Palmetto State News 2018-2019 Issue 1 - Page 17

Lovell Davis, Director of Revenue Cycle Management for the Virginia Eye Institute —a recipient of HFMA’s Physician Practice MAP Award—describes two key strategies for ensuring an efficient and optimized revenue cycle: hire the right people and equip them with the right resources and tools to optimize performance.

At Virginia Eye, the hiring process starts with a screening interview, which assesses the applicant’s technical skill set. Once complete and their technical skills are confirmed, members of Virginia Eye’s management team conduct a cultural fit assessment. Interviewers assess applicants’ ability to handle customer service situations, their level of trustworthiness, and their motivation. This helps ensure that new employees are well-suited to the Virginia Eye culture —one that is supportive of teams while also driving individual performance.

Once hired, new employees move through a detailed onboarding training process that covers organization-specific standard operating procedures and functions as well as computer and software training. Employees even have an opportunity to view a surgery. Lovell recognizes the value a well-rounded perspective can bring to the revenue cycle team. New hires are walked through all work queues, including registration, billing, and collections, so they understand how their role fits into the entire revenue cycle process. A 90-day follow-up review ensures the employee is on track for optimal performance and fit within the organization.

As a result of the comprehensive interview, assessment, and onboarding process, Virginia Eye is staffed with motivated and well-trained employees who are committed to optimizing its revenue cycle. This is evident not only in their key performance metrics but also in Virginia Eye’s recognition as a top performer in revenue cycle.

Lovell attributes success in achieving high-performing revenue cycle metrics to the organization and management of his billing team. He has separated the billing and collections process into two teams. For the billing team to succeed, it must focus on securing payment from health plans, while the internal collections department handles all incoming patient calls.

Lovell uses performance review charts to monitor and provide feedback on each biller’s performance. Managers regularly review status of work queues, remits for denials and reduced payments, aging reports, and variance reports. As part of the follow-up process, denials are worked immediately, and daily reports are reviewed for missed charges. Lovell has assigned each biller to a specific payer. All billers are required to be well-versed in the terms of their respective payer contracts, including fee schedules, escalators, carve-out codes, and reimbursement terms. Billers are trained to look for trends in payer-specific under- and over-payments.

Key Strategies to Optimize Physician Practice Revenue Cycle Performance

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