Blame it on traffic snarls, expensive real estate, or satisfying employee needs, more and more companies are letting their revenue cycle management staff work from their homes, the privilege especially extended to business office staff.
Work-from-home prospects improves productivity
Here’s what administrators need to consider transitioning towards permitting revenue cycle staff work remotely. Infrastructure considerations apart, an important aspect to consider is how virtual teams can be setup for engagement, besides setting up accountability metrics, which is the most crucial element for the success of the transitioning phase.
Setting-up the Physical Workspace
With the growing popularity of remote work in healthcare continuing, there is an urgent need to familiarise staff and organizations to remain compliant and secure. Organizations in order to secure PHI, need to setup a virtual network that will provide a controlled access for employees and remote based staff. The organizations would need encrypted computers and a VPN connection to secure the safety of the data.
As an employee, the organization will want remote workers to sign written agreements that will bind them to obligations maintaining strict adherence to administration, technical, and physical safeguards of data. The remote employees should have access to encrypted computers and IP phones to reach IT teams for support and ongoing updates.
Workspace and environment policies need to be established by the organizations to concisely define an acceptable work environment. This could include minimum internet speeds, appropriate desk configuration, and office supply allowances. As part of the policy, it should prohibit employees from taking work out of the workspace, to areas that would include cafeteria or to public spaces that have internet access.
It should also prevent employees from printing any information from a location that is away from the workspace to prevent inappropriate access to patient data.
Although Virtual Business Office sounds attractive to many administrators, there are many niggling issues they have to overcome before the operations smoothen up. The casual approach working from home does influence performance, quality and productivity. These need to be measured, and setting up KPIs can be a good checklist for measuring performances.
There is a mistaken apprehension that working from home allows you the freedom to work when you feel like it. It is to be borne in mind that insurance companies aren’t open at 8.00 PM to process or resolve a claim. The tendency of constantly signing in/out can be detrimental in building engagement or continuity of operations, causing a negative influence on performance. In the process of determining the efficacy of new at-home arrangements, a health organization set up fixed work hours, and virtual shift briefings were established daily to share and resolve work related issues.
The organization established collaboration tools for real-time engagement. These were in the form of HIPAA compliant apps. The handy app assisted the organization in maintaining employee engagement, the remote workers were able to access real-time support services, additionally, social inter-staff connectivity was also established.
It’s also a good practice to have the remote staff report to the office twice a month for the continuance of skill enhancements through well established training sessions.
There are many who believe that working from home will be more productive, saving people commuting ordeals and allowing them the luxury of working out of a comfort zone. The concept has not been proven yet, nonetheless many organizations wish to give it a shot and determine its functionality.
In furtherance of this concept, it is critical that tracking employee performance is given the highest priority. Be that as it may, the host systems and patient accounting systems are yet to be setup for measuring the quality of work that goes beyond the realm of traditional productivity
The performance insights to effectively monitor productivity can be set up establishing advanced performance tracking systems that have the capability to measure:
- Efficacy of follow-ups in percentage
- Successful payments processed with one-time follow-up in percentage
- Measuring an employee’s follow-up activity on the basis of average ROI
- Denials successfully processed in percentage
- Balances written off over a period of time