Smooth Billing Operations Switch Reduces Bad Debt and Increases Cash for Radiology Practice
Radiology Associates of Nevada
Las Vegas, Nevada
With inferior reporting and collection and denial concerns, the practice needed to make a change but was uncertain about a billing vendor transition.
Revenue Cycle Management Services
- Billing transition completed in four months with virtually no cash drop
- Six-month charge increase: 6%
- Six-month payment increase: 13%
- Six-month bad debt reduction: 47%
Las Vegas-based Radiology Associates of Nevada (RAN) is one of the largest radiology practices in the Las Vegas area, with 22 physicians and referral relationships with Dignity Health and North Vista hospitals. The group is responsible for approximately 305,000 procedures annually.
The Challenge: Maintaining Collections and Connectivity During Billing Transition
In early 2014, RAN faced several challenges with their existing billing operations and was contemplating a change. There were questions about denial management and collections policies, and group leaders were not satisfied with the reports they were being provided.
While the group wanted to improve collections, reduce denials and boost business analytics and reporting, serious concerns existed about making a transition from the incumbent vendor. Without the cooperation of the incumbent company, the transition could quickly slide off the rails. And any significant cash drop during the changeover would have serious financial repercussions for the practice.
Moreover, maintaining uninterrupted connectivity with the hospital was paramount.
The Solution: A New Vendor for Revenue Cycle Management Services
Change Healthcare assessed the group’s existing billing operations and proposed a comprehensive array of revenue cycle services, including documentation assistance, coding, claims management, denial management, compliance and business reporting.
A specialized radiology implementation team from Change Healthcare was brought in to work with the operations team from the Radiology Center of Excellence in Fresno, Calif., to help facilitate a smooth transfer of receivables between the existing provider and Change Healthcare.
Working closely with the prior vendor, the Change Healthcare implementation team developed a transition plan that provided for a seamless handoff between the companies. A detailed checklist was created to ensure completion of the many steps necessary to achieve go-live, from physician credentialing to the creation of hospital interfaces.
The implementation team also partnered with coding and claims experts at the Change Healthcare Fresno Center to test and re-test billing processes and systems.
Finally, group physicians were provided with ongoing documentation education to help make sure that claims would be clean once billing began. An online system was also established that allowed coders to quickly obtain missing information from physicians to complete claims.
The Result: Billing Transition Reduces Bad Debt, Increases Charges, and Improves Reporting
“We’ve all heard horror stories about practices that change billing vendors,” says Darren Blanford, RAN’s practice administrator. “So naturally, there was a lot of concern about whether it would be worth pursuing. But Change Healthcare has the process down to a science, and we couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.”
The Change Healthcare systematic, detail-oriented approach to transitioning RAN’s revenue cycle management paid off. Within a short period of time – four months after go-live, Change Healthcare was handling 100% of the group’s billing, a speedier ramp-up than is typically the case. Additionally, charges increased and bad debt was reduced dramatically. Within six months, charges had increased by 6%, payments had jumped by 13% and bad debt had fallen 47%. Most importantly, the transition took place without a measurable drop in collections.
Reporting also improved. Productivity data, detailed revenue and collections information, and other custom reports were developed at the request of the practice. Blanford reports that the information has been enormously helpful in both supporting closer relations with the hospital and improving financial projections.
“The reports are exactly what we needed to fully understand where we are as an organization and where we’re going,” Blanford states.
He says the transition to Change Healthcare and subsequent operational and financial improvements the practice has enjoyed have far exceeded the group’s initial expectations.
“I think there was a sense among many in the practice that the billing change had the potential to be a disaster. But the reality has been just the opposite,” he explains.
“We are reaping the benefits of our new relationship and look forward to working with Change Healthcare for many years to come.”