The Truven Health Blog

The latest healthcare topics from a trusted, proven, and unbiased source.


Looking for ways to improve the bottom line? Consider your revenue cycle.

By Truven Staff

An efficient revenue cycle has always been an important factor in the success of a healthcare organization. But in today’s complex and dynamic industry, where value-based reimbursement models are becoming the norm, streamlining the flow of money from payers to providers may be more important than ever.

That streamlining is just what Mountain States Health Alliance (MSHA) accomplished. Faced with looming financial challenges, leaders at this Tennessee health system sought a way to reduce expenses, and withstand financial pitfalls for the long term.

By implementing a Lean revenue cycle management (RCM) process, MSHA:

How did do they do it?

MHSA leaders did it through improved communication, transparency and consistency among departments, and the adoption of Lean tools for continuous process improvement.

Since RCM affects every patient in every department, MSHA had to tear down the walls separating the front end (scheduling, registration, financial counseling), the middle (medical records, coding, billing) and the back end (claim drop, liability, accounts receivable).

Daily huddles brought staff members together to discuss key metrics and share information. Progress was tracked on daily improvement boards that were visible to anyone. And Rapid Improvement Events helped staff members get a handle on the interconnectedness of their work, which in turn helped them identify redundancies, reduce variation and waste, and create standards of work.

And the results speak for themselves.

If you’d like more information on how the health system achieved this remarkable result, please reach out to us via our value-based care resource page.


What Financial & Operational Topics Were Top-of-Mind at HFMA's ANI?

By Truven Staff
For many of us, the Healthcare Financial Management Association's (HFMA) Annual National Institute is the best meeting of the year. In addition to hearing excellent general session and breakout speakers, it’s an opportunity to visit with long-standing friends and to engage with new colleagues. It’s always impressive to hear their thoughtful opinions on current and future challenges, and this year was no different. Here’s what I heard this year in Orlando, Florida:

  • Hospitals and health systems continue to identify creative processes to address cost and productivity. But they still question whether their efforts will be sufficient, if anticipated reductions in reimbursement occur.
  • Reimbursement is key. With dismal returns on investment income and sharp declines in contributions, the emphasis on revenue cycle has never been more acute.
  • Many organizations estimate that if Medicare and Medicaid payments are reduced, additional cost reductions could be in the range of 15% - 25% of current operating expense. 
Becker's Hospital Review also spoke with 10 experts about the biggest issues impacting hospital CFOs today, and my thoughts are included there too.

Phil Gaughan
Senior Director of Operational Improvement