Monday, April 23, 2018

Conference Preview: The Impact of Standardizing Best Practices in Patient Financial Communications

Session Title: The Impact of Standardizing Best Practices in Patient Financial Communications

Presenters: Patti Consolver, FHAM, CHAM; Yvonne Chase, MBA, CHAM, FHAM, MCA/MCF; Michelle Fox, DBA, MHA, CHAM    
Learning Lab: Series 5

Date/Time: May 4, 5:00 p.m.

About the Learning Lab

New research from Future Market Insights predicts an annual compound growth rate of 6.9 percent for the global healthcare revenue-cycle management software market over the next five years. A recent survey by Navigant and HFMA revealed similar findings, with nearly three-quarters of CFOs and revenue cycle executives planning to spend more on revenue cycle technology in 2018. 

So what are executives looking for in this investment? 

The answer, according to these sources, is to become interconnected. Particularly, to align revenue cycle efforts toward the dual aim of improving financial standing and increasing patient engagement in the changing reimbursement environment. With a continuing increase in consumer responsibility, providers need new ways to holistically educate patients about financial responsibility and prepare their organizations to support the effort.

Disparate revenue cycle systems, if not integrated, prevent hospitals from forming a complete and searchable view of information surrounding the patient. The resulting gaps compromise care quality and efficiency and put hospital outcomes and performance at risk. Technology and patient engagement intersect when disparate data can be shared so that all providers have access to the same information regarding the patient — clinical, financial and everything in between. 

Consolidating revenue cycle data into a unified, connected platform promotes operational efficiency, financial integrity and the patient experience. By capturing and integrating patient financial data from disparate sources, leaders can reduce unnecessary duplication and ensure the accuracy and consistency of information provided at each touch point. This helps form a comprehensive view of patient information exchanged across departments and entities, standardizing best practices and improving system outcomes.

The organizations represented on this panel have implemented strategies to standardize processes among their respective health systems. These include centralizing system-wide Patient Access functions, consolidating patient financial information into a single platform and ensuring that each entity addresses patients in the same way. 

Best practices for communication are emphasized in employee job descriptions, education and performance evaluation. At each facility, patient-staff interactions are recorded for quality assurance, training and reproduction of best practices. The end goal is to create a consistent and predictable standard for patient financial communication across the enterprise.

An enterprise approach to technology with links across departments and entities helps providers optimize workflow and reporting to create a consistent experience across the system. Join this panel of Patient Access experts to learn about the impact of standardizing best practices in patient financial communications and how this approach can work for your organization.

Conference Preview: The Omnichannel Approach to Unlocking Access

Session Title: The Omnichannel Approach to Unlocking Access

Presenters: Pamela Ravare

Learning Lab: Series 3

Date/Time: May 5, 10:15 a.m.

About the Learning Lab

I think we would all agree that we feel the pressure of consumerism as it relates to establishing better access to care. During this learning lab, I look forward to sharing how our organization has shifted its access-related efforts to a more systematic, omnichannel approach to unlocking access.

Our access vision is to establish our physician organization as the national leader for providing unparalleled access for our patients. Our working vision tenets for Patient Access start with meeting and exceeding our patients’ expectations with a differentiated yet predictable experience. In addition, we strive to maintain the integrity of our teaching and research mission while enhancing the patient experience and organize our operations to seamlessly deliver patients to our physicians, thereby liberating their time and expertise to provide care.

I would emphasize the importance of taking a hard look at access challenges from the patient’s perspective. Where are your access breakdowns? Like most hospital organizations, we faced challenges with pigeonholed leadership, fragmented decision-making and uncoordinated efforts with access initiatives in the organization.

Solving access challenges is a multidisciplinary effort. We had to gain a full understanding of our patient struggles with accessing care, identifying those areas and locations with bottlenecks around appointment scheduling, arrival and registration, wayfinding and provider delays. 

Our organization has undergone an access leadership evolution this past year. We have transitioned access accountability from a practice level to a medical group level by defining and differentiating access leadership in practice operations. We have leveraged technologies, centralized/standardized workflows and we have taken an omnichannel approach to appointment routes (online, chat, virtual visits, walk-ins and call center scheduling).

