HRH Improving Business Office, Patient Billing
September 02, 2009
In June, Holy Rosary Healthcare announced that the three Montana hospitals of the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health System (SCLHS) were working together to improve the business office and billing functions in the three facilities. That work included a new management partnership with Conifer Revenue Cycle Solutions, a nationally recognized firm that has proven healthcare experience, resources, technology and expertise. Conifer works directly with hospitals in 14 states, including Montana, to take one of the most complex, non-clinical areas of the hospital and make it more effective.
“The first phase of this process is coming to a close, and we really like what we’re seeing so far,” said HRH Interim CEO John Isely. “Billing is an area that patients have clearly said they want us to do better and we’re taking action to address that. We are keeping our own business office here at Holy Rosary and changing some of the processes so patients will see a more streamlined, timely and thoughtful approach to the hospital billing process, something everyone will welcome.”
Mary Strouf, an HRH employee who has worked in the business office for 13 years, added, “There have been several very positive changes already which are directly benefitting patients, and overall I like the direction we’re moving. Conifer brings a healthy dose of professionalism and energy and is effectively moving our daily work, focus, and efficiency to a higher level.”
Isely explained that expanded hours and the addition of a second private registration area are a couple examples of enhancements already put in place. Main hospital registration now operates from 5:30am to 5pm in two main private offices located immediately off the main hospital lobby and entrance. Evening, night, and weekend registration continues to take place in the HRH ER, and outpatient visitors to the Medical Arts Center and Clinic continue to register in the clinic.
Conifer has been involved onsite since June 15 when they began managing the revenue cycle operations. Earlier this week, 96 percent of the employees involved in various aspects of the revenue cycle operations in the three SCLHS hospitals in Montana – Holy Rosary Healthcare in Miles City, St. Vincent Healthcare in Billings, and St. James Healthcare in Butte – were hired on as Conifer employees. Three of Holy Rosary’s nearly 400 employees have chosen to move on to new opportunities. Additionally, 25 positions are currently being recruited in the three locations. Revenue cycle operations include patient access, registration, billing, collection services, and some medical records coding.
The last 75 days have been primarily focused on assessing all the policies, practices, and processes related to the revenue cycle. “Everything is being done to ensure a smooth transition for our patients, physicians and staff,” explained Isely. “This is a strategy that will increase support and resources for staff, add new technology capabilities, and provide staff training that will result in positive things for patients, physicians and employees. By bringing Conifer on-board, we’re improving the management of our business office operations, while focusing efforts on caring for patients, which is our core business and the focus of our work.”
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