Consumerism in Healthcare is here. Patients are advocating more for what matters to them, they are discussing the way their Healthcare system interacts with them and will switch if their needs are not met. It is also likely that your market has many other systems using Epic as their primary software making the margins to stand out even tighter. One way we’ve helped clients improve the patient experience is implementing Epic’s Single Billing Office (SBO) framework. Epic’s SBO does not mean the combination of the entire billing office into a single unit managing all hospital and professional revenue cycle functions in a single workflow. SBO instead focuses on combining the patient-facing functions of your billing office, self-pay follow-up, customer service and self-pay payment posting. Providing your patients with a combined statement, one number to call to interact with your billing office and one person equipped with the tools and training to answer their questions.
Implementing SBO is a big project with many large conversions, difficult decisions and human resources implications. At Chi-Matic we have extensive experience leading SBO implementations both with currently implementing customers, but also with groups live for a long time looking to transition. We will leverage that experience to share best practices and recommendations along your path to SBO. In our experience there are a few things you can do to make your SBO transition as successful as possible:
MAKE KEY DECISIONS BEFORE THE PROJECT STARTS
There are potentially thousands of decisions that need to be made as part of an SBO implementation, however there are about 15 key items we recommend starting prior to your implementation. This activity benefits your organization in a few ways, first you will better understand based on your ability to make these decisions whether SBO is truly right for you. Second, you will begin meeting with your leadership group from your different entities, which will ultimately lead into your governance structure. Third, the key decisions which often take a long time and can hold up build are decided prior to build completing, removing a risk in your project. In typical implementations and conversions this step is often missed because the right resources are not there to guide you through these decisions. We will provide our recommendations and expertise, while also guiding you through decision making meetings.
CREATE A DETAILED COMMUNICATION STRATEGY
There is a lot of uncertainty and anxiety that can come with a SBO implementation or conversion. For many organizations this means that two separate entities are coming together to a combined management structure and most often combined physical space. Staff want to know will they still have a job, who will be their manager, is their commute different now. There are also decisions which might require staff unaware of the full scope of SBO to complete. Due to this we will work with your organization to map out a communication plan, what level is communicated what information, at which different times along the project. We also recommend prioritizing drafting your organizational chart within the first several months of the project with the management structure and FTE count. This will help with build, planning around physical space, but also remove uncertainty.
INVEST IN TRAINING
Day 1 of your SBO go live calls will be coming into staff for combined balances, 30 days out calls will be coming in with questions on combined statements, branding and many other things will change. All of these changes require acclimating staff very familiar with one billing system to a completely new framework. A large portion of this includes operational involvement in training document creation. However we have found that non-traditional training exercises are often a great way to enhance this. We have worked with organizations to create scenarios for staff to run through in converted playground environments with real patient data. We have also seen conversion documents saying, you used to look here now this is what it looks like work excellently. These are just a couple options to make your training more meaningful, but we will work with your organization to determine what makes the most sense to empower your staff.