How to get paid for the services you provide

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Revenue Cycle / Supply Chain

Michelle McCray
Six Sigma Black Belt
BayCare Health System

In early 2006, St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa, Fla. created a cash collections task force. The goal of the task force was to find opportunities throughout the hospital to increase the amounts of patient responsibilty being collected. Similar to health care organizations accross the country, the amount of uncompensated care at St. Joseph's had risen to levels that placed an enormous strain on our budget. Charity and bad debt write-offs to those who can't afford, or simply choose not too pay, continued to rise. Sucessful process changes were made for inpatients, emergency room, cath lab, and surgical services. The changes were made through a combination of Six Sigma methodologies, from the rigorous DMAIC methodology to 30-day workouts.

The presentation will begin with some history about why upfront collections is important and why there is so much uncompensated care. I will follow with a description of the methods and tools used in each area identified by the cash collections task force as a potential area of improvement: inpatient units, emergency department, cath lab, and surgical services.

  • The 30-day workout used to improve inpatient cash collections will be outlined
  • The DMAIC project used to improve ER cash collections will be outlined
  • Several "just-do-its" for improving our collection rates in surgical services and the cath lab will be highlighted

The presentation will end with points about what to expect from staff and patients as these processes are rolled out in your hospital. I will provide methods to decrease the negative reactions that may be given.