Make the Most of Downtime in order to Reopen Stronger Than Ever

During the COVID-19 crisis, ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) are pausing non-essential procedures in order to preserve resources for hospitals that are treating an influx of sick patients. In turn, this is leaving ASCs with a reduced or nonexistent case volume. We provide suggestions on how to use this downtime wisely so your center will be prepared to ramp back up as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Payers & Payer Contracts

You should be taking this time to become familiar with what your most common payers are doing now. Some payers may be waiving authorization processes, and some may be waiving certain costs for patients. It’s also important to create a payer fee schedule to reconcile payments as well as review contracts to make sure you have the right fee schedule in place. ASCs also need to establish timely follow up processes and remember – don’t accept what the payer pays the first time.

Continue to Work A/R

Regular monthly A/R reports should be run to streamline follow ups, and billing staff should follow up with every account listed. The gold standard for follow up is at least 95%. This results in improved collections and a decrease in A/R over 90 days.  Running an audit can help identify gaps and leaks in the current revenue cycle. During an audit, you take a deeper look at your center’s appeal process which will help get to the root of the issue and correct it. Download our guide, 3 Revenue Cycle Audits that will Improve Collections & Lower Days in A/R, to get started.

Conduct a Self-Audit

Now may also be an opportune time to conduct a self-audit to ensure you’re collecting every dollar you are entitled to. As ongoing consolidation among healthcare payers squeezes surgery center reimbursements, periodic business office audits can be key to identifying a center’s financial stress points, strengths, and opportunities. We’ve published a guide to help you get started. Click here to download your copy or contact us if we can help.

Vanessa Soto

Meet the Team: Vanessa Soto

We are pleased to welcome Vanessa Soto to the Regent Revenue Cycle Management team. Vanessa brings extensive insurance verification, patient financial counseling and customer service experience to our team.

We sat down with Vanessa to talk about her background.

Tell us about your education and work background.

Prior to joining Regent RCM, I worked as a Medical Records Specialist and as an office coordinator for a physical therapy group. I honed my skills including insurance verification and patient financial counseling while providing high-level customer service.  

What do you like most about working at Regent RCM?

I appreciate that Regent RCM created the R.I.S.E. program to develop a values-driven culture that helps us stay focused on providing consistent high-value and high-touch customer service to our clients. Our office is collaborative and positive and there is never any hesitation to assist a fellow team member and pitch in when needed.

What do you enjoy about your current position?

I enjoy communicating with patients and helping them with any issues they may have. I also enjoy being involved with all the centers and assisting the specialists as needed. I always feel appreciated by the managers and the rest of the leadership team.

What makes you unique?

Need to talk about Keto? I am the unofficial Keto coach for the office. Need a manicure? I have a collection of almost 500 nail polishes. Want to talk about Harry Potter or video games? I can do that as well.

2020 Business Office Manager

2020 Business Office Manager of the Year Announced at Annual Conference

Regent Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) kicked off 2020 by hosting our annual Business Office Manager Conference in South Padre Island, Texas. Ambulatory surgery center (ASC) business office managers from all over the United States were in attendance.

Laina Roberts from Plaza Surgery Center earned the Business Office Manager of the Year award. Stefanie Herrick was also recognized for her achievements at Surgery Center of Wasilla.

Roberts started in 2019 and has made a positive impact from day one. Prior to her start, Plaza Surgery Center had about 3% of the month’s cases unbilled by month end. Through process adjustments, organization, and consistency, Roberts reduced that number to less than 0.5%, essentially eliminating the issue. Roberts has also overhauled some important HR filing and functions, and she is beginning to tackle the credentialing program.

“Laina is doing exceptional work and she exemplifies the best qualities in an ASC business office manager,” said Regent RCM Vice President Erin Petrie. “Her tenacity, attention to detail, and willingness to dig in and make a difference contributes to the success of her facility. We’re thrilled to recognize her as this year’s winner.”

In her role at Surgery Center of Wasilla, Herrick has positively impacted the morale of the center, improved employee engagement, and has revamped all of the business office functions.

“We congratulate Stefanie and Laina; we are so pleased to have them leading our centers, training others, and exemplifying excellence,” added Petrie.

If you’re interested in joining our team, click here.

financials

Going Deep to Understand Surgery Center Financials Helps Minimize Issues

Part 1 of a 2-part Q&A series with Leslie Favela

Getting a good handle on revenue cycle management can make a big difference for ambulatory surgery center (ASC) leaders when it comes to achieving profitability goals.

“What it comes down to is really understanding and knowing your center,” says Leslie Favela, manager of the business development team at Regent Revenue Cycle Management. “It’s all about being aware of all of your payer contracts and tracking your center’s trends. It’s important to be ahead of the game with the payers. If you know your center’s contracts, and the overall health of your revenue cycle, you know where you stand with the payers. And that helps you catch issues in the beginning so you’re able to minimize them as they come up in the future.”

