Why you need a revenue check-up before the new year

Working in healthcare, we know that regular check-ups can save lives. These preventative exams often lead to early detection of a potentially chronic disease or condition, giving doctors a chance to intervene with a treatment plan. In addition to saving lives, a check-up helps patients feel more educated and empowered about their health.

We can all agree that regular, preventative check-ups are a must-have in healthcare. So when’s the last time your revenue cycle had a thorough check-up as well?

If it’s been a while or you can’t even remember your last revenue check-up, you’re missing a huge opportunity to reduce avoidable losses and increase net revenue. Much like a health check-up, a revenue check-up can help you spot and treat any chronic issues that may or may not be visible on the surface. It can also empower you to make improvements that yield higher net revenue, increased efficiencies, better end-user adoption, and improved patient experiences.

With the new year right around the corner, now’s the perfect time to schedule a revenue check-up. You can take what you learn from this assessment to inform your performance improvements for 2020. And if you’ve never had a revenue check-up or you’re unaware of the insights that you’ll learn from it, keep reading. Below I share what to expect from a revenue check-up, how long it takes, and why you should schedule one before the new year.

What’s a revenue check-up?

Cathy-SmithA revenue check-up is an assessment to identify areas for performance improvement that will impact your revenue stream. At Nordic, we apply four steps to our holistic revenue check-up, gathering feedback and data to identify your opportunities and to diagnose your root-cause issues:

  1. Deep data analysis
  2. Onsite, in-person intake sessions with key stakeholders and observation of main process flows
  3. Sample review of accounts and charts
  4. Final synthesis of the work performed: Compile all information collected to recommend areas of opportunity — achievable revenue improvements and the significance to your organization

It typically takes around four weeks to complete a check-up after the data is received (so there’s still time to complete one before 2020). During this period, we’ll need very limited time from you and your staff — mostly during step two, when we conduct onsite intake sessions and observe key processes. Steps one and three — deep data analysis and review of accounts and charts — can be performed offsite.

What will you learn from a revenue check-up?

As I mentioned above, just as a preventative check-up identifies health issues before they become a problem, a revenue check-up pinpoints and identifies underlying issues within your revenue stream so that they can be effectively addressed and resolved.

Here are the top four insights we can help you identify during your revenue check-up:

1. Leakage areas and opportunities for reducing lost annual net revenue

When locating the root cause(s) for lost net revenue, you may think you know where you need to focus — but are they areas where you’ll get the most value? A revenue check-up will identify the revenue improvement opportunities that are most realistic, achievable, and significant for your organization. It will provide you with the estimated dollar amount that can be realized, which can help you strategically plan for ways to use those dollars to positively impact your organization.

2. Opportunities to enhance end-user adoption

End-user adoption is vital to driving operational and clinical efficiencies that improve revenue. If you can focus on ways to enhance adoption, you’ll see dramatic results. A revenue check-up shines a spotlight on the areas that need to be addressed in order to increase adoption and reduce variation among your end users.

During this process, we listen to your key stakeholders to learn how they’re using the system. We use the data to determine where we focus. We’ll meet with stakeholders in a variety of operational and clinical areas to learn more about their daily roles, use of the technology, and potential challenges they’re experiencing. We also observe them using the  system for key workflows to get a better idea of the improvements or other enhancements that could add value to your organization and your bottom line. We then gather and synthesize this information to inform final recommendations.

3. Foundational efficiencies for future technology needs

Advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning have the potential to completely revolutionize the way you manage your revenue cycle. AI can automate areas of your operational and clinical workflows to reduce errors and rework. It can even help you generate bills faster. Over the next few years, we’ll see continued innovation that enables the use of AI in everyday healthcare settings, including the revenue cycle.

To set up your organization for effective AI adoption in the years to come, you need to establish some foundational efficiencies today. Your revenue check-up results will give you an idea of the areas you’ll need to address now to help support AI and other technology in the future. We’ll consider ways your organization could benefit from automation, particularly focusing on variation and exception-processing as well as other areas where the right data would allow your team to make more timely and sometimes more appropriate decisions.

4. Areas that improve the patient experience

Patients tend to see and feel more about an organization than we may think. Next to providing high quality care to your patients, you also want to ensure they have a positive experience at every touch point throughout your organization. A revenue check-up will help you identify front-end and back-end issues that may be causing a poor patient experience. Patients remember how they accessed the care and how they felt during and after receiving care. You’ll know the opportunities for adjustments you’ll need to make to improve key touch points across the care continuum — from scheduling appointments to collecting final payments.

When can we talk?

If it’s been a while since your last revenue check-up, give us a call. Odds are, there are areas that need some attention. You’ll want to identify those areas now so you’re ready to implement performance improvements that lead to increased revenue in the new year. And if you need help with the implementation process, we can do that too. Either way, we look forward to providing you with a treatment plan that gives you line of sight into what is possible and helps you feel empowered about your revenue improvement potential for 2020.

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Topics: featured, revenue cycle optimization, revenue flow

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