LTPAC CFOs in the 21st century have to be concerned about many things. But in reality, much of what CFOs do revolves around getting paid on time in the amounts anticipated. Perhaps paying attention to the not-so-obvious factors influencing payment may be worth investigating.
Does this CFO job description for a Life Plan Community (LPC) sound familiar?
- Ensures corporate financial processes and systems, including overall financial controls
- Oversees accounting and financial reporting, financial planning & analysis, and budgeting
- Establishes financial systems and investment accounting and reporting
- Assures all financial operations function efficiently and effectively in compliance with all applicable policies and procedures and statutory/regulatory guidelines (Italics added)
- Strong participation in strategic planning and initiatives, project management
To accomplish this, the essential duties involved include:
- Providing proactive and sound guidance regarding management of assets, investments, and financial trends
- Overseeing a system of responsible accounting including budget and internal controls
- Developing and leading the finance team to maximum productivity and responsiveness (Italics added)
- Ensuring that monthly financial statements are provided on a timely basis
- Acting as a trusted counselor regarding development of new sources of revenue
Although each of these are specific to this LPC, they are for the most part what CFOs are responsible for no matter how many locations the company operates. They have one thing in common – responsible oversight of all income, expenses, and investments. For the purposes of this blog, let’s focus on three ways to shorten the revenue cycle by “developing and leading the finance team to maximum productivity and responsiveness” – specifically by addressing A/R team job satisfaction, claims processing costs, and secondary claims payments.
1. A/R Team Job Satisfaction
In previous blogs, we have addressed such job-satisfaction drivers as empowering the AR team through participation in the admissions process, direct involvement in helping residents apply for Medicaid, sharpening the blade of job skills through recurring education and best-practice updates, employing successful billing habits, making sure the census is correct, checking eligibility regularly, participation in regularly-held billing triple checks, familiarity with key aspects of payer contracts, and getting back to the billing basics. Competence, education, and good, old-fashioned appreciation and positive feedback contribute significantly to reduced turnover and job satisfaction. A happy team is a productive team and a productive team collects money owed.
2. Claims Processing Costs
Does it matter how much it costs to process claims? Yes. Let’s just take a simple example. An operator of 40 facilities in the western US used to process claims at the facility level. But with the advent of all-in-one claims clearinghouses, centralizing the billing function in the corporate office became doable and resulted in cost-saving efficiencies. Much of the claims preparation, submission, corrections as needed, follow-up, and payment receipts could be performed on line and for the most part automatically. Fewer billers were needed, resulting in a reduction in labor costs. Just as importantly, they collected money more quickly.
3. Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) Claims
In the case cited in the previous paragraph, the provider in question was able to automate the processing of MSP claims resulting in an accelerated payment cycle with a reduction of 30 days between secondary claims filing and payment receipts.
Is your company getting paid on time in the amount anticipated at lower costs? We suggest that with your AR manager(s) you take a hard look at these three productivity contributors and determine what initiatives need your support. Because, really, it all makes good cents.