The largest health system in Kansas reduced its A/R by $83 million in a little over three months.
Via Christi Health needed help.
“We were drowning in our volume,” said Shelia Hale, Via Christi’s director of revenue cycle shared services. “We could not get to that catch-up phase.”
The Wichita, Kansas–based health system went live with Cerner acute, ambulatory, and revenue solutions in June 2014. The implementation, coupled with staff shortages, caused a spike in accounts receivable (A/R) for the largest health system in the state. Hale and other revenue executives made the decision to call in Cerner RevWorks’ Extended Business Office (EBO).
“They are the people resource augmentation to our revenue cycle solution,” Via Christi Health’s CFO Carol Karp said.
Karp continued, “when I think of RevWorks, I think of the people who really define and really optimize the revenue cycle platform that we implemented at Via Christi. They’re the people resources from Cerner, from my perspective as a CFO.”
With the EBO, Cerner medical billing associates took slices of Via Christi’s backlog volume: Medicare, Medicaid, Commercial payers older than 60 days and claims at certain dollar amounts.
The change was almost immediate. By combining efforts, the EBO and Via Christi teams reduced A/R by $83 million (12 days) and discharged not final billed (DNFB) by $50 million (8 days).
“The EBO took the overflow,” said Hale, “and helped us get caught up.”
In retrospect, she said, “I wish we would’ve engaged at go-live.” She advises others not to wait.
“The great thing about the EBO: you can engage as quickly as possible,” said Hale. “You have to have people who know your system. That is the key component. And the EBO knows Cerner’s solutions because it is Cerner.”
At the height of this engagement, Via Christi used 15 EBO medical billing associates. Hale views the EBO as an additional resource. She plans to use it to cover for vacation time.
But Hale also looks to it as her organization enters its optimization phase.
“We utilize the data Cerner provides back to us and make adjustments,” said Hale. At one point, Via Christi’s 835 posting rules weren’t working. Using reports generated by the EBO, Hale’s team reviewed counts, used data and found the cause.
“Cerner helped us get our numbers to where they are today,” said Hale.
“At the end of the day,” she said, “we want to get our claims out quickly – to improve our bottom line and improve our overall patient experience.”