Revenue Cycle Integration is Well Worth the Investment

The vice president of Revenue Cycle Organization at Intermountain Healthcare, Todd Craghead, began consolidating revenue cycle functions across 22 hospitals and over 100 physician clinics in a 10 year process. According to Craghead, "One of the things that was apparent was the pressure on administrative costs to the health system. One of the things I was asked to do was to develop a more consolidated approach.” Revenue Cycle directors were accustomed to dealing with an individual hospital's accounts receivables balance and could use various resources to solve problems. During Revenue Cycle integration, those efforts were redirected while staffing levels were reduced, which meant that they were able to, “better able to leverage standardized workflow tools to manage productivity." 

The pre-registration, registration and insurance verification areas were organized into a hierarchy in a way that made sense to be managed together. Craghead said that, "Executives who had accountability across functions all report directly through one revenue cycle executive on my team, and he has a director who focuses on pre-registration and scheduling functions." A decade later and there is still room for improvement since the next challenge is price transparency and patient engagement. Both topics have been very challenging to tackle as a whole, "I think it's going to continue to be a challenge for health systems to estimate what the patient might be expected to pay for a service," Craghead said. "I believe the payers need to take a more active role than they have in the past, to provide an estimate to members." Craghead will discuss the process of how he centralized revenue cycle during the Revenue Cycle Solutions Summit on December 8 in Atlanta.

To read more from our staff click here

To read more from Healthcare Finance News click here