The upcoming HFMA ANI conference (June 25-27) in Orlando, FL, will bring together thought leaders in the healthcare finance space to connect, discuss and explore the opportunities ahead. This year’s show theme – collaborating for the future – is particularly timely since the healthcare industry continues to rapidly consolidate, and the fate of the Affordable Care Act still hangs in the balance. The Trump administration’s potential new healthcare bill increases the likelihood that there will be a rise in uninsured patients, high-deductible plans and a continued focus on cost-cutting and value-based reimbursement for healthcare providers.
The lack of clarity and fast-paced changes in the market places even more pressure on Chief Financial Officers (CFO), whom are already challenged with juggling the transition to value-based care while managing fee-for-service (FFS). In addition to these pressures, many CFO’s feel like their issues are often de-prioritized in the long list of tech projects led by Chief Information Officers (CIO), who are more focused on clinical initiatives. With so much technical effort and budgets directed toward clinical transformations and electronic medical record (EMR) installations over the past 10 years, the financial analytics tools required to thrive under payment reform have been neglected.
During this time of uncertainty, the CFO and CIO need to come together to establish a single-source of truth that leverages data insights from the entire organization. This is the only way a provider can establish agile and nimble financial operations while trying to cut unnecessary costs and improve care. While many providers typically turn to a data warehouse as a first step, there are many additional steps needed to turn an enterprise data warehouse (EDW) strategy into financial value for the organization. Many EDW projects result in a data landfill where data is aggregated, but is not actionable. Providers must go beyond the data warehouse and create organizational processes to ensure these insights are driving change. Here are the steps both CFOs and CIOs can take to achieve alignment:
- Focus on small goals and build out – It’s impossible to solve all the problems occurring within an organization overnight. Start small by identifying the one area where analytics can make the greatest impact and go from there.
- Utilize existing data – Data warehouses and analytics initiatives often focus on aggregating clinical information. While clinical data is important, most data models are built on a backbone of administrative, claims and encounter data. Creating value with all forms of data is important to ensure the organization is receiving the insights they need to map towards the goals they outline.
- Drive accountability and behavior change – CIOs and CFOs are the drivers of change to creating value with data analytics; however, it requires organizational alignment, accountability and behavior change. A successful analytics program incorporates accountability and progress tracking directly into the analytics tools to define ownership of performance metrics, action steps, improvement program status and integration with other organizational initiatives.
By taking these steps and starting small, a provider can begin to scale into other departments and achieve collaboration across the enterprise.
Our client, Wise Health Systems (WHS) who is speaking at HFMA ANI, is a shining example of collaboration within the revenue cycle. On Tuesday, June 27 from 3:30-4:45 p.m. ET, the Baylor Scott & White affiliated health system with 3 hospitals and facilities across Decatur, TX will share what they learned from creating an enterprise-wide data approach that reduced inefficiencies from the front to the back-end of their revenue cycle. Lynn Gidden-Branscum, Vice President & Administrative Director of Revenue Cycle and Audits, will elaborate on how WHS utilized MedeAnalytics to improve CDI, patient satisfaction and costs. Lynn will also share results, including an 88 percent increase in point-of-service collections and details on how they created a data-driven culture.