At the 20th Annual Ambulatory Surgery Centers Conference in Chicago on Oct. 26, Mike Orseno, revenue cycle director for Regent Surgical Health, and Tom Hui, president and CEO of HST Pathways, answered some common questions when it comes to automating revenue cycle performance in ASCs.
Many ASCs are unclear on what should be automated when it comes to their revenue cycle management. Mr. Orseno suggested insurance verification and follow up should be automated. “Gone are the days where you have the collection staff working on paper reports,” he said. “It’s not efficient.” Additionally, payment posting and patient follow up should be automated as well.
Another common concern amongst ASCs is that they are leaving money on the table. To avoid that issue, Mr. Orseno said surgery centers need to take control of the process. “Know exactly what you should be paid for a procedure,” he said. Centers need to be aware of any variance in reimbursement and discover why the variance occurred. At Regent, all of the contracts are in HST and centers run variation reports through HST to keep track, Mr. Orseno said.
In addition to tracking payment variance, ASCs should track other metrics with technology, like days in accounts receivable, staffing costs, charge lag and statement lag.
While technology can help centers improve efficiencies and make sure they get all of the money they should be, technology alone is not the silver bullet, according to Mr. Hui.
“Technology is just the tool and we can’t make the magic happen, but [we] enable the magic to happen,” he said. “We’ve [seen success] when the user or management company takes pride of ownership in use of the tool.”
That being said, automating some aspects of revenue cycle management can definitely help improve performance at ASCs. For instance, a Regent facility on the West Coast saw its days outstanding decrease by 45 percent, and an East Coast facility decreased its days outstanding by 65 percent by using technology to help manage their revenue cycle.