Monday, June 27, 2011

Hospitals need to simplify chargemaster management

Posted by Mark Brousseau

As hospitals seek to survive and thrive in the new world of bundled payments, ACO and medical home programs, many are actively seeking to employ more physicians and acquire community practices. In fact, a recent survey by the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) shows a nearly 75 percent increase in the number of active doctors employed by hospitals since 2000.

This shift has intensified the perennial challenge of making employed providers revenue positive for the organization. A recent study published in The New England Journal of Medicine estimated that hospitals lose between $150,000 and $250,000 per year over the first three years of employing a physician (Kochner and Sahni; "Hospitals' Race to Employ Physicians" – March 30, 2011).

Against this backdrop, hospitals must establish a corporate chargemaster file to standardize aspects of physician charging for greater operational efficiency, optimal reimbursement and reduced compliance risks, says Keith Neilson, CEO of Craneware, which is exhibiting at HFMA's ANI Conference this week in Orlando.

To this end, Craneware is launching its Physician Revenue Toolkit to help hospitals manage multiple physician operations.

What do you think?

10 strategies for reducing healthcare supply costs

Posted by Mark Brousseau

Faced with growing medical-surgical supply costs as reimbursements shrink and healthcare reform looms, healthcare providers can reduce their medical-surgical supply spending immediately—and GHX is recommending the top 10 ways to do it.

The healthcare technology company released its list today at HFMA's ANI Conference in Orlando.

The GHX Top 10:

1.Save an average $12.00-$27.00 per order by conducting as much of your purchasing electronically with as many of your trading partners as possible.

2.Automate the procurement process, from the point of contracting to the point of payment, to streamline operations and boost efficiencies.

3.Centralize purchasing across your organization to provide visibility into and control over as much of your supply spending as possible.

4.Develop a master data management strategy, including the use of global industry data standards, to ensure that you are keeping critical information as up-to-date as possible and that you have “one source of truth” to feed clinical and financial IT systems.

5.Understand the total cost of ownership of your supply chain; in addition to the price paid, consider the financial implications of procurement, logistics, inventory management, charge capture and reimbursement, among others.

6.Create visibility into both the total cost and efficacy of the products being used in patient care, so that you can determine the role supplies play in both the cost and quality of the care your organization provides.

7.Focus on bringing more non-file and off-contract spend under contract, especially high-cost physician preference items.

8.Save an estimated 1-3 percent in avoided overpayments by validating contract pricing and making sure you’re using the most up-to-date contract information.

9.View the supply chain as a function that operates across your organization; establish partnerships with clinical and financial departments to develop and work together to achieve mutual objectives.

10.Collaborate with your trading partners to achieve mutual benefits. Share insights into what happens to products once they arrive at your facility and ask your suppliers for insights into how you can become a lower-cost customer to serve.

What do you think?

Healthcare reform boosts importance of business process improvement

Posted by Mark Brousseau

Health reform-mandated revisions, productivity adjustments, and proposed documentation and coding offsets pose a huge challenge for hospitals, says Ken Perez, senior vice president of marketing for MedeAnalytics.

MedeAnalytics is exhibiting at HFMA's ANI Conference this week in Orlando.

“Our research and economic models indicate that a 300-bed hospital will be required to reduce costs by more than $6 million in the year ahead to avoid erosion of its Medicare margins," Perez says. "The sheer magnitude of the financial impact of these multiple, complex and mounting reductions indicates that hospitals should focus even more attention on improving the efficiency and effectiveness of their core activity—the process and delivery of care.”

“Many hospitals are dealing with complex internal processes and financial pressures,” adds MedeAnalytics Associate Vice President of Product Marketing Cole Hooper. “It’s evident that hospitals will need to focus on process workflow and key performance indicators to improve cash flow and identify areas of loss."

What do you think?