Nearterm has an Interim Management contract serving one of our more complex multi-facility clients as Interim Revenue Cycle Director. One issue identified during initial analysis was a 7 figure backlog consisting of delinquent accounts with a reasonable probability of collection if worked properly. In this case it was determined that a lot of on-site research would be required. That determination led our client to consider the option of bringing in Interim AR Specialists (Billing and Collection Experts) to work in the business office rather than outsourcing the AR to a remote collection service.
When the Revenue Cycle Team presented this option to the CEO in the form of a recommendation, the very astute and entrepreneurial CEO asked a question that I thought was so simple it was brilliant:
“WILL WE PAY THESE GUYS MORE THAN WE COLLECT?”
I am a student of simplicity, among other things. My background in management consulting, organization development and revenue cycle strategy has required me to help hospitals transform seemingly overwhelming challenges into bite-sized action plans that are in a word “simple” enough to be actionable. So, when a client recently asked this question of one of our senior professional staff, I thought it was worth presentation.
Obviously there are a lot of surrounding considerations that would be answered before a decision could be made but if you can get to “yes” on this one, it certainly means you have mitigated the risk!
In many situations, it is advantageous to outsource to a remote service provider. We often recommend it and frequently help with vendor selection. However, in cases where extraordinary repeated interaction with case management, clinical, health information management, financial, IT and/or other disciplines is necessary at the account level, many vendors lose interest or minimize work protocols. In those cases onsite AR Specialists are a great option.
If you have experience with decisions related to this topic that would be helpful to your colleagues, please share. Nearterm is a repository for revenue cycle case study and we would welcome your input.