Unlocking access through open direct scheduling makes it easier for your patients to receive care and connect with your organization. Your overall approach will yield greater results in patient satisfaction and increased revenue.

Conference Preview: Improving the Quality of Front Staff to Solve the Supply Challenge

Session Title: Improving the Quality of Front Staff to Solve the Supply Challenge

Michael Maggard

Learning Lab: Series 5

Date/Time: May 5, 4:00 p.m.

About the Learning Lab

The criticality of Patient Access comes through determination of patient eligibility, entry of required billing data, collecting co-pays, coding and tracking claims and in many cases, representing the first face or interaction the patient has with the organization. Not handling any of these functions results in significant financial loss or patient satisfaction impact for the hospital. This presentation will show the importance of implementing an effective and efficient program to turn a hospital or community’s existing population into quality front staff in order to help solve the supply challenge. To enable this, Mission Health System will explain how they embarked on a program in partnership with nThrive to develop Patient Access staff organically by leveraging their local communities. Through a standardized onboarding and competency management program that uses eLearning, classroom instruction, and analytics, Mission Health System can now employ a “grow your own” approach to develop staff from the system’s community and internal organization. This project is aimed at improving quality, reducing cost, insuring a robust and strong revenue cycle, increasing patient satisfaction and providing a career path for Patient Access professionals.

After this session, the audience will understand how to deploy a “grow your own” approach by sourcing Patient Access staff from local community and non-traditional sources and develop and maintain a high-quality frontline workforce. Through Mission Health System’s story, they will gain a better understanding of the nature of the hospital’s struggle to attract and maintain a skilled frontline workforce and their unique approach to create an ongoing staff competency management program.

The Patient Access department is one of the most essential pieces to the financial and operational success of hospitals and facilities, namely because this team of professionals touches every patient that walks through the doors. It is imperative that hospitals recruit, retain and develop skilled revenue cycle staff for all essential revenue cycle functions. Thus, the very foundation of Patient Access is education. An educated frontline staff will lead to a strong hospital revenue cycle, especially where 40 percent of denials initiate in errors made in Patient Access. However, finding and retaining skilled frontline staff has been a challenge for many healthcare providers for many years, with Patient Access having some of the highest attrition of any role in the organization.

Conference Preview: The Role of Registration in Telehealth Services: It All Begins with Registration

Session Title: The Role of Registration in Telehealth Services:  It All Begins with Registration

Presenter: Brenda Sauer

Learning Lab: Series 1

Date/Time: May 4, 10:45 a.m.

About the Learning Lab

Telehealth services are increasing rapidly in many healthcare settings including Urgent Care and Emergency Departments. Patients continue to use the emergency department for care despite the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Emergency department volumes continue to grow year after year. Because a better solution was needed to manage patients in a busy emergency department, our healthcare system chose telehealth services. Why have telehealth services in a busy metropolitan teaching hospital? To improve patient throughput and patient satisfaction. These are the two main goals for any busy emergency room and the two main reasons we started this program at New York Presbyterian Hospital.

In this Learning Lab, you will learn about the two Telehealth programs at New York Presbyterian Hospital and the challenges we needed to overcome to have successful programs. These challenges included communication and working as a team with all team members in the emergency department, including physicians, nurses, information technology personnel and registration.

In this learning lab, you will learn how physicians and registrars learned to work together to overcome the communication, technical, and operational issues associated with starting a telehealth program. Losing or forgetting a patient in a virtual waiting room was only one of the challenges the group faced! Another challenge was teaching physicians how to manage or fix the camera so they can see their patient.

Teamwork, communication and respect between all of the parties were essential in making this program successful. As our Physician–in-Chief, Dr. Rahul Sharma, states, “One of the most critical members of the healthcare team is the registrar. Treatment cannot begin until the patient is registered.” That success was shown in our patient satisfaction scores. We will explore our results and what our patients are saying about this new service.

I hope you join me at my presentation as we not only talk about telehealth services, but also about building relationships between registration and the clinical staff.