Category Archives: Interim Management Services

Nearterm, an industry leader in healthcare interim management services, looks at Revenue Cycle, Finance, Accounts Receivable, Business Office, HIM & More.

The Rise of the Agile Workforce

The Rise of the Agile Workforce

Long gone are the days when people work the same job until retirement. Today, the workforce has transformed, and more and more people are choosing to be “agile” workers — that is, taking on jobs on a project-by-project basis. This rise in the agile workforce means that people have the opportunity to work for a multitude of employers and on a multitude of endeavors in a multitude of settings. The rise of the agile workforce can be attributed to many factors, including the benefits this work structure offers workers — and, also, if you work in the healthcare industry, you may just benefit from burgeoning agile workforce, too.

The Basics of Agile Working

The most basic tenet of agile working is that workers are not traditional full-time employees. Instead, agile workers can be freelancers who work remotely, they can be contracted workers who only work for the duration of a project, or they can be temporary workers who are only staffed for a certain amount of time.

The Agile Workforce by the Numbers

While some companies continue to maintain traditional employees, studies are showing that globally, employers are shifting towards hiring agile workers. A 2016 report by the Freelancer’s Union showed that 35 percent of the total U.S. workforce is made up of freelancers. Further, a recent study by HR consultancy Randstad showed that nearly 11 percent of the global workforce is made up of agile workers. Additionally, 39 percent of workers who are currently full-time employees say that they plan to leave their permanent position and join the agile workforce in the near future. Based on the study, Randstad predicts that 50 percent of the workforce could be agile by 2019.

Reasons Behind the Rise

There are several significant factors that have led to the rise of the agile workforce. First, millennials, who have grown up on the internet and with access to a wide variety of digital communication tools don’t want limitations on their career. Instead, they are drawn to work opportunities that expose them to a wide variety of people, places and fields. The Randstad study also showed that 56 percent of workers felt that they were able to earn better money by working for multiple employers.

How Employers (in General) Can Benefit from the Agile Workforce

It’s clear that workers can benefit from the agile workforce trend — but if you’re an employer, what’s in it for you? First, an agile workforce results in happier employees- and thus, more productive ones. Studies show that 80 percent of employees consider telework a perk from a company, and that 37 percent would take a 10 percent pay cut if they could work from home. Ultimately, hiring an agile workforce can save you money: it reduces brick and mortar costs of having to house and equip full-time employees, and it ensures you only staff people when you need them — and not when the workload is low (or slow).

How Healthcare Organizations Can Benefit from the Agile Workforce

Like other employers, healthcare organizations can greatly benefit from hiring workers on an as-needed basis. The staffing needs of healthcare organizations change regularly, based on a wide variety of factors, including changes in the economy, changes in policy, work volume and more. By not hiring full-time healthcare employees, but by simply finding qualified contract workers when needed, healthcare organizations can take advantage of workers who are excited to work for them — and ensure that they’re not spending excess money to pay people they don’t need (and who aren’t necessarily happy to be there).

If you run a healthcare company and you want to move to an agile workforce, you can rely on Nearterm’s 360˚ RCM Managed Services. We can help you meet your staffing needs by providing you with qualified workers who can fulfill your positions, as-needed.

Learn More about our Medical Coding Services

Learn about our RCM Project Staffing Capabilities

Posted By: nearterm-admin

Successful Hospitals Adopt an Agile Workforce Staffing Strategy

Nearterm embraces the agile workforce

Healthcare occupations are experiencing strong employment growth, and the need for qualified healthcare workers is expected to grow faster than any other field over the next ten years. Between 2014 and 2024, the number of positions related to healthcare will increase by 19 percent, adding approximately 2.3 million new jobs to the U.S. economy.

Hospitals understand that keeping these positions filled with skilled workers is going to be a challenge, and the most successful are moving towards a new staffing strategy. Instead of competing for full-time workers with higher-than-average compensation and benefits — a strategy that rapidly leads to financial crisis — innovative hospitals are adopting an agile workforce staffing strategy. This strategy shifts the focus to short-term contractors and other types of alternative workers to fill positions on an as-needed basis.

Balancing Workers’ Interests With Business Needs

Hiring permanent full-time employees has always been complicated for hospitals. Changing payor arrangements, fluctuations in the volume of work, legislative change, the economy, service derivation, changes in ownership, financial considerations and changes in the labor market contribute to the complexity of creating balance between workers’ interests and business needs. Keeping appropriate staffing levels is critical to employee satisfaction and patient care, but excessive payroll drains resources from all areas of the business.

Many hospitals are migrating to a more flexible staffing model, using outsourcing options, independent contractors and crowdsourcing techniques to supplement core staff with additional workers on an as-needed basis. This technique, often referred to as an agile workforce strategy, ensures that the right amount of labor is available to care for patients, regardless of changes in the business landscape.