Favela recently sat down to answer some of the most frequently asked questions she and her team receive from ASC professionals:

Question:

Our center would like to increase revenues this year and we have an aggressive goal of 8-10%. Is that doable?


Answer:

Yes, that level of improvement is doable. Whenever we bring on a new client, because of our best practices and our work quality, our statistics show that our team increases center revenues a minimum of 10% or more in that first year, and then we help our centers maintain that level or improve in the ensuing years. We start by reviewing the existing overall health of a center, and then help them improve by adopting the correct focus, making sure that we’re looking at the correct benchmarks, the correct business office processes and workflow, and making sure that we’re maintaining our expected net revenue of at least 97%. On a high level, it’s about having that mindset on how to improve revenue, that’s number one. And two, it’s efficiencies – making sure that you have the correct resources to ensure you’re auditing and managing your revenue cycle the right way.

Question:

Our center is having issues with outstanding claims going well past 30 days. Do you know how we can improve on this metric?


Answer:

Yes, there are several steps centers can take to minimize past due claims. One way to start is to begin tracking all of the payers that are having that delay and look for trends. Then, start asking yourself some questions: What’s the source of the delay? Are you submitting the claims correctly, with all of the claim form values that need to be added for successful claim processing? Is there additional information that needs to go out with the claim, such as a medical record or a copy of the implant invoices? The goal is to identify how the payer likes to receive their claims and to be ahead of game. If you can identify payer trends, then you’ve got that data on your side and you can improve on-time reimbursement. 

For more information on efficiently managing your center’s revenue cycle, contact the Regent RCM team or contact Leslie Favela directly at lfavela@regentrcm.com.

Celia Kulis

Meet the Team: Celia Kulis

Introducing our new revenue cycle specialist, Celia Kulis. Celia brings great value to the team with 20 years of revenue cycle experience, and will leverage that knowledge to help manage all aspects of billing, payment posting and accounts receivable.

Here are some more fun facts about Celia:

Where did you work before? 

Before joining Regent RCM, I had a similar position at Enhanced Medical Revenue, a professional services firm, as an account specialist. I have been working in the healthcare billing and records space for 20 years.

What is your education/work background? 

I began my career in healthcare working as a file clerk. I gained exposure to revenue cycle and honed my skills and gained experience that has prepared me for my current role.

What do you enjoy about your current position at Regent?  

I enjoy the opportunities for growth that are offered at Regent. I have always sought out new projects and opportunities to enhance my knowledge and Regent offers great opportunities through the R.I.S.E. program to learn and improve both personally and professionally. I love the challenge of learning something new, and I hope to be able to mentor other new employees to improve their professional growth in the future.

2019

2019 Greatest Hits: Managing Growth and Profitability for ASCs in 2019

Looking back on 2019, it’s clear that managing growth and profitability is a key challenge facing ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs). The Regent Revenue Cycle Management (Regent RCM) team kept ASC leaders on top of the trends throughout the year with blog posts and white papers developed to inform and educate. Following are links to the articles that proved to be this year’s greatest hits:

How ASC Revenue Cycle Benchmarks Are Transforming Center Performance: An Update on Regent RCM’s Exclusive Metrics

The Regent RCM ASC Revenue Cycle Benchmarks are a critical measurement tool to help surgery centers accurately measure revenue cycle health and ultimately, account for every dollar they are entitled to. In this white paper updating the benchmarks introduced in 2017, Regent RCM Vice President of Revenue Cycle Management Erin Petrie says:

“Having the tools and intel to gauge performance across all functions of the revenue cycle has been a game changer for center leadership. Implementing benchmarks gives you a baseline to understand what process changes you need to make to get to your goal.”

Click here to continue reading about Regent Benchmarks.

Debunking Three Myths Related to ASC Upfront Financial Counseling & Collections

A second Regent RCM white paper explores the trend toward upfront patient counseling and collections. In response to climbing health insurance deductibles and co-pays that push a larger portion of the cost of surgery from insurers to patients, leading centers are responding with robust financial pre-registration processes to maintain efficiency and profitability. And, patients and physicians’ offices alike are supporting these proactive steps.  Says Petrie:

“Taking this step helps ensure transparency about out-of-pocket expense, so costs can be estimated, explained, and ideally, collected in advance of services being rendered. It makes patients more comfortable about their financial commitment and reduces our risk on the backend.”

 Click here to continue reading about Three Myths.

New Case Study: A/R Follow-Up Increases Collections in Ft. Myers

In addition to providing profitability management help on the front end, Regent RCM’s benchmarks help ASCs with Accounts Receivable (A/R) as well. One 2019 case study features the efforts of The Center for Specialized Surgery in Ft. Myers (TCSSFM), Florida, to implement the A/R Follow-Up benchmark. The blog outlines steps TCSSFM has taken to achieve an amazing result: increasing collections by $125,000 per month in the past year. While center growth and more high reimbursement procedures contributed as well, efforts to follow up with payers on at least 95% of claims every month have been a big part of that success. Click here to read the full blog.

