As we start a new year, one of the big changes that we are making will be in our business office departments (Patient Financial Services and Professional Billing Services). We are making these changes as part of our overall efforts to help assure the long-term financial stability of our organization.
This article will summarize the contract that we have signed with TruBridge, a sister company of Evident, and will give an overview of how the staff in these departments will be affected. I have had a meeting with the PFS and PBS staff to review this information.
What does the TruBridge Contract mean? For what will they be responsible?
TruBridge will oversee the operation of all aspects of the Holy Cross Medical Center (HCMC) Business Office (PFS and PBS) and Patient Access. This includes the education of hospital personnel, including ongoing supervision of business office personnel, in accordance with established HCMC policy and the current collective bargaining agreement.
TruBridge will be responsible for the billing and related collection activities of all patients, to include inpatients, sub-acute patients, outpatients (including clinic patients), emergency room patients and all professional fees. They will produce and mail statements and collections letters for private pay portions, manage cash receipts and our accounts receivable. They will follow-up on all unpaid insurance claims. They will determine what accounts should be moved to “Bad Debt write-off” status using the hospital designated collection agency based upon hospital policy and mutually agreed upon timeframes.
What is the effective date of the transition?
The effective date of the transition is January 7, 2019. Beginning January 7, some of the old AR (>60 days) will be worked by TruBridge staff so that HCMC staff can focus on the current billing/collection activities.
To whom will these departments report?
Lisa LaPean is the Interim Revenue Cycle Director until May, 2018. She has been on-site for the past 2 months, working to fix system set-up and process issues. Kawanza Wright is the TruBridge Project Implementation Manager who will assist Lisa in this conversion effort. She will be onsite for the conversion week of January 7th. PFS, PBS, and Patient Access will all report to Lisa. In addition to her reporting responsibilities to TruBridge, Lisa will report local to Shea Brock, Interim CFO. Oversight of this conversion project is Shea’s #1 responsibility.
TruBridge has not completed their evaluation of PBS so we cannot yet say what changes will take place there which includes changes to Barbara Miera’s role. TruBridge has completed their evaluation of PFS. Karin Monaghan will remain as the Patient Accounts Manager and will report to Lisa.
Hitana Espinoza will move into a new role; Revenue Integrity Manager. Working out of an office in the HIM area, Hitana will be responsible for our charge master, oversight of insurance contracts, and accurate charging processes for all billable services.
How will the jobs of affected employees change?
We fully anticipate that, as new work processes are implemented, that the job descriptions of our employees will change. We will work through the normal job description update process which, as appropriate, will include the 1199NM Union. For example, it is my understanding that in the future, billers will be doing more of their own follow-up.
Will there be layoffs?
No one is being laid off during this process. We will receive a credit on our monthly bill for all PFS and PBS staff. Other than Lisa, everyone will be a Holy Cross employee, their employment will still be directed by hospital policies, and union membership options will be unchanged.
There are a few non-business office related benefits that we will receive from this contract.
These include: All support costs related to our Evident software will now be included in our monthly business office invoice; we get all Evident software at no charge (this includes modules we currently do not have as well as new products that are developed); and all interfaces will be at no charge (the Evident side of the interface).
A brief summary of why we signed this contract with TruBridge can best be described in the following three points:
TruBridge will help us get the Evident software set-up (fixed) so that it works properly, they will guide us in revising/setting up our processes; and they will train our employees on the system and related processes.
– Bill Patten