Sr Client Success Coordinator, SCI Solutions
My Team is: My experience with Patient Access is built upon being a member of three equally important teams. My first team was at a very busy, multi-physician medical practice with a completely manual process for patient care. Some of the biggest challenges were patient and physician satisfaction related to scheduling (diagnostic testing, follow up appointments, referrals, and the dreaded prior authorizations) and patient flow, which were all reliant upon phone, fax, and paper orders. My second team was centered within a large health system as a physician liaison attached to a Patient Access Service Center with direct reporting to the VP of Revenue Cycle and administration of SCI Solutions Provider Network Manager (Order Facilitator) solution. My third, and most exciting, team is that of SCI Solutions.
My proudest Super Star moment is: My most rewarding experience is difficult to limit to one scenario. One example was the ability to automate very manual processes, which resulted in physicians getting 24/7 access to scheduling, diagnostic testing, and referral sources while assuring a complete, legible, signed order. This provided a positive impact on the health system’s revenue cycle, but also the consumer’s overall experience. In my current role, I get to do this on behalf of many health system clients – replacing manual efforts with automated tools to enhance the “Patient to Payment – and everything in between”. It’s rewarding helping organizations improve Point of Service Collections while reducing denials through Pre-Registration and Prior Authorization services, increasing patient and physician satisfaction through streamlining workflows and access lines, reducing the A/R days and the amount of claims in DNFB (Did Not Final Bill) status with correct scheduling and order tools. Health system and patients both win!
Why it matters: Patient Access process improvement initiatives benefit the physician offices not only by offering increased access lines, but also assists with eliminating the need for re-work. Office staff is awarded more patient care time, since access is now on their timelines via a variety of submission sources that bypass the phone and fax challenges. Communication and feedback loops also contribute to Continuity of Care visibility, tracking, and documentation. Within the health systems, improving the “experience” meant that we were able to reduce negative patient impact (patients showing up without orders & doctor’s office closed, or patient not aware of scheduled appointment due to office not being able to contact) by housing a single repository for all orders, appointment requests initiated with a complete order and scheduled directly with the patient to eliminate the above scenarios. Having a complete, legible, signed, and retrievable order instantly improves the revenue potential.
My Super Stars advice is: Patient Access initiatives have the ability to drastically enhance or reduce the health of your company’s Revenue Cycle. Consider what impact new process and workflow initiatives will have on your entire Revenue Cycle loop from Patient (sees physician and needs an appointment) to Payment (processes set to capture the highest revenue potential without rework or redundancy). Consider the downstream effect of the areas that you are involved with. From patient and physician satisfaction, orders and scheduling, pre-registration and prior authorization, financial counseling, and continuity of care should receive equal attention and effort. And of course, partner with companies, who provide tools designed to help your organization achieve Patient Access greatness!