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Two hospital systems saved a collective $10 million through revenue cycle vendor management

Health systems need vendor goals, communication and improvement plans, say revenue cycle experts.

Susan Morse, Executive Editor

Nick Fricano is CEO and founder of Healthfuse.

Photo: Susan Morse/HFN

NASHVILLE - Revenue cycle vendor management has saved two health systems millions, according to two vice presidents of revenue cycle speaking at HMFA 2023.

Total savings for the Vanderbilt University Medical Center has been $1.9 million to date, according to Heather Dunn, vice president and chief revenue cycle officer. This is a system that has eight billion claims a year, Dunn said to a packed audience at the annual conference in Nashville.

NorthShore Edward-Elmhurst has improved total collections by $7.9 million per year, said Greg Arnold, senior vice president of System Revenue Cycle. 

Nick Fricano, CEO and founder of Healthfuse, a revenue cycle vendor management firm that serves over 300 hospitals including Vanderbilt, moderated the session.

Dunn said she went into the vendor process thinking that if you hire an outside resource, they do everything. She found more management is needed.

Many hospital executives outsource some parts of their revenue cycle processes.

Dunn said she found the best ROI came from hiring a vendor for "early outs" - the outsourcing of the post-billing process. This is after a patient has been billed and hasn't paid. More than a collection service, early-out procedures may include setting up a payment plan or working with insurance companies.

Vanderbilt has two vendors that partner well and present a good patient experience, Dunn said.

Arnold said NorthShore Edward-Elmhurst was able to consolidate contracts across its nine hospitals which was good for ROI and helped them to negotiate on volume.

Both Dunn and Arnold said hospitals and health systems should have goals for vendors, consistent communication and improvement plans.

Their roadmap to a successful vendor management is:

  • Perform weekly account-level audits.
  • Perform monthly vendor invoice reconciliations.
  • Standardize monthly performance reporting.
  • Obtain multiple bids.
  • Leverage request for proposals to identify the best-in-class vendors.
  • Support and develop the vendor strategy.
  • Conduct vendor huddles with goal-setting as focus.


Twitter: @SusanJMorse
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