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Carroll County Memorial Hospital

Critical access hospital sees above 100 percent improvement in cash collections, decrease in A/R days

Every health care system leader knows the importance of watching each penny, but those in rural areas face tighter budgets, with little room for error. Staff at Carroll County Memorial Hospital (CCMH), in Carrollton, Missouri, found utilizing Cerner RevWorks, along with other changes at the health system, helped ease financial concerns while increasing gross revenue and cash collections by more than 100 percent across acute and ambulatory facilities.

"One lost dollar of revenue has a huge impact statistically here," said CEO Jeff Tindle. "Whereas that one dollar in a larger institution gets enveloped into many other programs, and it isn't felt as hard."

"It's a real numbers game for us," said Tim Braun, chief operating officer. "A large health care facility can make a mistake and recover from it quickly. It's difficult for us to recover from a financial error."

In 2013, CCMH entered a revenue cycle relationship with RevWorks to help improve workflow efficiencies, meet organizational metrics and control cost to collect. As part of RevWorks, CCMH's employees across patient access, health information management, acute case management, patient financial services and accounting transitioned to Cerner associates who handle daily revenue cycle operations. Staff said the change helped them focus on the best ways to optimize and improve financial performance.

"You get to work with Cerner associates who know the solution, know the Cerner patient accounting solution, know the coding solution and they're able to meet very specific metrics to allow your organization to run efficiently," said Amy Ireland, chief revenue officer.

A strong leadership team and RevWorks supported CCMH as it added new facilities with expanded services and additional care providers, increasing gross revenue by 132 percent1, across acute and ambulatory venues. With RevWorks and expanded services, the hospital and ambulatory facilities increased cash collections by 165 percent1 and decreased A/R days by 42 percent1, helping the rural health care company collect from payers and patients even faster.

"We knew we needed to focus on patient financial services to get that money back in the door, after the services were provided from the insurance payers and from self-pay," said Ireland. "We wanted to do a heavy focus, make sure our key performance indicators were at a level that was acceptable, and knew we needed to be more efficient."

CCMH leaders plans to work with Cerner as they anticipate new challenges in the future.

"Some of the financial challenges rural hospitals face are the continuous changes in reimbursement models. Other changes include rates from Medicare and Medicaid," said Ireland.

"We've renewed our relationship with Cerner twice," said Tindle. "We're now well into the 2020s with our relationship, because we believe it is, in fact, a partnership."

1Measuring from 2012 (pre-implementation) to 2017

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Client outcomes were achieved in respective settings and are not representative of benefits realized by all clients due to many variables, including solution scope, client capabilities and business and implementation models.