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Five Actions to Bolster Payment

News  |  By Julie Auton  
   February 01, 2018

Forget shortcuts. Focus on relationships and education.

This article first appeared in the January/February 2018 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.

Revenue cycle leadership often boils down to hitting the right number.

And each decimal point on that number means a new tool or strategy to drive more efficient and involved operations.

Heightened tactics include establishing greater rapport with payers, intensifying ways to reduce denials, shaping a dynamic team, and making it easy for patients to pay their bill.

Two roundtable events in 2017—the 45-executive HealthLeaders Media Revenue Cycle Exchange in Tucson, Arizona, last March, and the smaller-group HealthLeaders Media Revenue Cycle Leadership Exchange in October in Nashville—invited qualified revenue cycle leaders to share tested approaches and gain applicable ideas from their peers.

Successful strategies that materialized from the discussions include the following:

1. Build relationships with payers.

It's painstaking. It takes time. But there is no getting around the need for establishing closer and more regular contact with payers.

The MetroHealth System in Cleveland, Ohio, a 926-bed hospital with 600 physicians, a Level I adult trauma center, a life flight trauma burn unit, and two freestanding emergency departments, focuses on persistent communication and having the right people on the line for meaningful conversation.

"We meet with each of our payers monthly, and include a physician chair or anyone else involved with the appeals process," says Donna Graham, senior director of revenue cycle. "Having clinical-to-clinical has expedited resolving issues that revenue people and managed care people go back and forth about.

Julie Auton is the leadership programs editor for HealthLeaders.

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