOB) documents. Taking a moment on a regular basis to optimize your physician fee schedule can yield previously “hidden” revenue more often than many physician practices realize.
Posted on January 19, 2018
When we first start working with many of our clients, they assume we can only help them with their medical billing and revenue cycle management. Many don’t have any idea that we also offer healthcare executive search assistance, and that we could help them find an executive who can offer new leadership to take the practice to the next level.
We know that successful revenue cycle management starts with having the right executives with the right attitudes working on the right initiatives. When the fit is right, an executive can infuse the entire organization with the sort of leadership that breeds a culture of revenue cycle management responsibility.
Posted on November 17, 2017
We’ve been in the business of assisting clients in managing their practices for a long time, and we can’t remember a time when everything seemed so geared toward mergers and acquisitions. We hear on a weekly basis from one of our clients who is either thinking about merging, being acquired or acquiring a physician practice.
Almost $3.2 billion was spent to acquire physician groups in 2014, and the healthcare trend shows no sign of slowing down. Acquisitions help health systems diversify and stay competitive in certain service areas without needing to build a venture from scratch. Why reinvent the wheel when you can acquire a wheel and keep rolling along, right?1
Posted on September 15, 2017
We were recently leaving a meeting with a client’s billing manager when she said something that made us pause. “I wish the whole team here were as gung ho about revenue cycle management as you guys are,” she said.
The Americanization of the term has come to mean “enthusiastic” or “zealous.” In the original Chinese, gung ho means “work together.” If you think about it, all organizations will benefit from that attitude at all levels, especially healthcare teams in the midst of some major transformations in our industry. Following sweeping regulatory and legislative changes like the Affordable Care Act, we’re seeing huge increases in patient payer responsibility, an emphasis on data, and a seismic shift in the insurance and claims sector.1
Revenue cycle management remains one of the most important areas of focus for healthcare organizations. Creating and nurturing an organization-wide culture of revenue cycle management can foster that gung ho attitude where everyone pulls together toward the common goal of excellent patient care and healthy revenue.
Filling Out Your Dance Card: Determining Which Revenue Cycle Management Partner Is Right For Your Practice
Posted on July 21, 2017
Just recently, a longtime partner of ours, a diagnostic services center based in the West, reported to us some truly amazing revenue numbers from last year’s third quarter. PRN is so proud to have been a part of their story from the time they were just one small location barely beginning to tweak their revenue cycle factors.
Working with a revenue cycle management partner should be more than just a decision about “outsourcing” or staying “in-house.” With PRN, those kinds of distinctions feel arbitrary — we want you to consider us as dedicated to you as any in-house department responsible for optimizing your revenue. Typically, we start working with our clients when they reach a size where in-house billing, collections, follow-ups, coding, proofing claims, accuracy audits, tracking HIPAA and other laws, and all the big and small things that make up a healthy revenue cycle, has simply become too much.
Posted on May 19, 2017
Jamie Hernandez, a 41-year-old former Division III soccer player, walks into a physician-owned outpatient surgical center for a knee arthroscopy. Due to an innocent keystroke error, a staff member sends the invoice for Jamie’s procedure to Jaime Hernandez, a 72-year-old retiree who had a total knee replacement at the center a couple of years ago. The error is eventually discovered, of course, when Jaime calls confused about the invoice, and a replacement invoice is quickly sent out to Jamie. By then, however, several weeks have passed, and payment is delayed.
We see scenarios like this play out at our clients’ facilities every day. Nicholas Payne comes in for an MRI in January and ankle surgery in March and ends up with two patient records, under Nicholas Payne and Nick Payne. Claire Boswell has two records, one with her birth year as 1987 and the other listing her as born in 1978. Bill Johnson is one of nine Bill Johnsons in the database, but three of the patient records belong to him, with three different addresses listed.
These things happen—any organization dealing with a lot of data and customer information is bound to end up with a duplicate record problem. Many of our clients are surprised to learn that what seems like a simple administrative issue can cripple your revenue cycle if you let it get out of control. Duplicate patient records and an inaccurate master patient index (MPI) affect your bottom line in multiple ways that can all be detrimental to your organization.1
No More Nightmares: Eliminate Duplicate Records in Your Master Patient Index for a Better Revenue Cycle
Posted on February 15, 2017
Imagine this nightmare scenario: You’ve decided to take a good look at how duplicate patient records might be wreaking havoc in your master patient index (MPI) and handicapping your revenue cycle. You’re relatively certain that a few clerical errors—like transposed dates or letters—led to a small number of duplicate records. That sort of thing happens, after all.
Instead, what you find is a veritable epidemic of patient records that may or may not be duplicates, as well as a long trail of claims denials, appeals, delayed payments, fractured demographic documentation, and already-performed services for which you cannot collect reimbursements because it’s too late to get authorization, and the error was found past the claim-filing deadline. Everywhere, of course, are signs that your staff has spent untold hours trying to fix these problems. There also is evidence of payments that never made it into your revenue cycle, or that did so only after so much rework that your organization likely paid for the privilege of receiving that payment for services rendered.
Of course, it isn’t always such a dire situation when we advise our clients to look into duplicate records issues and clean up their MPI. However, because duplicate records so directly affect revenue cycle, the process is almost always a worthwhile one and can yield hidden revenue and close the gaps on administrative issues.