Hospitals Need Highly Performing Revenue Cycle Vendors Now More Than Ever

by | Sep 21, 2021

Hospitalizations from the Delta variant of COVID-19 are growing as experts predict the “continued evolution and spread” of the virus. Many hospitals are once again having to postpone elective procedures and set up tents or additional facilities to deal with the surge. The situation has become dire in many areas of the country. While the push continues, it is impossible to know when this surge will end or if another is around the corner.

The bottom line is that health systems, especially large not-for-profits with multiple locations, will need help from their revenue cycle vendors in digging out and getting past the biggest financial crisis our nation’s hospitals have ever seen. With the right vendors, health systems may be able to improve their revenue streams beyond pre-pandemic levels. But doing so requires that the organization’s vendors perform at optimal levels with a positive return on investment. St. Joseph’s/Candler (SJ/C), a not-for-profit health system serving 33 counties in Southeast Georgia and three in the South Carolina Low Country, has done just that. 

SJ/C was experiencing a significant increase in patient financial responsibility, and it was taking its toll; reimbursements were plummeting while margins continued to erode. To address the impact, the organization’s finance committee mandated deep cost cuts, placed a temporary hold on bonuses, and let vacant positions remain empty. SJ/C also knew they needed a more effective vendor management strategy to address underperforming vendors and to identify contracts they felt were less than favorable. Several vendor contracts were coming up for renewal within the year, and they thought it would be an ideal time to reevaluate and renegotiate terms.

SJ/C engaged Healthfuse to act as a part of its existing revenue cycle team, providing expert advice and vendor management assistance. The ultimate goal was to improve visibility, reduce costs, and maintain oversight. Healthfuse used its VendorMetrics platform to evaluate the true value of existing vendor relationships objectively. This included identifying compliance issues, implementing compliance monitoring, and improving vendor performance.

With Healthfuse, St. Joseph’s/Candler achieved substantial cost savings, including a 9:1 ROI with $13M in collection improvements.

With Healthfuse, SJ/C increased visibility into vendor performance and costs, proactively addressed compliance issues, and ensured all accounts placed with outsourcers were being worked for optimal collections. SJ/C also was able to streamline issue resolution to mitigate issues that could negatively impact revenue quickly. To date, Healthfuse has delivered:

  • $13M in collections improvements
  • $912K in cost-savings
  • $2.5M in cash-factor improvement with new initiatives
  • $6M net yield in the first 2 years from vendor performance
  • 10% reduction in vendor expenses
  • $80K in invoice recoveries

“We engaged Healthfuse over 5 years ago, and they are still driving value. They’ve provided us with a level of vendor transparency we couldn’t have achieved ourselves. We’ve achieved a 9:1 ROI through this fantastic partnership!” Greg Schaack, Chief Financial Officer | St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System

The bottom line

There’s never been a time when health systems needed their revenue cycle vendors more than they do now. It’s a financial imperative for achieving complete financial recovery from the pandemic. For large health systems with complex operations, such as not-for-profits serving multiple communities, the best place to begin is by ensuring your vendors are working as hard for your success as you are. Healthfuse can help. We have vast insight into more than 3,000 vendors and hospitals, giving us the expertise needed to analyze vendor performance, ensure optimal contract terms, accelerate cost savings, and improve self-pay collections.