A checklist to avoid shortfalls with your legacy A/R before you start your system conversion
System conversions are complex, but we’re here to say it’s possible to have a successful conversion without compromising your cash flow. Gain clarity and insight into planning for your legacy A/R by using this pre-conversion checklist to mitigate your revenue loss.
Pre-Conversion (15-18 months prior to go-live)
- Determine the revenue cycle resources you can assign to the system conversion project without causing performance issues with billing, insurance follow-up, and cash flow.
- Do you have a plan to backfill or cover those roles?
- If you are consolidating operations by restructuring to a centralized business office, can you repurpose staff to create a legacy A/R operation?
- What is your retention plan if you create an interim legacy operation? And do you have a backup plan for unexpected resignations?
- Have you communicated the risks of cash flow to your leadership team?
- Have you determined a run-out period for your legacy system and is that factored into the budget and timeline?
- Is a legacy A/R partner the answer?
- Will you issue an RFP for a legacy wind down partner or solicit proposals from several vendors?
- Do you have a budget approved for a partner?
If you’ve decided to bring in a partner to help manage your legacy wind down, consider starting your bid process around 15 months before you go-live. Here are a handful of questions that might help you start thinking through the process.
Choosing a partner (12-15 months prior to go-live)
- Have you identified potential partners that agree to collaborate with you on a wind down strategy, timeline, and plan?
- Will they agree to a phased approach, starting 9-12 months prior to go-live for pre-conversion cleanup, cascading the aged A/R, and stay with you post-conversion to run down the final legacy A/R?
- Is there a scope of work that includes clearly defined inventory age, financial class exclusions, and an end of project grace period?
- Will the A/R follow-up work be performed in your legacy system, or will the partner require you to use their system? Are there pros and cons to either solution?
- Should you supply the candidates with an ATB and other claims and payment information to ensure you are getting an accurate quote?
- Have you allowed ample time for contracting, legal approval, and technology discussions?
- Are the potential partners a good business, culture, and values fit for your organization?
- Is there a need for an on-site partner resource?
- Have you discussed KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to be measured and real-time results reporting?
- Will the partner offer a choice of contingency or FTE-based pricing and is there an option for performance-based incentives? Are there implementation fees?
- Will there be a service level agreement?
- Are the proposed rate and overall cost within your budget?
- Does the partner have a formal project management process and implementation plan documented?
- Have you checked references for the partner?
Partner selection is done. Now what? Be prepared for a 6-8 week process in order to get your partner live and in production. Here are a few things that may help as you prepare.
Implementing the A/R partner services (6-8 weeks)
- Does the partner plan to hold a kick-off meeting for introductions, process discussion, and timeline review?
- Have they requested your current policies and procedures to support their team training?
- Are you prepared to provide access to contractual information or copies of your contracts?
- Has the partner outlined the technology access requirements for your billing system, payer systems, and ancillary or supporting systems needed to manage A/R follow up? Is your IT team engaged and prepared to give access based on the timeline?
- Will the partner need file transfers and if so, have they established a protocol?
- Have you factored in training needs for the new system, developed a timeline, and considered the impact it may have on available staff for an A/R Legacy transition?
- Have you identified reporting requirements?
Assessing the success and value of your partner should be an ongoing process during the legacy wind down project.
Legacy wind down evaluation
- Did your partner achieve the KPIs and perform the liquidation in a satisfactory manner?
- Was your expectation for patient satisfaction met or exceeded?
- Did your partner provide value, and should you consider keeping them on beyond the conversion so that you maintain a long-standing healthy A/R and patient experience?
The key to a smooth, successful legacy A/R wind down is choosing the right partner. The patient experience and bottom line results will tell the tale.