Q&A with Yunette Ruiz and Gabriella DeSantis
Yunette Ruiz, Client Service Manager, and Gabriella DeSantis, Revenue Cycle Manager, for Surgical Information Systems (SIS), recently hosted a webinar on "Using Technology to Drive Revenue Cycle Success." They provided insight and guidance for ambulatory surgery centers on how technology is improving ASC billing and collections efforts, the types of technology available to support ASC revenue cycle processes, best practices for assessing and implementing RCS technology, and recommendations on how to maximize technology investments. The audience was engaged and asked great questions during the Q&A portion of the program which provided further opportunities for Yunette and Gabriella to discuss what ASCs should know about using technology to drive revenue cycle success.
Below are the highlights of those questions and responses provided by Yunette and Gabriella, edited for readability. To view the on-demand webinar, please visit the SIS Resource Library.
With all of the technology options available today, where do ASCs even start?
Yunette: The best place to start would be to take an evaluation of your current workflows. This will help to narrow down where you need the most help and which areas could use more efficiency. Once you’ve identified your pain points, you can start to research your options. From there, you’ll be able to see what technology may yield the highest benefit for your surgery center.
How do I motivate my team to buy into any technology changes I plan to bring into my facility?
Yunette: The best way to motivate your team is to sell it to them. Communicate how this change will improve their workflows, make their jobs easier, and allow them to focus on those projects that they may sometimes not have the time to do. You want to show them how this technology is going to be a positive change for the work environment and a great decision for the ASC overall. Share those positives and allow them to provide feedback on how they think it will affect their roles.
How do I know if I’ve selected the right type of technology for my center?
Gabriella: The first thing I would suggest you look at is whether the technology fits your specific needs when it comes to billing, coding, claim processing, analytics, and reporting. Does it provide an optimal patient management experience? Is it user-friendly? Is it compliant with healthcare regulations, such as HIPAA? Additionally, if you’re already using the technology, you should ask your direct reports for feedback on its efficiency.
If you have plans for growth, does the technology have the scalability to grow with your ASC? This includes integration capability to streamline data flow down the road. You should also consider your vendor; will they provide the training and support you may need for your team? If you intend to commit to the software, you should ensure that the vendor has a mutual commitment to you for the long-term support and updates that you will need.
If I can’t afford technology right now due to budgetary restrictions, what are my options?
Gabriella: There are lots of options when it comes to budgeting for technology. First, I would suggest you prioritize your needs. Focus on the solutions that address your immediate pain points. If you need to look at budget reallocations, there are a lot of open-source or free software solutions out there that can fulfill some of your requirements. You can also engage with vendors to negotiate pricing and payment plan options. Some vendors even offer flexibility terms to accommodate budget limitations, and others allow for leasing or even financing options.
Another thing to consider would be cloud-based solutions. They tend to have a lower cost upfront and will typically allow for services on a subscription basis. Some software vendors can offer phased implementation so that you can start with one piece of the puzzle and phase in additional pieces as your center grows. There are also grant opportunities and governmental programs to help provide assistance or subsidies for technology solutions.