After a laboratory organization decides on a new Revenue Cycle Management system, strategically planning for implementation and go-live are important to achieve maximum return on investment (ROI) and ensure client satisfaction.

Here are five tips culled from hundreds of go-lives where customers experienced improvements in productivity and net collections of up to 30%.

1. Revisit your original ROI plan and determine if key steps have been addressed

The scope of an RCM implementation can be extensive. As such, it’s reasonable your lab may choose to wait until after go-live to use select functionality. However, it’s important to revisit and complete the installation of any open items within the first three months of going live or you could be leaving money on the table and risk not realizing the full return on investment expected in your first year.

For example, let’s say upon purchasing your RCM solution you identified significant FTE savings by leveraging an automated interface from your bank for patient and client checks to reduce manual payment entry, but at go-live you decided to put this off. Delaying this initiative can cause an increase in FTE costs as you grow.

2. Uncover opportunities to grab control of your RCM

If you’re waiting for a vendor to import new payers, load fee schedules, add billing rules or administer other settings to complete your billing, you don’t have true control of your RCM. This compounds issues and has a negative impact on your ability to collect. If bills don’t go out the door or if they’re being sent with outdated information, you will lose money.

We understand the stakes are high. With TELCOR RCM, understanding your processes and streamlining your workflow is part of implementation. Our goal is for every customer to have as much control of their billing and revenue cycle as possible. This allows you to take control and power your own profitability.

3. Determine processes that are not yet automated

Transitioning to the right RCM solution brings opportunity for workflow automation and tremendous productivity improvement. The goal is to eliminate tedious tasks or activities where a clear rule can be determined, i.e. if this, then that.

To do this, it’s important to stay current on new software versions. Bring the upgrade into your test system to validate new functionality. Take inventory of tasks your billing team is performing manually and determine if there is a solution to eliminate manual steps. If you don’t continue to examine what new functionality exists, you can fall behind as an organization.

4. Leverage Customer Support to overcome obstacles

Once your billing team is live, it’s important to devote time and resources to executing projects to progress bottom line improvements. However, there are many hurdles blocking the road to success. If you ask yourself, “I wonder if TELCOR can do this,” I highly encourage you to engage Customer Support. Our Service Analysts are talented people with experience and training in billing. They can help identify ways to automate many processes.

If it’s a large project and your billing team is short on time or talent, we can provide Professional Services. Think of this as consulting or project management to meet goals or resolve gaps. At TELCOR, we believe it is critical to understand your business and deploy effective help to optimize processes. With the many day-to-day challenges, it is important to have an ally helping you take the ball the length of the field!

5. Measure your success and identify new opportunities

Pat yourself on the back! You’ve achieved your ROI by lowering costs and bringing in more cash…now what? In the current environment with reimbursement steadily under attack, labs continuing to innovate and fight for the extra dollar will ultimately survive. With this in mind, it is critical to have real-time intelligence

Daily, labs generate significant data required to make timely, sound business decisions. Real-time intelligence means you trust the data. There are no gaps. And you can access it when you need it. The days of waiting for a nightly job to kick out reports on your financial health has long passed.

Within TELCOR RCM, it is possible to access virtually every data point. We make it easy to proactively make changes to prevent future claim denials and to correct an inefficient process. You own and control your data. You don’t need to allocate IT resources to simply manipulate a report because it lacks an additional piece of data, such as payer, state, test, etc. Ultimately, it is visibility and control that allows for improved productivity, improved collections and informed decisions.

Constant Evaluation

Strengthening your bottom line and sustaining success requires constantly challenging your organization to determine whether all the tools are leveraged. It requires factors external to your organization, such as a solution like TELCOR RCM, to provide ongoing workflow efficiencies, collections improvements and real-time intelligence.

And let’s face it, you need proper support to achieve your goals. At TELCOR, we believe in providing customers with control over rules, reports and automation with software backed by unlimited support and hands-on consulting to assure you achieve your goals. If you don’t have an RCM solution scalable for growth, then you have yet to find a long-term solution to improving your bottom line.

Kwami Edwards, chief customer officer, RCM, has more than 20 years of health care experience with a strong background in workflow redesign and change management. In his current role, Kwami works with owners and executives to help ensure successful implementations and continued reengineering support.