Hayes' Healthcare Blog

The Importance of Knowledge Transfer: 5 Tips to Consider Now

Posted by Nina Lightfoot on October 25, 2017 at 9:00 AM

In today’s dynamic healthcare environment, it is more common than not to rely on an outside resource during times of change. Whether it’s organizational restructuring, system implementations or staffing deficits due to illness or family emergencies, you have likely needed to outsource.  Speaking as a healthcare consultant, when I start a project there is an expectation to immediately pick up where someone left off. Not only are you looking for a seamless transition, consultants want to make it as easy as possible jump in and help during a transition. So what is the best way to get your resources up to speed? In a word – documentation.   

It’s easy to think of this hand off as running a relay race and the time comes to pass the baton to the next person. The runner wants to be able to hand it off properly and the person receiving the baton has to be ready.  If the hand off is not done correctly, they could lose the race, or in this case, slow down workflows, risk insufficient revenue collection, or experience an unsuccessful implementation. If your staff is the first runner and your independent expert your second, then documentation is your baton. Documentation can take all sorts of forms; anything from meeting minutes to communicative emails to gathering workflow information from other departments.

Inaccurate or incomplete documentation wastes organizational time and money. For example, think of the time it takes a coder to contact a physician to clarify documentation. If this staff member leaves and is part of your revenue cycle, it is costlier yet to send an inaccurate bill out the door to be denied or only partially paid. By ensuring your knowledge transfer is complete and accurate, your staff will be able to spend more time on other necessary tasks and your organization won’t feel the consequences from a less-than-ideal documentation process. On the front side of things, correct documentation and knowledge transfer will not only allow patients to receive better and more thorough care, but you improve the likelihood that your invoices are reimbursed, your workflows are fluid, and your resources are optimized.

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Topics: training

Why You Should Consider Outsourcing Your Legacy Support During a System Implementation

Posted by Tracy Welsh on October 18, 2017 at 9:00 AM

Implementing a new system comes with its own set of resource challenges. Oftentimes organizations utilize their internal staff to support the legacy system while learning and implementing the new system. It seems logical and cost effective at first. But it puts a lot of stress on help desk employees who are trying to focus on learning and building the new system while they worry about a backlog of help desk tickets waiting for them to resolve.

There becomes a breaking point where staff feel overwhelmed and may resign during an implementation. Or there are resources who are not being trained on the new system and see the writing on the wall and proactively resign leaving the old system with little or no support. Hiring a vendor to manage the help desk can be a cost-effective solution including accounting for unforeseen costs like:

  • Losing staff who possess significant institutional knowledge
  • Hiring and training new employees to support the legacy system
  • Ramp up time it will take new resources to come onboard midway through a new implementation
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Topics: clinical optimization, system change management

How to Minimize Chaos in your Central Business Office during a System Transition: 4 Steps for Success

Posted by Steven Botana-Gumbs on October 11, 2017 at 9:00 AM

In today’s ever-changing healthcare environment, system transitions are commonplace – this includes both IT system transitions and claims management systems.  For some organizations, minimizing hurdles and optimizing success is challenging to say the least. But it doesn’t have to be a chaotic process. By having a thorough planning process, utilizing third party experts who have the ability to seamlessly join your organization, and ensuring your staff is engaged, organizations have the best chances at a successful system transition.

As with any major initiative, people make it happen. Such is the case when planning for a claims management replacement project. Engaging the appropriate staffing and resources for the transition is a key point in the planning phase. In a recent client project, I was tasked with evaluating a third party claims management product but had discovered that the central business office staff had unfortunately been left out of the planning and implementation process, thus resulting in the new system not producing the same results as the legacy system.

Using this as an example of how to avoid mistakes for your organization’s future transition, here are some steps to ensure staff engagement and optimize the transition process:

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Topics: system conversion, revenue cycle management

What is Revenue Integrity and Why It’s So Important

Posted by Sondra Akrin and Robert Freedman on October 4, 2017 at 9:00 AM

Google the term “revenue integrity” and you get 790,000 results. Refining it to “revenue integrity in healthcare” narrows it down to 380,000 results. That still doesn’t help much. The fact is there isn’t one, universally accepted definition of the term.

One thing that isn’t in question is the importance of revenue integrity to healthcare organizations in the current difficult environment. Financial challenges headed the list of hospital leaders’ top concerns in 2016, according to the American College of Healthcare Executives annual survey. It was the twelfth consecutive year CEO’s identified finance issues as their most pressing worry.[1]

That should come as no surprise in a time when hospitals and physician practices are facing shrinking top and bottom lines. The crushing weight of financial worries continues to increase because of the many challenges organizations face in the uncertain healthcare landscape.

New value-based care financial models, increased payment responsibility for patients, more intense regulations and the auditing that goes with it and continued merger and acquisition activity are squeezing the resources of healthcare organizations and jeopardizing their overall financial health.

Which brings us back to revenue integrity. According to an HFMA Survey of 125 hospital and health system CFOs and revenue executives, only 44 percent of respondents say their organizations have established revenue integrity programs. This forward-thinking group has benefited significantly. The result of these revenue integrity programs has been a 68 percent increase in net collection, 61 percent overall gross revenue capture and 61 percent reduction in compliance risk. [2]

We know revenue integrity programs are effective, but there are still multiple definitions of what it is. Here are how some healthcare leaders view revenue integrity.

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Topics: healthcare compliance, revenue integrity

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