Setting and working toward specific revenue cycle goals can dramatically improve the overall performance and efficiency of your ambulatory surgery center. Even when positive progress is being made, creating specific goals can help boost your bottom line, setting up your ASC for successful revenue cycle management.
Identifying areas for improvement can prevent future issues or bottlenecks, but it can be difficult to identify the areas where your ASC may be lacking. Here are a few ideas to help you get started.
1. Set specific and clear goals.
Push your team to success by setting realistic, yet aggressive revenue cycle goals using key performance indicators (KPIs). This helps create a positive, collaborative environment for your team. When brainstorming goal ideas, remember to focus on how and why certain KPIs matter and how they’ll improve the performance of your ASC.
Here are a few revenue cycle goal ideas:
- Improve contract negotiation processes.
- Streamline specialties and implant reimbursement.
- Evaluate contracts—what’s necessary and what isn’t?
- Optimize the insurance approval process.
- Improve staff performance in specific ways, such as hours spent carrying out specific tasks.
Asking the following questions may help identify more goals or areas where your ASC may be lacking. Depending on medical speciality, location, and demands, these questions may differ from one ASC to another.
- How long does it take to code five patient cases?
- Is your current process effective and quick?
- How much time is spent looking up and updating patient medical records, and how long does the process take?
- Is there a way to spend less time on paperwork?
- Is your ASC spending long, unnecessary hours on projects with low reimbursement?
- Is the revenue cycle team allocating its resources properly?
- Does your ASC have all the resources, medical tools, and equipment necessary to provide patients with the best care?
2. Identify any unnecessary processes and issues.
Falling into a routine can sometimes be a positive thing for ASCs, but it can also lead to unnecessary or time-consuming processes and procedures that waste valuable resources. Consistently poor work performance, lack of communication, delayed or absent payments can add up, draining the productivity of even the most efficient ambulatory surgery center.
Conducting an audit on each department of your ASC can help identify and prevent potential issues.
3. Reevaluate contract negotiations.
Your ASC must make sure its contracts reflect the cost of special equipment needed for surgeries or procedures. Costs of items such as lasers and special machines must be included.
For example, in specific areas of medicine such as orthopedic surgery, items such as screws, plates, drills, and drill bits can’t be billed separately, so the prices must be covered as part of a patient’s medical procedure. Ensuring that these costs are accounted for and billed correctly helps accurately determine payer costs, preventing any expensive mistakes or errors.
4. Set performance goals for staff members.
Encourage each member of your ASC’s various departments to conduct regular self-assessments regarding performance improvement and job responsibilities. This can be encouraged by offering incentives such as bonuses or extra vacation days, along with acknowledging their efforts.
5. Make sure you’re using the technology you have to its fullest ability.
New medical software is often underutilized and isn’t being used to its full potential. It can take time to implement new software programs, and many ASCs may find themselves overwhelmed and unable to proactively train staff members. However, setting aside specific time to ensure that you understand exactly what your current software can do will likely help your ASC meet its revenue cycle goals.
- Make sure to learn how to use all available features that could improve processes and productivity.
- Utilize any training or instruction materials available through your software provider.
- Conduct at least one revenue cycle quality assurance and performance improvement (QAPI) assessment each year.
- Use valuable data to identify important QAPI issues.
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