3 min read

Back to BI’s Basics – the challenge, the purpose, and its use in LTC

By Prime Care Tech Marketing on Tue, Apr 12, 2016 @ 07:59 PM

iStock_000051680022_Large.jpgData is everywhere; it’s pervasive. The challenge as well as the opportunity lie in retrieving the raw data and converting it into useful and actionable information. In the past, we have posted a number of blogs on a wide range of Business Intelligence (BI)/data mining-related topics - from Payroll-based Journal (PBJ) reporting to data-driven decision making, from BI’s role in helping providers stand out in the ACO crowd to how BI helps providers demonstrate value, and so on. But let’s step back and reexamine what has driven BI to become what it is today.

The challenge

Long Term Care (LTC) providers are sitting on a vast reservoir of data. However, many do not have the resources to tap into that data and to convert it into something useful to solve current problems, to seize emerging opportunities, and to plan for the future. But, where to start?

BI’s purpose

Let’s wrap our arms around what BI’s purpose would, could, and should be. Succinctly put, BI reports, provides online analytics, and delivers Key Performance Indicator (KPI) visualization and monitoring.

BI’s use

As we visit with our BI customers and industry leaders across the country, we’ve observed that decision makers use BI to measure, monitor, and act on clinical quality outcomes, financial analysis, operational performance, cost management, compliance, and market-specific information. Executives use such information to take direct action, as needed, and to work with their teams to better align performance with company and facility-specific benchmarks/goals.

BI drives development and market acceptance

The evidence is clear that no one thing has been the agitator for BI acceptance and growth. Rather, the following factors have each played a contributing role:

  • Federal and state health reforms
  • Availability of healthcare-related data
  • The imperative to identify and control costs
  • Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement (QAPI)
  • The need to increase customer satisfaction
  • The demanding and complex regulatory environment, such as PBJ reporting, HIPAA, etc.
  • Cloud-based computing technologies
  • The availability of data through IT adoption
  • Health Information Exchanges (HIEs)
  • New value-based payment models
  • And others

BI Stakeholders

Who uses BI? Here is a “short list” of those who rely on and use BI:

  • BI software and services providers
  • Healthcare providers
  • Healthcare payers
  • Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs)
  • Managed Care Organizations (MCOs)
  • Health Information Exchanges (HIEs)
  • Investors/lenders
  • Federal and state governments
  • Researchers

All of these entities and people have a stake in the BI world and they all have some influence on how providers conduct business.

What this means to you

If you haven’t yet fully caught the larger vision of what BI has become and could be, you need to do so now or you will be left behind. In today’s world, the old manual ways of gathering and processing data, responding to the information gleaned, and taking action are too slow and cumbersome. Besides, some stakeholders, such as government agencies, are not giving you a choice. I highly recommend that you conduct an assessment of your organization’s BI needs today and in the future and devise a plan to help you ramp up as quickly as possible. A sure bet, is to look at existing BI tools, like PCT’s primeVIEW, designed for LTC providers, like you.

 

Discover how easy it is to integrate staffing and census data with PCT's PBJ Reporting Platform

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Topics: business intelligence Key Performance Indicators BI KPIs LTC providers business analytics BI stakeholders
2 min read

Investment strategies with BI – demonstrating dominance and strengths

By Prime Care Tech Marketing on Tue, Feb 23, 2016 @ 06:50 PM

iStock_000059860960_Small.jpgNothing tells a good story better than relevancy, accuracy, and timeliness. When it comes to seeking investments on the best of terms, there’s no better way to tell the story than through the use of BI-generated Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). In the past, we have identified how BI can help you more effectively monitor and manage your operations.  But, did you know that BI can also serve as a great resource for communicating your market dominance and strengths? It’s transparent. It’s current information delivered when and how you need it – automatically.

Ray Tyler, Health Services Management’s COO, reports that “one of the biggest advantages to Business Intelligence is our ability to…quickly prepare and submit reports to key stakeholders, such as REITs. We can view and report on actual-to-budget (performance).”

Along with demonstrating company background and experience, uniqueness, and business model effectiveness, providers have to know their numbers. BI helps them significantly by automating reports and KPI views. Because they don’t have to prepare reports manually, executives have more time to conveniently familiarize themselves with those numbers. They can know the “what’s” and “why’s” quickly.

