RCM system conversions can be extraordinarily complex—even if an organization is simply upgrading its current system and not in need of a complete legacy system replacement. Ask a provider that’s gone through one and you’ll hear that they’re multi-dimensional, confusing and expensive on a good day—and the margin of error is very small. Getting it wrong can wreak havoc on finances, and what provider can afford that?
Consider an expert
Many healthcare providers find that developing a financial performance mitigation strategy is invaluable during a conversion. More specifically, leveraging the services of an extended business office to work accounts while they transition internally enables the provider to smooth out the negative financial impacts often witnessed with conversions.
This strategy also allows the organization to focus on developing the health information system to perform optimally while providing the staff with solid training.
Build your team
Further, an outside team with a perspective based on years of broad system conversion experience can help providers put the right internal stakeholder team in place.
When your game plan includes finance, compliance, IT, physicians and other key stakeholders early on, you’ll quickly identify and deal with process and workflow shortfall areas, and that could mean the difference between success and failure.
Together, your outside and inside teams will identify the potential impacts and associated costs up front, and adeptly manage the inevitable change that comes with an initiative of this magnitude.
Protect your cash
It’s not atypical for a healthcare organization to focus its efforts and attention on the design/setup of its new system, and to ignore the associated financial aspects until the eleventh hour. An experienced RCM firm can help develop initial, proactive protection strategies that will preserve cash during and after the conversion. Leading up to the conversion, providers must focus on their receivables, while also tackling a host of implementation issues such as training.
After the conversion, they must allocate the same focus and resources toward liquidating receivables completely from their legacy systems. Then there are the inevitable denials.
Train your staff
It’s also important that your staff be fully trained and cognizant of appeals process best practices.
Employees should be current on matters relating to regulatory compliance and potential billing and technology challenges associated with reimbursement and patient collection processes. Training takes time, so you should also anticipate a temporary drop in productivity and work ahead to mitigate the financial consequences.
An experienced RCM consulting firm can help you navigate the process before, during and after the conversion, minimizing the effects of denials and ensuring solid performance.