According to a recent Dimensional Insight and HIMSS Analytics survey,
nearly 69% of healthcare organizations use more than one vendor solution for revenue cycle management.
Integrating revenue cycle management certainly helps in boosting the bottom line of revenue cycle management of practices. Jacqueline LaPointe in her article in Revenue Cycle Intelligence has hit the nail in the head, she has rightly pointed out choosing the right vendor for RCM integration is the essential first step.
The article also states how CGH Medical Center in northwest Illinois engaged with multiple vendors and systems and did not find that association comfortable. The acute care facility with 16 medical centers experienced revenue cycle inefficiencies.
Legacy System for Patient Accounting:
The facility was relying on a legacy system for patient accounting, and Cerner for its EHR. “It was hard because everything that you either added changed or deleted in one chargemaster, we had to do the same in the other chargemaster to keep them in sync. We had to run audits to ensure things weren’t missed.” the facility’s Director of Revenue, speaking to the Revenue Cycle Intelligence says in the article, and added, “It created more opportunities for us to make mistakes”.
Other hospitals too had similar experiences after using multiple vendor solutions, as per the article.
Adding Patient Accounting to Cerner Suite:
The Director of CGH Medical center has been quoted in the article as saying, “We are a Cerner facility for everything except the billing system. We had implemented Cerner scheduling and registration and the Cerner clinical in 2004,” The facility decided to add a patient accounting component to its Cerner suite. After site visits to facilities that were using Cerner accounting system, the director has been quoted in the article as saying, “We made the decision then that it was stable enough for us to go to it so that we could get rid of the interface and just have an integrated product,”.
Significant Improvements in Accounting after Integration:
The article mentions that the CGH Medical Center saw significant improvements after integrating its patient accounting system under one vendor. According to the Director, the charge entry was much more integrated with their clinical areas after the integration since they were all within the same Cerner products. The Director felt there are many advantages that they will experience after the integration.
Quoting a patient accounting report from KLAS, the article states that over one-half of Cerner’s Millennium EMR customers have not yet implemented the company’s patient accounting solution. They had functionality concerns and were uncertain about the product whether or not it would provide them a healthy revenue cycle.
The article also elaborates that organizations which integrated Cerner’s patient accounting and clinical systems found some financial improvements.
RCM Integration through Third Party Expert Reaping Financial Rewards
Concluding the article Jacqueline LaPointe states, partnering with a third-party expert helps ensure vendor roadblocks and bumps do not interfere with the integration process, and mentioning the example of CGH Medical Center, she states that falling back on a consulting firm when vendor support was lacking helped the medical center to truly reap the financial rewards of integrating their revenue cycle management solutions.