"On the provider side, it requires us to be very diligent and methodical with the planning process," she adds. "The modeling becomes very challenging, and it requires us to be far more nimble and agile."
In addition to the extensive modeling, Kaleida is also rethinking the way it uses its staffing resources in order to strengthen its revenue cycle and to be more responsive to payer changes that impact collections.
"We are looking at how we allocate staff because … we can have all the best planning in the world, but if we don't have the resources for it, we are not going to be able to execute," Nichols says.
To date, 11 positions have been added across the revenue cycle, and FTEs have also been reallocated from other areas in a restructuring process that has been under way since June, she says. "We are increasing staffing in terms of payer analytics, compliance, payment trends, payer relations … to have people right on the forefront watching for trends."
Clinical integration is critical
Another critical piece to improving the revenue cycle, Nichols says, is integrating the finance and clinical teams—two groups that traditionally have not collaborated well within most provider organizations.