"[It is] complex and difficult to get all the data right in your revenue cycle," Zurack says. "Every time there is a reimbursement reform, a new level of data collection gets overlaid over the old one, and you never drop the old one. It's difficult; it's one of the problems with healthcare."
In the past few years, HHC has used Lean methodologies to improve the revenue cycle process in an effort to reduce complexity and boost collections.
"We have now really hardwired in some of those standard workflows, and they are having an impact on collectability. We're seeing improvements in outpatient collection rates, and we're getting more insurance claims right the first time," she says.
Zurack says HHC is in the process of installing a new revenue cycle management system to replace the 25-year-old system that is currently being used. The new system will enable HHC to integrate functions such as the revenue system, patient access, decision support, and scheduling.
"We will have an enterprisewide patient master index so when you register in one facility, you are registered everywhere. … It will be great for an accountable care environment."
This article appears in the September issue of HealthLeaders magazine.