Case study: St Peters University Hospital
Like most non-profit healthcare institutions, Saint Peter's University Hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey understands the challenges of securing full and prompt payment for patient services. Some patients may have primary and secondary insurance providers, while others may have no coverage at all. As a result, the hospital's Accounts Receivable staff needs to manage a complex series of back-and-forth interactions with a host of insurers in order to secure payment.
New processes from SoftCo bring real efficiency to the AR function
With the SoftCo system, we've increased reimbursements and we've reduced costs - and that's good for our bottom line
St Peters University Hospital
Working closely with the hospital, SoftCo developed a tailored process management system that has transformed the efficiency of the AR function. A remittance processing solution that handles both electronic and paper-based payments automatically captures, archives and posts payments to the hospital information system. Supporting patient financial information is scanned at the point of registration.
Lengthy paperwork for charity care applications has been replaced with an online system that has cut application processing time in half. And a sophisticated medical records scanning solution for archiving fetal monitor strips is set to show full ROI in less than two years, by eliminating thousands of feet of expensive storage space.
Having all "financial" patient records at hand has dramatically improved the ability of the hospital's business office to provide supporting documentation demanded by the insurance payers. This means Saint Peter's University Hospital can recover more of its costs, more efficiently, improving cash flows, while faster processing of charity care applications also improves efficiency.
The SoftCo system that we have installed here is very positive to the financial well being of our institution
St Peters University Hospital
"The SoftCo Charity Care system has decreased our application processing time from 45 to 20 minutes and eliminated all hardcopy filing requirements," explains James Bowden, Director of Patient Financial Services for Saint Peter's University Hospital. He says the time needed to produce documentation for quarterly state audits has fallen, too. "That process, which used to take five days, has been cut down to one day, thanks to the SoftCo Audit Program. With this system we have in place we've increased reimbursements and we've reduced costs - and that's good for our bottom line. The SoftCo system that we have installed here is very positive to the financial well being of our institution."
The SoftCo Solution
- SoftCo initially provided a document management system to give Saint Peter's AR staff instant, electronic access to every patient invoice and the corresponding remittance from the insurance provider
- A typical insurance company remittance is a long document of up to 200 pages and summarises individual payments for hundreds of patients. SoftCo Remit replaced an unwieldy paper process that previously forced AR staff to share a single hard copy of a remittance for each patient payment they needed to query. SoftCo Remit ensures that the remittance is now accessible instantly to every user who needs it
- SoftCo next installed SoftCo Registration Scanning, deploying scan stations throughout the healthcare facility to capture all patient registration information at source, including insurance cards. This information is then permanently online for hospital staff. If an insurer queries or demands certain paperwork, AR staff can view the documents electronically and send them instantly to the insurer if required, helping accelerate the settlement process
- For uninsured patients, SoftCo Charity Care is a browser based solution for processing applications, including digital signatures and the online capture of all hardcopy supporting documentation
- Charity Care has decreased Saint Peter's University Hospital's application processing time from 45 to 20 minutes. Furthermore, staff now need just one day to produce documentation for quarterly state audits, down from five days with the old system