Revenue Cycle

SUCCESS IN PATIENT ACCESS: One shoe fits the other

Patient Access Weekly Advisor, September 3, 2008

Most department staff feels as if the other departments’ staff should be in their shoes for a change – well, Vail (CO) Valley Medical Center does that. Billers sit at the desks of registrars, and vice versa. It helps them focus on the process instead of on the people who make mistakes, says Tracy Walsh, LCSW, director of patient access and case management at Vail Valley.

“When they swap, they really learn ‘what I do that affects others’,” Walsh says. “Billers can see why there would be a delay of payment when someone does not read an insurance card correctly. Looking at the card, they would have picked the same.”

The end results have been terrific, Walsh says. Because of the front and back end teams working together, Vail, a 58-bed facility, has:

  • Decreased its returned mailings by 30% by correcting address and insurance information
  • Increased its point-of-service collections by 50%
  • Realized an increase in satisfaction among staff members through its public rewards, such as giving a mention to the registrar who has collected the most money

Editor’s note: For more on this story, see the upcoming October edition of Patient Access Advisor.

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