Cerner’s revenue cycle management services improve operations at New Hampshire community care facility.
Lakes Region General Hospital (LRGH), a community care facility in Laconia, New Hampshire, faced troubling conditions before its Cerner revenue cycle implementation in April 2017. There was a complete turnover in c-suite leadership, and to make matters worse, it had only 10 days cash on hand. Fortunately, through comprehensive risk analysis, dedicated project management and collaboration between its project team and Cerner’s, LRGH not only kept its doors open, it stabilized its discharged not final billed (DNFB) a mere eight weeks post-implementation.
LRGH and Cerner accelerated the implementation timeline and worked diligently to minimize overall disruption. Their efforts helped bring claims processing back to normal quickly and increased daily revenue. In fact, their adjusted average daily revenue (ADR) increased to more than $1.48 million from $1.46 million in June 2017, only 90 days after implementation.
“We couldn't withstand any fluctuation with our accounts receivable at all,” said Wayne Bennett, chief financial officer. “Our future depended on the success of this conversion, that's why this was so important.”
LRGH leadership engaged Cerner’s project team to help them conduct a comprehensive risk assessment before implementation. Together, they identified a complete list of potential disruptions and prioritized them based on likelihood and severity of impact.
“We got everyone in the room and listed all the things that could go wrong,” explained Bennett. “It was very intentional and aggressive management.”.
Next they developed a project plan to address each potential disruption and limit the duration of impact where possible. It also included Cerner’s revenue cycle management (RCM) services, which helped diagnose problems in their billing office and quickly fixed technology-related issues.
“We kept open lines of communication,” said Bennett. “When we started seeing some back-up in claims processing, we could hand those accounts over to Cerner to bring back to normal."
A few days after implementation, LRGH began to see promising results. During a typical revenue cycle conversion, many facilities are unable to send claims for a full week. LRGH went live on a Friday night and successfully sent its first claim the following Sunday. The teams began tracking billed claims on a weekly basis, which began to exceed goals in May and June. As legacy accounts receivable (A/R) shrunk, weekly cash levels began to climb.
LRGH had 42.1 A/R days prior to implementation. Within 90 days, the teams reduced that number to 41 in Cerner. As they continue to shrink their legacy A/R, LRGH is pleased with their momentum.
“Cerner paid attention and worked with us on a plan that addressed our unique circumstances,” said Bennett. “We accelerated the necessary steps to avoid the negative fluctuations in cash.”
Revenue cycle operations have stabilized and are already showing signs of exceeding baseline levels. More importantly the hospital remains in business, thanks to careful planning, dedicated project management, and the above-and-beyond commitment shown by LRGH and Cerner teams.
“Cerner stepped up to the plate, understood our situation and recognized there was little room for fluctuation,” said Bennett. “It is amazing what intentional and proactive planning can accomplish, it exceeded my expectations. I don’t know how any hospital could do much better than this.”
Data pulled from Cerner’s Lights On Network®