Effective ambulatory surgery center (ASC) revenue cycle management can be hard to achieve, particularly as internal and external forces exercise their influence. According to Regent Surgical Health’s Vice President of Revenue Cycle Management Michael Orseno, ASCs that pay attention to three key success factors are well-suited for the challenge.

“The first key success factor is driven by the healthcare industry’s shift toward value-based care,” Orseno says. “While assuming reimbursement risk from payers along with the responsibility to provide quality care has created some uncertainty and challenges for ASCs, managed care is in better hands. ASCs are equipped to both deliver quality care and manage costs more effectively than insurance companies ever were. But to be successful in revenue cycle management (RCM), ASCs need to become more adept at both managing costs and collecting additional revenue directly from patients, many of whom have selected healthcare insurance plans with lower premiums but higher deductibles.”

Another factor is also closely related to the evolution of value-based care. While many ASCs are succeeding at streamlining procedures and reducing costs for procedures new to out-patient treatment, such as total joint replacement, payment bundling and reimbursement declines introduce new pressures. For example, payers are beginning to scrutinize payment of high-cost implant procedures and are attempting to shift the risk of these expenses to the provider, via bundled payments. As ASCs assume leadership of these bundles, a second key success factor is careful negotiation along the way. “You need to be diligent – review your costs, pursue economies of scale but also account for patient-driven variation, and review contracts annually for opportunities based on quickly changing market conditions (i.e. carve outs for joint replacement or higher acuity spine care),” Orseno suggests.

A third way to ensure successful RCM is to optimize business office staffing. “The best performing ASCs make sure their RCM staff is motivated and incentivized to aggressively pursue revenue, rather than just remaining content with the status quo,” Orseno says. “If an ASC’s staff is accepting only what the insurer pays and not fighting for what the center is contractually entitled to or higher than ‘usual and customary,’ that particular facility may be leaving a lot of money on the table.”

To learn more, please visit Regent RCM’s website at www.regentrcm.com or contact Michael Orseno at 708-492-0531.