Archive for outsourcing

Is Your Hospital’s CEO a Team Player?

I read a fantastic article by Haydn Bush from HH&N magazine the other day, entitled Can Hospital CEO’s Be Team Players?

He comes from the viewpoint that doctors in smaller practices have had to shift their role in recent years from one of oversight to one of team leading.  Here’s how Bush states the adjustment:

Physicians, Umbdenstock told me, have been moving from a role “as captain of the ship to leader of the team. It’s a very different orientation, from a hierarchical relationship to more of a leader, motivator and coordinator.” This month’s cover story explores that issue in depth, looking at how physicians, nurses, pharmacists, social workers and others are building collaborative teams to better serve patients. But as clinicians begin to embrace these new relationships, what about their counterparts in the C-suite? I applaud Bush and HH&N for bringing this issue up.  It’s something I’ve been talking about for a while now and I think it’s only becoming more important as time goes on.

In today’s economic environment, health care needs to start taking a page or two out of corporate America’s playbook.  Take a look at how Apple or other similarly successful companies handle their leadership and you’ll see the future of hospital administration.

In these companies, the CEOs that survive and thrive are totally team players.  They can’t succeed by looking down on drones sent out to do their bidding.  Instead, they need to be right there in the action, interacting with – and learning from – the skilled people they hire.

And another skill the top corporate CEOs possess (which a lot of hospital administrators still need to work on,) is knowing what they don’t know.  A Steve Jobs, for example, was really smart and talented.  But he was also smart enough to know that he didn’t know everything.  So he worked hard to surround himself with people who knew better.  And to go out and find the experts who could provide the knowledge he needed.

After all, it’s about the goal, right?  With all the changes affecting health care, there’s a whole new set of rules health care organizations need to play by.  And this trend toward teamwork internally and reliance on outsourced experts externally isn’t going to slow down any time soon.  A CEO who wants to succeed needs to adjust to leverage that fact, and they need to start now.

Medical Billing Solution Adds $1.3M Annually to Hospital’s Bottom Line

Medical Account Solutions (MAS): See our company’s first Press Release. The release points to our latest Best Management Practices for Hospitals Case Study outlying MAS Comprehensive Outpatient Billing.


Focused Medical Billing Solution Adds $1.3M Annually to NY Inner-city Hospital’s Bottom Line

Through the efforts of New York Medical Billing Firm, Medical Account Solutions (MAS), NY area hospitals may be able to reduce budgets while maintaining, or even increasing, services for patients through more productive follow up of outpatient billing receivables.

Long Island, NY March 13, 2012 – For most hospitals, budget shortfalls aren’t always caused by poor reimbursement from insurers or uninsured patients. In fact, the overwhelming issue for hospitals tends to be the mismanagement of claims processing and payment, along with the inability to manage and train the proper staff to handle the sheer daily volume. These shortfalls can lead to sub-standard treatment and even the closure of hospitals for the patients who need them the most.

“The old methods of managing outpatient medical billing just don’t work anymore”, says Bill Baylis, president of Medical Account Solutions (MAS), a medical billing firm located in Merrick, NY, “the rules for billing are constantly changing and it’s become too complex of a job for the hospital to maintain. Hospitals really need to rethink how they go about pursuing accounts receivables and if it’s in their best interest to go it alone.”

Having identified the core issues regarding the closures of many inner-city hospitals, MAS created a case study over a 5 year span utilizing a hospital in an inner-city setting. “The fact is that these facilities are already running on extremely tight budgets. They can’t afford the level of staffing it would require to employ experts in each type of billing department, but allowing the receivables to build up can lead to closure,” states Baylis. Over the 5 year span in just one hospital, MAS cleaned up 87,789 aged claims that were over 60 days old which resulted in an infusion of over $5.5M. This effort was maintained despite adjustments to hospital administration, which can often derail budgeting efforts. This hospital can now rely on a steady 1.3 million annually to their bottom line through efforts of MAS.

“The volume is there,” says Baylis, “but current systems aren’t getting the money into the hospitals in a timely manner. New systems are needed to capture the money owed to them faster for services rendered. The hospital’s business is to save the patient, but our business is to save the hospital. Let the experts stick to their expertise and things will run more smoothly.”

About Medical Account Solutions (MAS):
Since 1986, MAS has been creating customized billing programs and expert consultation services to precisely fit each of our hospitals’ unique medical billing scenarios. Our over 25 years of expertise allows the hospital to secure payments, both efficiently and effectively. To everyone’s benefit, the MAS approach gets through significantly more claims faster than what our client’s office can do on their own.

Press contact:
Bill Baylis
Medical Account Solutions
(p) 516-348-7282
(f) 516-348-7283

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Outsourcing and the 44 million dollar question?

Have you heard this yet?

Bronx-Lebanon Hospital owes Alexis Rodriguez, and several hundred other patients, an apology.  It was just “a simple mistake,” of course.  But tell that to Alexis Rodriguez. 

Basically, the billing firm handling invoicing for Bronx-Lebanon Hospital made a data entry error that placed the invoice number in the “Amount Owed” field.  So several hundred patients received bills to the tune of eight digits!

Here’s a link to the full article: “You’re Better – and You Owe $44 Million.”

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I’m not faulting Bronx-Lebanon for outsourcing their billing.  We think outsourcing is one of the smartest things a hospital can do.

But here’s the thing:   The company they chose to trust with invoicing their patients fell short when it to came time to quality review.

And that, my friends, created a mess.

Outsourcing can be a risky business when you don’t hire the best.  Here are some tips to keep in mind if you’re considering outsourcing:

  1. Details, details, details:  In this case, this little faux pas happened because the company Bronx-Lebanon chose to use didn’t pay attention to the details.  It’s vital for a company to pay attention to little details that can make the difference between a job well done and an embarrassing mess. So when you’re considering outsourcing a job to a company, pay attention to little details like what kind of presence they have on social media or how they handle communications such as responses to your e-mails.  These little clues can give you insight into how they may handle your job.
  2. Pricing:  Outsourcing can’t be a matter of finding the lowest bid and running with it.  Who knows how much money Bronx-Lebanon has lost in cleaning up this snafu, but you can bet they’ve lost quite a bit in future earnings just based on a sullied reputation.  And errors like this aren’t the only possibility when you go with the lowest bidder.  Any time corners get cut or quality is sacrificed for price, you run the risk of looking bad, or possibly even running into legal trouble.
  3. Reputation:  You’ve got to be able to trust the company you’re working with to have the same quality standards as you and your facility.  A solid firm you’re going to hire needs to have a strong reputation you can trust.  A history of success you can research and rely on.  I wasn’t able to find much about the company Bronx-Lebanon used for their invoicing.  Maybe that says something.

I know from my own experience, outsourcing has its pros and cons.  So if you’re going to enjoy the benefits and steer clear of the potential hazards, you need to be able to settle on a company with the history and reputation to stand behind their work and keep your name out of the headlines.

Tell me, what guidelines do you follow when hiring a vendor? Any best practices you look for when outsourcing?  What do you do to pay attention to details?  Let me know in the comments.