VHA's Revenue Management Team Helps Members Identify at Least $100 Million in Additional Revenue Opportunities and Savings

Jul 28, 2004, 01:00 ET from VHA Inc.

    IRVING, Texas, July 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Increasing supply costs, rising
 capital needs and declining reimbursements constantly keep hospital executives
 awake at night.  To help its member hospitals, VHA Inc., the health care
 alliance, uses a formula that links its expertise in revenue cycle management
 with its clinical improvement capabilities and long-standing experience in
 supply chain management.  In just 12 months, VHA has helped
 20 member health care organizations identify or implement improvement
 opportunities that could yield an additional $100 million in revenue and many
 times that amount in cost savings.
     "Bringing all of VHA's competencies to bear on a member's circumstances
 can have an enormous impact on a health care organization's bottom line," said
 Jim Martin, VHA's senior director of revenue management consulting.
     Martin says that VHA's ability to connect clinical improvement initiatives
 that reduce costs, such as efforts to reduce inpatient infection rates, with
 efforts to improve operating margins through the effective utilization of
 high-cost physician preference supplies, while maximizing reimbursement for
 these items, creates an effective, comprehensive, long-term approach to
 financial improvement for health care organizations.
     "There are many levers a hospital can pull to increase revenue and improve
 its cost situation," said Martin.  "Linking expensive supply purchases and
 their utilization by managing and monitoring the item master/charge master
 file can help members ensure accurate reimbursement and enable them to
 negotiate carve-out reimbursements for high-cost physician preference items.
 VHA provides members with access to services that enable them to better manage
 these activities."
     VHA provides members with guidance on other vital revenue cycle functions,
 including: optimal procedure pricing; business office enhancement; and front
 end optimization, including capturing accurate demographic and insurance
 information, as well as collecting co-payments and deductibles.  VHA has also
 implemented cash acceleration projects and developed a front-end technology
 tool that aids in the advanced beneficiary/medical necessity notification
 process.  VHA member organizations are currently piloting the tool.
     VHA's Revenue Management Services group has provided ever-increasing value
 to member organizations since Martin started the practice in early 2003.  More
 than 150 VHA clinicians and financial experts are available to help member
 organizations.  The projects have resulted in significant improvements in
 members' bottom lines.
     For example, a recent optimal pricing engagement at Norman (Okla.)
 Regional Hospital resulted in a potential net income improvement of more than
 $4.9 million.  "By working with VHA, we developed more appropriate pricing
 strategies to offset the expenses we were incurring, and developed a revenue
 model that protected our long-term future in the community," said Melvin
 Alexander, chief financial officer at Norman Regional.
     At other health care organizations, the revenue management team has
 completed comparative measurement benchmarking studies, allowing members to
 share best practices, and assisted with improving health information
 management, denials management, and revenue cycle improvement for small
     About VHA
     VHA Inc. is a national cooperative of leading not-for-profit health care
 organizations that work together to improve the health of the communities they
 serve.  VHA leverages the collective strength of the membership to improve
 clinical, operational and financial performance.  Through the VHA cooperative,
 members benefit from resources that assess critical needs and identify best
 practices to create customized solutions that lower costs and improve clinical
 quality.  As a cooperative, VHA distributes income annually to members based
 on their participation.  Based in Irving, Texas, with 18 offices across the
 U.S., VHA was named one of the "100 Best Companies to Work For" by Fortune in
 January 2004, for the fifth year in a row.  For more information, go to
 http://www.vha.com .
      Lynn Gentry
      Andy Wilson