Though Baptist retained the responsibility for all its basic finances, such as charge capture and charge entry, it brought in McKesson to address the problem through outsourcing. As Baptist concentrated on growth, its vendor concentrated on stabilizing the revenue cycle and cash flow; in the process the average monthly charges increased 56.5%, and A/R days began dropping. North says Baptist Health actually just hit an all-time low in A/R days—29.2.
More important than its reinvigorated revenue cycle, however, are Baptist's growth results. Over the last three years the hospital has grown its employed physicians from 77 to 110 and it continues to pursue other group practices. The lesson that Baptist has learned is a good one for many healthcare leaders to keep in mind: If growth is in your future, understand how it will impact all facets of your operation before making the first acquisition.