As Dean Kiklis, CFO for Frontline Management, stated recently, “The dashboard helps us to know what is happening in each of our buildings every single day….(Because) it’s up to date…, we don’t have to wait for someone to create reports for us.”

Further, BI makes it easy for executives to trend and report their companies’ performance year over year. BI can also help prospective investors evaluate provider revenue streams and other critical cash flow information.

Creating context? BI can help there as well. NIC’s Skilled Nursing Data Initiative is one way participating providers can compare their operations against national benchmarks. Thus, they are able to demonstrate their strengths and dominance within the markets they serve.

How has BI helped you in managing and promoting your company to investors?

Topics: business intelligence KPIs 2016 investment opportunities skilled nursing data initiative investors stakeholders trend and report
3 min read

Go with the Pros - which KPIs matter most to LTPAC providers

By Prime Care Tech Marketing on Tue, Feb 02, 2016 @ 06:50 PM

iStock_000080173269_Small.jpgYou can’t go wrong with Business Intelligence (BI). But if you are new to the game, knowing which Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are more useful to seasoned LTPAC BI Pros, those who were early adopters, may be useful. From start-ups to well-established providers, executives and managers have selected what they consider to be the most important KPIs for their operations. Let’s look.

Frontline Management’s Dean Kiklis, CFO, knows the importance of BI to multi-facility operations. In the beginning, the management team skipped the step of manually creating reports and moved right to BI to meet its aggressive information and scalability requirements for this rapidly growing company. Kiklis says, “By doing it right the first time, we won’t have to face a disruptive economic and operational challenge later on.” Focusing on census, labor and Days Sales Outstanding every Monday with daily updates throughout the week, Frontline Management is able to observe quickly the daily status of these key areas of its operation. For example, since employing primeVIEW, Days Sales Outstanding have dropped by 10 days.

Southeast-based American Healthcare, LLC operates multiple SNFS in Virginia. To remain competitive in a rapidly-evolving, quality-driven reimbursement environment, Robbie Dalton, CFO, reports that controlling costs are critical. Because labor consumes over 65%-75% of total spend, having a firm hand on labor is mission critical. In primeVIEW, the current daily census and labor are automatically tied, affording management a precise view each day of staffing to budget and actual census. This insight gives AHC’s management team opportunities to train Administrators and DONS to more effectively oversee staffing during each shift. Routinely, management uses PCT’s primeVIEW BI dashboard during its weekly census calls and goal setting.

Revenue is also important to AHC and BI has helped its facilities to increase the average daily census of skilled patients by 7% and private pay by 9% over a 12-month period, resulting in revenue increases of $2.6 million and $980,000 respectively.

Jackson, Mississippi-based Health Care Management, Inc. (HCM), reports Greg Seeger, COO, is able to track what is going on at each of its facilities. “We train our team to use primeVIEW as their go-to KPI information source to track census, labor, 5-star, length of stay, clinical quality, receivables, cash flow, and more. It’s a tremendous resource.” Utilizing the dashboard enables the team to identify discharge types and forecast trends. In addition, decision makers from the facility to the corporate office can access the current census levels by total as well as by payer type which enables the facility to forecast their labor and cash projections with ease.

Health Services Management’s Ray Tyler, COO, reports, “One of the biggest advantages to primeVIEW is our ability to view labor from a consolidated corporate, as well as a facility and even department and employee level…not only today, but we can trend and report on past performance as well.” Take overtime for example. PrimeVIEW’s facility, regional, and corporate reporting enables administrators and their department heads to view not only their performance, but they can also observe how they are doing compared to the other facilities within the company. Information in the dashboard helped HSM facilities reduce OT by an average of three percentage points in the nursing department alone.

Because BI generates current and relevant views of critical LTPAC-related and configurable KPIs, executives and managers are able to monitor and effectively manage those KPIs which are critical to achieving strategic goals. Take it from the pros, they literally know what they are doing and the impact their decisions can have on facility performance.

