Scalable RCM: Establishing Successful Hospice Revenue Cycle Services
Customers using Homecare Homebase drove over $19.3 billion in payments during 2020. The market challenges that drive the need for hospice revenue cycle services include:
- Regulatory intensity
- COVID interruption
- Financial pressures
- Clinician shortages
- M&A disruption
- Access to care
In a recent webinar with Hospice News and Homecare Homebase, Roger Hiles, Vice President, Finance for Visiting Nurse Health System talked about how his agency leverages HCHB Revenue Cycle Services (RCS) to streamline hospice processes and increase cashflow. Below is a small sample of the conversation. Listen to the full webinar here.
Why did you start looking for a partner to help with RCM?
Roger Hiles: We are always looking for new opportunities for efficiency and cost-savings and that was really heightened after we had a major re-organization at our company. At that point we really had to look at our payment structure and back office processes. We also had a couple key players leave our company. We had a previous good experience with outsourcing, so we wanted to continue that path.
What are some of the RCM challenges you have seen?
Roger Hiles: The changes that are happening as an industry make it difficult to keep up and as you grow, that difficulty just compounds. As you grow, some of your internal process flaws become more pronounced.
We were very attracted to the outsourcing model. I don’t have to worry about scheduling or covering for vacations etc. We don’t have to compete for the best and the brightest. With Homecare Homebase, that’s really what we got. As we grow, I don’t have to look at hiring more. The skills will be there. As a customer, that takes a lot of stress off my plate.
How did you start looking for an RCM partner?
Roger Hiles: I’m a finance guy, so cost is always at the top of my list. Getting comfortable and embracing the process was the first step. Internally, we talked about what was important and set up a scorecard with criteria that were based on our needs before we started talking to potential providers.
What are some other goals you had?
Roger Hiles: We really wanted experts in Homecare Homebase to get the most out of the tool we had already invested in. I want our systems to do everything for us that they can and make our jobs and our lives more efficient. It’s hard to keep your folks trained and get the right people in the door. We wanted expertise that we did not have in house. We wanted an RCM team who had relationships with people and payors in the industry. We needed someone who could help us understand our contracts better. We wanted a partner, someone who felt like part of our team.
Walk us through the KPIs you measure to make sure we are successful
Roger Hiles: As a business, we’re really looking to drive decisions with data. Since moving to HCHB RCS, we are a lot more in tune with our KPIs and billing status. I get weekly KPIs that help me understand and trend how we are moving. We also have weekly checkpoints to touch base on any issues that have come up during the week.
What has been the greatest accomplishment of the partnership so far?
Roger Hiles: The expertise has really stood out for me. I’m two years into this industry, so having the expertise has been invaluable to me. There was so much that we have accomplished already. As part of implementation, we did a series of process maps to make sure there was a clear, agreed upon process for everything. We’ve improved our DSO and had a lot of follow up on our aged receivables, before we just didn’t have the bandwidth to do that. I’m really pleased.
What does the future look like?
Roger Hiles: A couple of things come to mind. We’ve got the process down, now I’m really looking to take the relationship to the next level. I’m going to count on the expertise as we grow and as the industry changes moving forward.
How has the partnership helped you grow and optimize?
Roger Hiles: Having to clearly define our process helped us take a close look at the areas that we continue to own and improve our side of the intake process. I don’t know when these discussions would have happened otherwise. I think we are getting better on both fronts because we are able to take a more focused look and learn to adapt and evolve.
Would you recommend HCHB RCS?
Roger Hiles: I am a firm believer. What I found unique is that there is a real sense of accountability. There is open, honest conversation. Honestly, it takes so many worries out of my day. Cash flow is at the top of my list all the time and knowing that there is a really good team behind me and that the cash is coming in through the door is really important to a finance guy.