We Are Improving Our Business
We just finished two days of intense Billing Department Technical Assistance with HRSA’s consultant, John Church. He was thorough and exhausting. Before his on-site review, he visited with several key staff related to Billing and gathered lots of documents beforehand, and once here he gathered more. He expanded it to include a revenue cycle review and delved deep into our accounting. I want to report to you the initial exit review even though he is drafting a formal report that will come to us and to our Project Officer later.
Although he cited a few examples where we could apply some improvement-tweaking, he was very complementary about the operations of our health center. This should make you feel good about working for ACCESS Family Care, because your hard work has made us what we are today.
Mr. Church has been involved with site visits of health centers for twenty years. He is well-respected at HRSA, they have used him many times to rescue failing health centers, and he has served as CFO and CEO of several health centers and a few hospitals. I relate all this so you will understand and appreciate the experience he carries with him.
As a health center consultant for HRSA, he has seen the best and worst in health center function and management and he said he is very critical in his evaluations. With that said, here are some literal quotes from him:
“It’s hard for me to think of any health center that is running better than you.”
“You are right on the cusp of taking this to the level of the top 2-3% of the best performing health centers in the nation.”
“Right now, you are better than 90% of all health centers.”
“I give you extremely high grades.”
He told us that right now he would rate us a B+ and he would give us an A if we had our production a little higher. We know that with the previous Dental Technical Assistance and the work we are doing with the Patient Centered Medical Home, both are designed to guide us in increasing efficiency that will result in higher production.
He told me unreservedly that CFO Sheila Long was doing a very good job with the finances and he told all of us that Pat Stoner and the billing department were doing a very good job. He said that the billing department is running very efficiently where in many health centers with equal load would have at least two more billers than we have, he said our staff’s experience serves our efficiency very well. That definitely keeps costs down.
He did cite a couple of responsibilities that need to be moved which would give the billing department a full FTE of additional time to focus on billing.
Sheila also reported to me a couple weeks ago that an analysis revealed that our self-pay collections are at 88%. Compared with other FQs, the state and national averages, we are doing about a 20% better job with those collections than other typical health centers. A big kudos goes to our excellent registration staff who work hard to collect at the time of service. That makes a huge difference, and makes us stand out in a most positive way.
I know our registration staff sometimes get to witness the ugly side of people among all the other things they have to do. I even witnessed María Hernandez manage a very difficult patient at the Neosho clinic, and she handled it superbly. It’s not easy for sure.
If I might humbly brag; ACCESS Family Care had a good showing at the recent Joplin Tri-State Business Journal’s Salute to Health Care. Of all the health care organizations receiving honors, including the big hospitals, ACCESS had more staff receiving recognition than any of them. Congratulations to Dr. Bentlage for being Doctor of the Year, and Tina Reeves for being Nurse Practitioner of the Year.
The recognition and honors are nice encouragement to us. But with or without them, you serve from the heart making a difference in people’s lives. It’s an honor to work for an organization that has a strong mission for serving people who wouldn’t be able to access quality health care if it weren’t for this organization and you making it happen.