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Centralizing the Revenue Cycle Protects the Bottom Line

Rene Letourneau, for HealthLeaders Media, July 28, 2014

A multi-hospital system in Illinois aims to reduce claims denials through a standardized, detailed pre-authorization process and the use of data analytics tools in its new revenue center.

As margins tighten in the face of growing CMS payment penalties and shifting reimbursement models, hospitals and health systems are analyzing their internal financial processes and looking for new strategies to prevent revenue leakage.

Advocate Health Care, a 12-hospital health system based in Downers Grove, IL, opened its shared revenue center in November 2013 with the goal of doing just that. The organization expects to protect its bottom line by centralizing and standardizing its system-wide revenue cycle.

"In the past, the hospitals were independent in managing their revenue cycle, but the business has changed so our environment has to change with it," says Richard Lyman, Advocate's vice president, revenue cycle.

Making a Smooth Transition
In total, 368 employees were moved from their decentralized locations to the new center.

Lyman acknowledges that it "was emotional for people to leave their hospital and come to the center" and says he, his team, and the human resources department spent a significant amount of time holding meetings in advance of the move to explain the reasons for the transition and to answer questions.

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