What if I told you that there’s a missing Revenue Cycle metric that has the power to unlock $277,000 per year in operating income for your practice?
There is a missing Key Performance Indicator (KPI) that most practices have no idea exists. Track this KPI, apply the right changes to your revenue cycle processes, and your revenue cycle productivity will double, triple, or even experience an 8x improvement. For one particular cardiovascular practice, this KPI saved 800 hours for their revenue cycle staff per month, hours which add up to $277,000 a year. Talk about a win!
Expansion Leads to Need For Efficiency
Starting out as a single-physician practice in Houma, LA, Cardiovascular Institute of the South (CIS) has grown to become one of the largest cardiovascular care practices in the Southeast, with over 90 doctors practicing in nearly 20 locations across Louisiana and Mississippi. The practice is well known nationally for its vision, compassion, and commitment to utilizing best practices in both its patient care and administrative services.
All of the growth they experienced led to a strong need for increased efficiency and productivity. When you are processing 32,000 encounters per month, revenue cycle productivity gains are pure gold. Starting in early 2017, in an effort to strengthen their internal operations, CIS partnered with White Plume in the White Glove process.
Missing Revenue Cycle KPI – Encounters Per Hour
As the foundation of the White Glove process, CIS started a monthly review of its workflow and throughput utilizing White Plume’s Advanced Revenue Analytics tool. They began to track the missing Revenue Cycle KPI – encounters per hour. This is the average number of encounters that an individual coder can process in one hour.
Many practices measure the accuracy of their coding staff by regularly monitoring their denial rate. While this is a necessary and important KPI to track, almost everyone has figured out how to keep their denial rate low. Coders today are extremely accurate. The problem is that no one monitors the productivity and efficiency of their coding staff. Being accurate is one thing, but being accurate and efficient? That is another story.
CIS saw their need for efficient coding processes. The first step to making any kind of improvement is to establish a performance baseline. Using Advanced Revenue Cycle Analytics, CIS was able to find their baseline and measure period-to-period improvements.
“The analysis is crucial as it helps us monitor and manage the intricacies of our Revenue Cycle team” notes Catina Burton, Director of Business Services for CIS. “Since the first day of this project, we have made significant strides in our overall productivity, especially when you look at the average encounters per hour by coder and the lag times.”
By regularly measuring and monitoring this crucial Revenue Cycle KPI, CIS was able to catch and correct holes in their Revenue Cycle productivity. As part of the White Glove process, they regularly worked with White Plume staff to automate their revenue cycle processes more fully, allowing staff to work from an exception-only workflow.
Catina adds “We have actually devised a compensation plan for our coding team based on the data measured and reported by White Plume. Once our team recognized that their utilization of the system provided great efficiencies for the organization and that its use was receiving executive-level focus, they were eager to leverage the rules and scripting workflow.”
Their hard work paid off. From the first year to the second year, they experienced a 72% increase in their encounters per hour. Today, they have reached a 100% increase in encounters per hour.
800 Hours Saved Per Month
What do these productivity gains mean? For one thing, CIS increased their encounter volume from 32,000 encounters a month in 2017 to 39,000 encounters a month today. If they had continued to process those encounters at their previous rate, it would cost them 800 more hours of coding time per month. Those are 800 hours they saved a month just by monitoring and increasing their encounters per hour.
800 hours saved per month is $277,000 per year in eliminated hiring needs. These dollars fall straight to the bottom line as operating income, which is a very profitable way to grow. The possibilities of what that extra income could mean are endless. It’s cashflow that would not have existed for CIS without tracking that missing KPI, committing to improving revenue cycle productivity, and putting in the hard work to see it through.
Continued Growth for CIS
While we are excited about the success CIS has seen in the past two years, we know this is just the beginning for them. They have doubled their productivity now, but by next year they could triple or quadruple it. There is still so much room for growth, time savings, and extra operating income for this practice.
Want to learn more about the missing Revenue Cycle KPI? Download our free on-demand webinar today.