Topics: business intelligence dashboard BI KPIs LTPAC providers multi-facility operations primeVIEW scalability
2 min read

Addressing Senior Living and Care’s 2016 Agendas with BI

By Prime Care Tech Marketing on Tue, Jan 05, 2016 @ 06:00 PM

Senior Living Care Business IntelligenceIn a recent McKnight’s Senior Living article, the leaders of Argentum, NCAL, and LeadingAge responded to the question of their respective associations’ agendas for 2016. As I read their responses, I opportunely observed that Business Intelligence (BI) can help them effectively address these. For James Balda, President and CEO of Argentum (formerly the Assisted Living Facilities of America [ALFA]), the top issues are workforce development, quality care, operational excellence, and consumer choice. National Center for Assisted Living's (NCAL) Executive Director, Scott Tittle, reports that his organization’s top priorities involve state regulatory issues, workforce development, and, most significantly, “new tools that will help members accumulate data they can use to communicate the quality of care that they provide and to compare themselves with peer providers” with emphasis on quality outcomes. Katie Smith Sloan, President and CEO of LeadingAge, emphasized payment model changes, “whether it's ACOs or bundled payments or creating a network to negotiate with health plans.” A further concern, according to Ms. Sloan, is the lack of unit inventory, creating long waiting lists, and workforce development needs as well.

Taking license to read between the lines, all would likely agree that effective strategies require further research and that further research requires actionable information from reliable and timely data sources. This requires a robust data mining and business intelligence solution. Such a solution not only allows for the storage of critical data in data warehouses, but the retrieval, aggregation, and dissemination of such data converted to useful Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) which can be used internally or shared with other healthcare stake holders and investors.

Let’s take operational excellence, for example. Whether you call it “operational excellence” or “quality of care” perhaps, or positioning facilities to “negotiate with health plans”, having fresh, up-to-date information about the quality of clinical services, the costs to provide the services, and the labor required creates an advantage. Providers can respond to today’s issues today with an eye on the future. It also fosters the sharing of information that providers and their respective associations need to address these issues effectively. With BI, the information is already available and easily digestible.

How do you eat the elephants of workforce development, compliance, operational excellence, and payment model changes? One “byte” of data at a time. Accumulated and properly served, BI-generated KPIs can sustain such initiatives with energy and focus over the long haul.

Make Business Intelligence part of your 2016 strategic plan! 

Business Intelligence

Topics: business intelligence ACOs Key Performance Indicators BI KPIs health plans workforce development data retrieval, aggregation, and dissemination NCAL operational excellence LeadingAge Argentum
1 min read

Business Intelligence – Be on the Alert

By Prime Care Tech Marketing on Wed, Dec 16, 2015 @ 10:59 PM

Business IntelligenceIn our more recent blogs, we have pushed the benefits of business intelligence (BI). We have especially emphasized its timeliness. With BI, you can know what’s happening practically in real time. Just open the dashboard and you see Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) important to you. But are you aware that you can be alerted via email when certain KPIs are significantly above or below targeted benchmarks?

Let’s say you and your management team have identified specific census benchmarks with given parameters which, when exceeded or fallen short of, the BI tool immediately sends you an emailed alert notifying you that certain regions and facilities are at risk. With that information in hand, you can immediately contact and troubleshoot the situation with the appropriate staff.

This is just as valid with labor KPIs. How about overtime? You are sitting in your office preparing for the next meeting when your email notifies you of an incoming message. You navigate to the message to see that it’s from the Business Intelligence tool alerting you which facilities have exceeded overtime parameters today.

Cash management? Near and dear to any executive’s heart is making sure that collections are keeping pace with targeted collection goals. Let’s say your team has identified that certain private-pay collection benchmarks are achieved by the 10th. On that day, you receive an alert that specific facilities are falling short of their collection goals for private-pay with resident-specific contact and balance information. Because of this alert, your team can address the issues now.

Business Intelligence generated alerts not only deliver timely information, they also reinforce accountability. I don’t think it’s so much of matter of “Big Daddy” is watching. Rather, it’s an opportunity. When facilities are falling short of their goals, they may be distracted by other matters. Receiving an alert-generated call from your team can be helpful and supportive.

If you have a Business Intelligence tool like primeVIEW, that generates alerts, use them! It’s one more benefit available to help your team to effectively manage that which really matters.

Business Intelligence

Topics: business intelligence Key Performance Indicators BI KPIs BI alerts labor KPIs KPI benchmarks cash KPIs census KPIs