Adding a Specialty? Make Sure Contracts Support Profitable Reimbursement

As ambulatory surgery centers change and grow, they add new specialties, creating another challenge to profitability: making sure contracts keep up with the changes. In another well-received blog post, Regent RCM’s Vice President of Managed Care Andrea Woodell says centers should analyze their contracts to evaluate how new specialty cases will be reimbursed when evaluating the addition of new lines of business. For example, she says, “If you’re locked into 2-3-year contracts with your top three payers and you’re adding a new specialty that is not reimbursed, adding that specialty is not a profitable option until the contracts can be renegotiated.” Click here to read the full blog.

Want to learn more about optimizing your center’s revenue cycle management? The Regent RCM News & Insights page will continue to report on trends, success stories and new developments in 2020.

Erin Petrie

Regent RCM Announces Executive Promotion

Regent RCM announced that Erin Petrie has been promoted to Vice President.  

“We are fortunate to have Erin on our team and believe she has demonstrated great leadership in positioning Regent RCM for the next phase of growth,” said Regent Surgical Health CEO Chris Bishop. “Erin brings a wealth of expertise to her role and will proactively shape Regent RCM to continue improving both the service level and our metric driven performance to best serve our RCM clients.” 

Petrie is credited with improving staffing and operations. She and her team have consistently improved Regent RCM metrics such as the reduction of the percentage of A/R over 90 days by 7.9%, increased follow up by 11%, and boosted per case collections at Regent RCM centers by an average of 6% over the past 2 years.

Prior to joining Regent, Petrie served as the Surgical Services Business Manager for Oaklawn, Ill.-based Advocate Christ Medical where she managed revenue cycle and streamlined operations and staffing.

Regent RCM’s services optimize ASC workflow and processes and generate real-time analytical dashboards that are critical to assessing an ASC’s financial health. Regent RCM consistently outperforms industry benchmarks allowing ASC managers to focus on high-value activities.

Gina Tolbert Promoted to Revenue Cycle Manager

Regent RCM promotes from within, strengthening its position as a leading provider of cost-effective billing and collection services for ambulatory surgery centers in the United States. Gina Tolbert has been promoted to Revenue Cycle Manager.

“As we grow our team to drive our business forward, we remain dedicated to serving our clients with excellence and optimizing their revenue cycle at every turn,” says Erin Petrie, VP of Regent RCM. “Since joining our team, Gina has showcased her leadership abilities and consistently achieved the goals and metrics that we strive for as a partner to our ASC clients. She is an incredible teammate and asset.”

Tolbert was recently awarded a R.I.S.E. Stewardship award. This recognition highlights her passion for mentoring others to promote their personal and professional growth and underscores her ability to surpass expectations while leading a team of revenue cycle specialists and performing audits to ensure key performance indicator goals are met.

“We will continue our search for the best talent and develop our team to bring value to our partner ASCs,” adds Petrie. “Gina brings deep experience to her role and her skills complement our team as we rise to the challenges ahead and take our company to the next level.”

Regent RCM’s services optimize ASC workflow and processes and generate real-time analytical dashboards that are critical to assessing an ASC’s financial health. Regent RCM consistently outperforms industry benchmarks allowing ASC managers to focus on high-value activities. Click here for more Regent RCM News & Insights.

Three Revenue Cycle KPIs Every ASC Should Track Right Now

The Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC) revenue cycle community has not had specific measurement tools readily available, which has led money to be left on the table or missed altogether. To fix this issue, Vice President of Regent Revenue Cycle Management Erin Petrie and her team authored benchmarks that provide the intel necessary to gauge performance across all functions of the revenue cycle. This is a game changer for administrators and ASC leaders who are looking to obtain a better handle on their financial health in 2020.

On Tuesday, December 10th at 11:00 a.m. CST, Erin Petrie and two members of her team, Leslie Favela and Luz Renteria, will be hosting a webinar that will outline 4 of the 9 exclusive benchmarks.

You will learn:

  • How KPIs allow you to evaluate and optimize your center’s revenue cycle
  • How payer mix impacts A/R
  • How to proactively identify denial trends
  • How to establish processes to attain benchmarks – including our gold standards – and how often they should be measured

Join us for our webinar by registering here and take the first step in getting your ASC on the road to success in 2020.

Leslie Favela

Meet the Team: Leslie Favela

As RCM, Manager of Business Development, Leslie Favela mentors Regent RCM’s team of revenue cycle specialists and provides recommendations for process improvement and optimization as she assesses the entire business office and revenue cycle for centers. She also strengthens Regent RCM’s business strategy and drives growth for Regent RCM’s client portfolio.

Prior to joining Regent RCM, Leslie worked as a front office coordinator for an ambulatory surgery center then honed her expertise as a business office manager and marketing director for a pain management practice with multiple locations in Chicago.

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