The Agile Workforce: Benefits for Workers

Today’s healthcare workers aren’t pushing back when it comes to interim work and consulting. In fact, they have embraced the opportunities available through flexible work. Instead of seeking full-time, permanent positions, they are making a career out of short-term and as-needed employment. They have discovered that a professional decision to work in a variety of settings brings continuous learning and development. They build valuable skills, increasing their overall employability long-term. For example, a consultant who has successfully supported many organizations brings greater value to the next and is therefore more employable.

In an employment market where the permanency of any regular position is highly dependent on business needs and can change at any time, the experience and skills from multiple short-term jobs brings a more reliable form of job security. Some hospital administrators wonder about whether such a worker can be truly loyal to the organization, but this concern is unnecessary. An interim worker’s next job relies on excellence in the current position, motivating short-term contractors to work harder than their peers in traditional permanent positions.

The workforce has changed dramatically as Millennials become the biggest generation in today’s labor pool. Their presence creates new challenges, in addition to new opportunities for teams to reach unprecedented goals. Changing priorities means an increased focus on work/life blend and employee engagement and a decreased emphasis on tenure. With technology advancing at lightning speed, the work is changing as well. Process innovation, along with new models and management practices, have hospitals continuously rethinking organization structure, workflow and the use of human capital. When all of these factors combine, an agile workforce is the only logical solution for hospitals to succeed and grow.

Nearterm recognizes the agile workforce and our 360˚ RCM Managed Services help healthcare organizations meet their staffing needs, from patient access to accounts receivable to consultants and interim management. Contact Nearterm to learn how we can help your organization eliminate a backlog or backfill on a special project.

Learn More about our Medical Coding Services

Learn about our RCM Project Staffing Capabilities

Posted By: nearterm-admin

Five CFO RCM & Cash Flow Challenges & Solutions 2016

CFO RCM Cash Flow Challenges 2016

How to raise patient satisfaction, reduce overhead operating costs and integrating patient-centered technology are just some of the challenges impacting cash flow and revenue cycle management in 2016. Of the five mentioned here, Patient Satisfaction accounts for 3 of the challenges.

Three Patient Satisfaction Challenges

The hospital CFO has a new driver in the cash flow driver’s seat: the consumer patient.  How did that happen?

  • Higher patient deductibles leading to higher patient payments
  • Decreasing reimbursements
  • Erosion to the payor mix

All that has led to the growing impact of patient payments on cash flow and profits.

Like any modern consumer, the patient as consumer expects cutting-edge quality care, more information on all aspects of care and billing, more interaction and access. These are challenges the CFO must address for his hospital’s success.

Challenge 1: Provide Robust Patient Financial Services

 “Many studies have demonstrated that a patient’s payment experience colors their overall feelings about a hospital stay. They have discovered that a positive billing and payment experience can impact patient satisfaction and loyalty as well as reduce costs and raise revenue.”

A positive billing experience is one that has no expensive surprises at the end. To do this billing and AR must be engaged at the front end of the patient experience (Patient Access stage) with Patient Financial Services (PFS) professionals. Together they work to educate the patient on billing-payment choices and what lies on the path ahead, describing what options are available at each step of the way.

At the end of the journey, patients expect a simple, easy-to-read medical bill that they can pay as easily as they do other bills.

How Nearterm Can Help:

  • RCM Consulting Services: Patient access, PFS and billing integration – analysis, strategy, planning and implementation assistance.
  • Interim Management Services: To fill the gap during Patient Access, PFS and billing implementation transition and process optimization.

Challenge 2: Eliminate Coding Errors before They End Up on the Patient Bill

Needless to say, coding errors along the clinical path can negatively impact the billing experience for patient.

Also, coding backlogs, system upgrades or a sudden loss of leadership are all breeding grounds for coding errors.

How Nearterm Can Help:

  • RCM Consulting Services:
    • Coding and billing process analysis, strategy, planning and implementation assistance.
  • Interim Management Services: 
    • Coding Manager
    • HIM Director
  • Interim Medical Coding Services: 
    • Interim HIM/Medical Coding Specialists to help with backlogs and system upgrade: I inpatient/Outpatient, Emergency
    • Production Coding Staffing to help with major backlogs and system upgrades
    • Clinical Specialty Coding
    • Medical Coding Auditors to determine the root causes of errors and fix them upstream.

 Challenge 3: Quality Care & Financial Experience Synchronized

 Technology can be one of the best tools to improve revenue cycle performance and improve the overall patient experience, both clinically and financially.

Patient-Centered Technology can integrate your EMR with the needs of the consumer patient clinical and financial experience, creating one seamless billing, payment and care experience across all patient physician and hospital visits. This means going beyond health information management and building stronger patient relationships

Such technologies provide access to complete patient information, current conditions, care management, medications, appointment history and communications preferences.

