As a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) over many hospitals throughout my career, I would take our end of the month financials and a yellow pad and sit down at my desk and start reviewing the prior month results. As I analyzed the numbers, I would write down questions that I had about the month, both about the positive and negative indicators. Then I would either dig into the numbers to seek answers, or I would call in members of my staff to assist me with finding the data I needed.
A to B
Basically A to B was my general approach; with A being the questions concerning the monthly results and B being plausible answers to those questions, so that I could explain the data as best I could to my superiors. Then, and only then, could we decide our best approach to ensure a continuation of the positive results, to develop a new process, or to devise an action plan in effort to change the negative results into a more favorable trend.
Had I had ClinView to work with during my time as a CFO, I believe the process would have been similar but much improved. First of all, the data would have been represented in a visual presentation, which would allow me to see both the current month results along with the prior periods, including a visual trend and identification of anomalies. Secondly, I would probably still call in members of my staff, but not to help me find the data, but to review the results and work toward improvement of processes to safeguard better financial results in future months.
That was Then, This is Now
In the past, I would spend many 30 day cycles, just trying to obtain the data I needed to figure what happened. I had very little time to try and make the changes needed to improve our financial position. Sometimes, it might be months before we could make the improvements needed; therefore, leaving dollars on the table, while waiting for implementation. Now, with ClinView, we begin with the answers in mind after quickly moving from our questions with just a matter of clicks through the tabs in the application, shortening the time it takes to get from A to B.
And What About C?
I call C the golden nuggets – things you see or find as a result of the review, that helps you either better understand the data or leads you on a path to making other improvements you weren’t even thinking about when you started the review.
Business Intelligence Helps Show Me the Money!
What ClinView provides us during a review that I normally wouldn’t have is the patient detail for any and all searches as we work through the data, and the endless quality and financial data at my fingertips. Let me provide an example. As I was inspecting the orthopedic service line for one facility, I found several DRGs and procedures that had very low profitability. Our first thought was to determine if it was due to high implant costs, variation in practice patterns, or payer mix payment. While we discovered opportunities based on the analysis, ClinView also gave me the ability to find in the patient detail outliers from the norm, which provided a better prospective of the data and identified accounts that had not been paid that should have been reimbursed.
These were my golden nuggets!! I was able to remove the outliers with ease resulting in the ability to use the right data to determine the right outcomes. Then I was able to obtain a list of patient accounts that hadn’t been paid to the business office to review and inquire what the holdup was with the payments on these accounts. This simple process resulted in improvement of the facilities’ contribution margin. Both of these nuggets might have been missed had we not been able to dig further into the facilities data in such a quick and simple manner.
Tom Thompson is a senior financial consultant with Clinical Intelligence, LLC.
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