2019 Strategies – How Will You Maximize Your Agency Performance?

How to Maximize Your Agency Performance

Can you believe that we’ve pushed the clocks back and we’re almost half-way through the fourth quarter?  The year will be over before we know it!  By now most organizations are racing to complete execution of their 2018 strategies, and hopefully realize the successes they had planned for the year.  And, most are in the midst of 2019 strategic planning and budgeting.

We in home care will continue to be faced with challenges – mandated costs which need to be managed, the EVV™ mandate, value based care and payments, consumer-directed care, provider consolidation, and increased payer diversity, to name a few. However, if you look at these challenges from a different perspective, they are also all significant opportunities. Having strategic plans in place that focus on these challenges/opportunities, and executing on them timely and completely, is more critical than ever.

But we have to continue “minding the store” while we’re out strategizing and executing, and hopefully growing our businesses, and continuing to provide excellent patient care.  On the other side, we don’t want to get stuck in the day to day, only to learn that we missed the boat!

With the thin margins and ever-increasing costs in our business, revenue and cash flow are especially critical.    Is your revenue cycle performing at its optimum? Are you billing for all services that you provide?  Are you getting paid as quickly and completely as you should?  If your state is transitioning to managed care, are you building the revenue cycle processes to get paid?  How much of your agency leadership’s time is spent managing this function?  Is this the best use of that time? So add this to your strategy list – develop an efficient and effective vehicle to focus on the areas of your revenue cycle which could be improved in order to maximize collections performance.

From an executive vantage point, you can’t determine if your processes are working correctly unless they’re being measured.  Just like in medical and automotive diagnostics, having key metrics is crucial.  Having the right metrics allows you to leverage your time to maximize efficiency and effectiveness.

There are two approaches you can take – a) identify an internal or external resource to pull a large list of metrics together, analyzing them and creating a really comprehensive look at your entire revenue cycle,  or b) concentrate on a few metrics, identify and address anything that needs attention, and expand from there.

If you opt for (b), I would pull together these six to start:

  • Revenue vs cash receipts vs cash applied by month for the past 12 months
  • Comparative aging trend by bucket for the past 6 months
  • Days Sales Outstanding by Payer
  • Dollars billed vs collected 120 days after billing
  • Unbilled (held) claims
  • Unverified hours (if using electronic visit verification)

Investigating anomalies in these figures will surface opportunities for improvement in your revenue cycle.  Make changes, then run the numbers again.  Ensure that updated figures are reported to you regularly so your organization stays on track.  Then expand to new metrics.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me.  I’d also love to hear what you did and how it turned out.

Revenue Management Solutions provides revenue cycle outsourcing and support services to home health agencies, allowing management to focus on providing excellent patient care while navigating the opportunities and challenges in our industry.  We provide full service revenue cycle management as well as data collection and process consulting projects.  Our goal is to maximize your revenue, cash flow, and operational effectiveness.

Written by: Phil Feldman, Vice President Revenue Management Solutions. Phil.feldman@rmshomecare.com516-484-4400 X 1494