A few days ago I posted an article titled 10 Hospital Revenue Cycle Tips In 3 Minutes. That was specifically for patient accounting people, although my hope was that other departments in hospitals might find it illuminating.

hospital money
Maklay62 via Pixabay

One of those positions I hoped might see it were hospital chief financial officers. However, I realize how few of them read blogs, and if something wasn't specifically directed towards them they might never know it was something they should be interested in.

Thus, I've not only linked to that one, but I've created a top 10 just for them. Hopefully, even with this preamble it only take 3 minutes to read, but it could stretch into 4. By the way, for more tips please check out this article I wrote for MiraMed titled 5 Tips Towards Finding Missing Revenue.

1. Look at days in unbilled receivables with your HIM director to see if the problem is the coders or physicians. Getting these claims out faster brings your cash in faster.

2. Marking up low cost items at a higher percentage rate is smart business. Marking up items over $5,000 more than 50% or items over $10,000 more than 25%, though legal, hurts your bottom line more than helping your overall revenue.

3. Periodically, you should review your 20 highest cost supply items to see if they're priced fairly or if there's a lower cost yet equal alternative. You should also review your highest used items to verify that they're truly billable, especially since most of them will be your lower priced supplies.

4. Always look to increase revenue before cutting expenses. Most hospitals aren't capturing around 35% of the revenue they should be.

5. If you decide you still need to cut staff, the last place you look is patient accounting. True, they don't generate revenue, but without them you're not going to bring in all the cash you need and this is the last group you want to try to get more out of with fewer bodies.

6. The reason your charge master is so important in today's world is that most of your procedures are outpatient. More surgeries are outpatient, and this needs to become more important to the revenue and budgeting process than inpatient services.

7. Low volume areas can't be measured by the same yardstick. For instance, neurology might not be a big department in some hospitals but it's definitely more patient-critical than cardiac rehab and reimburses better.

8. Before finalizing contracts with payers, any processes that specifically involve any departments within your hospital should be given the opportunity to give feedback. This is especially critical when the discussion centers around authorizations and non-covered services.

9. Leave your office every once in a while and visit all the departments that report to you… not just finance! Let the employees see you and know that you care; it's great leadership.

10. At least once a quarter set up a meeting with the leadership principles of all the departments that report to you. Ask them these 3 questions: What are the 3 biggest negative issues you're facing? Is the staff fully trained, and if not what do they need? What kind of support do you need from me to be successful?