It is evidently clear from the discussion that although Sutter Health already had a fully functioning Accounting System at their Sacramento based head office, and had started training their Patient Financial Services staff members, the system took a leap forward when this training was also given to the staff at their reception front desks. Aging the Accounts Receivable position of patients placed under each PFS staff, getting key statistics and establishing collection and billing benchmarks were all incorporated into the plan. While previously they had to depend on a specially skilled programs to generate MIS reports about Receivables and Cash Collections, they now started a new system with capabilities to show the Gross and Net Accounts Receivable, Cash Collected, Percentages over 90, 180 and 360 days, Major Payer A/R days etc.. This enabled a better analysis of the situation. The second part related to the training of the front desk based staff at reception. While those with the Account Manager-type responsibilities had a number of patients under their care, the front desk staff had to assume responsibility for all the patients that were admitted on their watch. Today each person at the Central Business Office has their own customized dashboard to track progress in meeting team and individual targets. The new system has made point of sale collections the norm for PFS staff, as we shall see below. Sutter Health has in effect implemented a high tech customized account reporting system that allows PFS staff to automate and prioritize their work lists, sort accounts in various ways, and also look at their personal position within team rankings and office-wide, based on the total of amounts collected versus receivable. Similarly, managers are equipped with their own range of supervisory level tool and reports, enabling them to query any aspect of receivables from time and performance-based to individual patient accounts, aging of accounts, reports on dues up to 18 months, problem patient accounts, average daily revenues and even anticipated collections. It is quite likely that this query and results indicator system has revolutionized the entire concept of receivables and collections in the healthcare industry, by bringing in a number of ways to increase operational, billing and collection efficiencies.
Souza, M. & McCarty, B. (2007). From bottom to top: How one provider retooled its collections [electronic version]. Healthcare Financial Management. 61(9). 67-73. Accessed on 21 March 2012, at http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=1018738311&sid=1&Fmt=3&clientId=74379&RQT=309&VName=PQD
Sutter Health Website (2012). Accessed on 21March 2012 at http://www.sutterhealth.org/about/index.html
The Medassets Website (2012). Sutter Health – Sacramento implements receivables management tools and collects $78 million in first three months. Accessed on 21 March 2012, at http://www.medassets.com/casestudies/pages/case-studies-main.aspx
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