Editor’s Note: This article is the first in a two-part series by Roberta Schultz, a follow-up to her April story, “Don’t Let Your Billing System Conversion Break Your Revenue Cycle.” The second installment to today’s article will be published Monday on insidePatientFinance.com.
Now that you’ve committed to hire an outsource partner to help you retire that legacy medical billing system, the next steps are critical. In this two-part article, we will approach this from the two most important stakeholders involved: your staff and your partner.
Bringing in an outsource partner, regardless of the reason, can be a challenge to staff members. A negative internal employee can and will make the partnership more expensive and may potentially cause the partnership to fail. You must keep this in mind once you commit to hiring an outsource partner for your system conversion. Here are some steps you can take that will smooth over potential areas of conflict:
- Determine an ending point for your legacy system. By establishing a date when the old system will be retired, it provides staff with a strong milestone to attain, a milestone that the outsource partner will be seen as assisting you reach, rather than as an obstacle.
- Determine what internal staff will be responsible for and what your conversion partner will be responsible for. What you never want to happen is for your staff and outsource partner to work the same accounts. These types of mix-ups can be disastrous.
- Be clear on the goal and vision. You know why you are doing this, so be consistent. But also let your staff know that you intend to be flexible on the means to attain the goal.
- Designate an internal main contact to liaise with the outsourcer. A single point of contact will prevent confusion and mixed messages. Be mindful of this person’s time, as they will need the bandwidth to be able to perform this service, which in the beginning could be several hours per week.
From the very beginning you will need to promote the concept of “one team” so that it will never devolve into “us versus them,” the staff versus the outsourcer. You must keep positive, even in the face of inevitable issues that will occur, and always remind your staff of the final goal.
Next: Your partner.
About Roberta Schultz
Roberta Schultz is a director at ProSource Billing, Inc., a part of the Array Services Group family of companies. Roberta has over 23 years of healthcare Revenue Cycle and A/R management experience which includes managing various revenue cycle projects for multiple healthcare facilities including physician, hospital, and healthcare organizations.