A connected environment can be created to provide all involved (admin, patients, specialists, etc.) with access to the actionable information they need at any time and on any device, at home, in hospital, and on the go. This can improve workflow and clinical outcomes.

Cost saving can come from reducing:

  • Readmissions
  • Unnecessary and duplication of tests and other services
  • High-cost prescribing behaviors

And technology can improve patient loyalty and offer a competitive advantage.

How Nearterm Can Help:

  • RCM Consulting Services: Technology transition analysis, strategy, planning and implementation support assistance.
  • Interim Management ServicesInterim HIM Managers and Leaders to fill in while hospital management staff focuses on implementation of the system upgrade.

The Challenge That Never Goes Away

 Challenge 4: Reduce Overhead Costs

Keeping non-medical spending down is always a big challenge for hospitals. However, there are ways such as:

  • Paying close attention to administrative costs, such a sales and marketing
  • Eliminating redundancy of managers doing the same function and consolidating management layers
  • Outsourcing IT, finance, human resources, labs and pharmacies

 How Nearterm Can Help:

  • Financial Management Consulting Services: Determine ways to reduce costs without compromising efficiency or patient satisfaction.  Analysis, strategy, planning and implementation assistance.

 KPIs – Friends the CFO Likes to Follow

 Challenge 5: Identifying KPIs that Can Reduce Costs & Increase Efficiency

Timely access to different types of data from in-house financial systems and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) help managers to monitor efficiency and performance. KPIs are especially useful in monitoring work hours, overtime, patient census and employees per occupied bed, among other metrics.

How Nearterm Can Help:

  • Financial Management Consulting Services:
    • Assistance in developing your KPIs and sources of data.
    • Help in determining  which KPIs impact revenue the most and and serve as good indicators of good or poor performance.
    • Assistance with  the transition care process and spotting readmission issues.

Whether you need to improve financial performance in general or if you need help dealing with change or transition, Nearterm can rapidly deploy resources to improve your revenue cycle management and financial processes.

All services are offered separately or as part of a 360° RCM solution.

Ask the RCM Experts

Posted By: nearterm-admin

Got HIM Pain? Get Relief with Interim HIM Services

Interim HIM Services to Relieve HIM Pain

Nearterm Interim Health Information Management (HIM) services can make your HIM pain go away.

Our highly experienced Interim HIM management professionals are interim careerists, meaning they prefer to work on an interim basis and have developed the skill sets “in the trenches of management” to do so. When placed in a new work environment, can rapidly assimilate new business values, operating objectives and culture. They can quickly formulate and implement proven action plans.

Here are some the pains for which our Interim HIM Managers and Leaders can offer relief.

Leadership Loss

The pain: “Our current leadership gap can affect overall RCM performance. We need an interim solution now until we find a permanent replacement.”

Nearterm Interim HIM Managers available:

  • Director of Health Information Management (HIM)
  • Medical Records / HIM Manager and Supervisor
  • Director, Manager, Supervisor of Coding
  • HIM Operations Manager and Supervisor

Coding Backlog

The pain: “We are behind in coding and it is impacting Cash Flow. We just need to catch up ASAP.”

Nearterm HIM/Medical coding professionals for backlog relief, able to work on-site or remote:

  • Managed Medical Coders
  • HIM Project Staffing managed by a Nearterm Partner
  • EMR/EHR Project Manager / Analyst
  • ICD-10 Project Manager / Analyst

Denials Too High

The pain: “Increasing denials are affecting accounts receivable forecasts. Can you help us with the difficult denials?”

Nearterm offers talented professionals prepared to resolve the tough denials while your staff continues to do the easy ones in order to minimize impact on cash flow:

  • Interim Medical Coding Auditor
  • HIM Project staffing to clean-up the difficult denials. Managed by a Nearterm partner
  • ICD-10 Project Manager
  • CDI Liaison / Specialist

EMR/EHR Implementation behind Schedule

The pain; “We need a manager to identify the causes for delays and implement solutions. Delays are costing us too much.”

Nearterm professionals deliver objective analysis, useful action plans and implementation assistance:

  • EMR/EHR Project Manager
  • Operation Analyst
  • Imlementation Coordinator

Overall HIM Department Performance Needs to Be Improved

The pain: “How can we optimize performance of the HIM department in general?”

Nearterm Leader/Manager specialists can do a performance check-up and recommend (and even implement) solutions to get the HIM department humming:

  • Interim HIM Consultant

For HIM pain relief, give us a call or send us an email. We do house calls.

Ask the RCM Experts

See also: Health Information Management (HIM) Services & Careers

Posted By: nearterm-admin
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