Bone and Joint Surgery Center of Novi (BJSCN) gains revenue cycle efficiencies and strengthens financial performance with Revenue Cycle Services™ (RCS) from SourceMed, now Surgical Information Systems (SIS).
Multi-specialty ambulatory surgery Center with 22 surgeons and 50 employees
BJSCN was looking for new ways to increase revenue and streamline operations.
BJSCN partnered with SIS Revenue Cycle Services™, integrated with Vision® software, to maximize efficiency and profitability.
Located in Novi, MI, Bone and Joint Surgery Center of Novi (BJSCN) is an Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC) that offers a specialty mix of outpatient services including orthopedic, spine, podiatric and pain management care.
Colleen Ramirez, RN, CASC, served as BJSCN’s first Clinical Director. After spending more than a decade helping to develop other ASCs in Michigan and at a national ASC management company, she was recruited back to BJSCN as the Chief Administration Officer in early 2016 to restructure the center with the aim of increasing revenue and streamlining operations.
Drawing upon her experience gained in the intervening years, Ramirez set to work evaluating processes and identifying opportunities for cost savings, operational efficiencies and revenue cycle improvements.
“There are so many facets to how we spend money. If you think outside the box you can find many opportunities to decrease expenses,” explains Ramirez. “We look at everything from reducing payroll by condensing operating schedules, to understanding total case costs and renegotiating contracts with suppliers, and evaluating every case to see where we can make improvements.”
BJSCN uses SIS Vision software to run its facility including tracking costs, managing inventory, and scheduling. “Vision gives us detailed reporting so we can review our operational/financial benchmarks and work with physicians and staff to see where we can make reductions and increase profit margins,” says Ramirez.
Ongoing training helps ensure that Ramirez’s team is using Vision to its fullest. “There’s so much functionality embedded into Vision and we were only scratching the surface when I came back,” says Ramirez.
“With refresher training from SIS, we’ve been able to fine tune how we enter information into the system. We are now able to closely track and manage the center and generating reports has become faster and easier.”
Increasing operational efficiencies and reducing expenses is one side of the equation. Improving financial performance is also critical in the increasingly challenging reimbursement environment facing ASCs.
To strengthen its revenue cycle, BJSCN works with SIS Revenue Cycle Services (RCS). With full transparency into the center’s clinical and financial data that resides in Vision, the SIS RCS team handles coding, billing, collections and management reporting for BJSCN.
“With SIS RCS, claims are coded accurately, billing is timely and followup on claims happens fast, so we’re reimbursed appropriately and as quickly as possible,” says Ramirez. “We’ve developed a true partnership with the SIS RCS team that is grounded in open, honest and frequent communication. They understand our business and manage our revenue cycle as an extension of our team.”
Working closely with RCS, BJSCN has realized significant revenue cycle improvements over the past year as measured by the following key performance indicators (KPIs):
Ramirez attributes these positive results to a combination of experience and teamwork. “Most people don’t have the background to understand the intricacies of insurance contracts or know if they are billing for everything they are doing, getting reimbursed accurately and managing cases profitably,” says Ramirez. “Our combined on-site expertise, together with SIS’ focus on constantly monitoring our revenue cycle KPIs, helps us spot opportunities for improvement and take advantage of them quickly.”
“The SIS RCS team is invested in our account on a daily basis,” adds Ramirez. ”Frequent communication ensures our staff and physicians are doing what they are supposed to, and in the most efficient manner, which has helped reduce lag days from 18.8 to 7.3 – a more than 250% drop.” Ramirez describes how the SIS RCS team continually looks at cases that haven’t been billed and follows up to make sure action is taken on outstanding issues quickly, be it tracking down a pathology report, or a physician to complete a dictation. Weekly reports provide visibility into where they stand for the month so there are no surprises. Monthly calls provide an opportunity for the entire team to review the report card jointly and make adjustments as needed.
Based on years of experience optimizing ASCs in an increasingly challenging environment, Ramirez has some words of advice for ASC administrators. “Start by looking at the benchmarks of comparable centers and see how you stack up,” says Ramirez. “SIS RCS has insights into what you should be aiming for and how to achieve it.”
Then it’s time to roll up your sleeves. “Get involved with the surveillance of what is billed; if you’re not working closely with your billing company and opening up the lines of communication then you have a potential for loss,” advises Ramirez. And, finally, Ramirez suggests hiring an experienced business office manager with a background in billing to manage the system of checks and balances with the revenue cycle company.
“Our financial position has improved substantially and we’re very pleased about that,” says Ramirez. “There’s no way we could have done it without a combination of the right experience, technology and people to get the insights we need to make the right decisions.”
As BJSCN remains focused on streamlining operations and improving financial performance, they will continue to turn to the SIS ecosystem of solutions and team of ASC experts as a trusted approach. “Working closely with SIS has helped us lay a great foundation with our physicians and the entire staff who now have a better understanding of how to be effective and efficient from operations to reimbursements – and that translates into long-term success for our center,” says Ramirez.
A lack of internal ASC-specific expertise was hampering the timely resolution of existing deficiencies at an established center.
An outside ASC expert was needed, within a short timeframe, to help review policies and procedures for Standards' Compliance in a new ASC.