Willmar, Minn. (November, 2012) -- Rice Memorial Hospital is one of six healthcare organizations nationwide to receive the Healthcare Business Insights’ (HBI) 2012 Revenue Cycle Award. Rice won in a large part due to the significant improvements achieved last year, particularly by increasing point of service collections to over $600,000; the most of any organization surveyed. (The previous fiscal year, Rice’s point of service collections totaled less than $33,000.)
Rice’s largest initiative has been implementing a process to estimate patient bills in order to help educate patients about their out-of-pocket expenses at the point of service, enabling Rice to collect accurate payments upfront and begin the process of identifying funding programs for patients in need.
“Rice has received a lot of positive feedback from patients who appreciate the bill estimation, ability to pay prior to services, and referrals for financial assistance. Patients have found that we can help reduce their stress by knowing their share of the cost of service, so they can focus their energy on getting well. They have told us it is such a relief”, said Bill Fenske, Chief Operating Officer.
A revenue cycle is the financial process of patient care: from first contact with the patient to resolution of the patient’s bill, including pre-admission/admission/registration, ordering or prescribing of services, documentation and coding of services, charging for services, and billing and collection for services.
“The success with this program is due to the great team effort of Patient Access (Registration), Patient Accounting (Business Office) and other revenue cycle staff on the front lines and behind the scenes. They ensure that patients are adequately covered by available payment options – including eligibility for insurance, government programs and financial support programs,” explained Jackie Hinderks, Director of Revenue and Reimbursement.
Fenske added, “These programs not only reduce stress for patients, they lower the cost of Rice’s ‘back end’ services, so that Rice can devote maximum resources to direct patient care and service. With bill estimation and offering flexible payment schedules and options it also reduces the number of accounts referred for collections which is better for Rice and our patients”.
For this award, HBI members were surveyed and results were analyzed for more 50 organizations which included more than 100 hospitals. Members range in size from critical access hospitals to large clinic/hospital systems. HBI provides its members with objective, actionable best practice research into the business functions of hospitals and health systems nationwide. HBI enables leaders to drive initiatives that improve their organizations’ financial health, clinical care, and patient satisfaction levels.
For more information about Rice’s financial programs, go to: www.ricehospital.com/billing or call 320-231-4371 or 320-231-4288 or 1-866-601-0527.