The health system has seen a 5.5 percent decrease in accounts receivable and achieved 103 percent of its cash collections goal.
"We would never go back," said Charlene Scott, HIM Director at one of the 45 hospital campuses operated by Adventist Health System. In 2012, Adventist Health initiated a corporate-wide focus to streamline revenue cycle processes while reducing overall administrative costs across its entire system. The engine chosen to power this initiative was Cerner's Revenue Cycle suite which integrates clinical and financial data on to a single platform. Through this integration, Adventist Health has seen a 5.5 percent decrease in accounts receivable and achieved 103 percent of its cash collections goal.
At the center of this new model is Shawnee Mission Medical Center, a multi-campus health system serving the people of the greater Kansas City metropolitan area. SMMC began launching several revenue cycle solutions in a phased approach beginning in 2012. Today, in patient financial services, bills are going out in as little as four days after discharge and far less manual assistance is needed in processing these claims. In fact, 91 percent of claims go out untouched (up from 77 percent) freeing up resources that were once used to manually process the claims.
The days before SMMC’s clinical and financial data integration, it was common for staff to waste time searching through several different systems to verify an order. "Now the order is just there," explains Charlene Scott, SMMC’s HIM Director. The scanning efforts are now cut in half, and there is no need to batch data, since the digitized process makes the data instantly available to everyone. The integration of clinical and financial data also improves efficiency in the communication process. All patient specific communications remain within the Cerner Millennium database through Discern Notify and the integrated clinical and financial platforms help to eliminate hundreds of emails from their daily workflow.
With the claims process being completed almost entirely by their system and bills going out much sooner after discharge, SMMC is ensuring quicker payments at a much lower operating cost. These improvements have led it to project $500,000 above their cash collection goal of 2014.
With the electronic health record firmly in place, organizations like SMMC and Adventist Health are looking to leverage technology to help improve efficiency in administrative processes. Both organizations have seen the value in integrating financial and clinical data on to a single platform. Helping clients like SMMC eliminate interfaces, increase clean claim rates, and lower total cost to collect allows them to keep their focus on what they do best: providing quality patient care.