The biggest challenges hospitals face today in the area of Patient Access are inadequate training of staff, lack of proper technology and resources and not enough staff to meet the volume of patients registering for services. These challenges result in high error rates in patient registrations, slower reimbursement from payers and low patient satisfaction scores.



How well the front end staff performs in the Patient Access area impacts the entire revenue cycle and the overall financial health of the facility as well as the increasingly important patient experience. Mistakes on the front end can also result in RAC (Recovery Audit Contractor) audits that identify overpayments which hospitals must refund to government payers. When CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) first rolled out the RAC program, it was discovered that nearly half of the overpayments were a result of mistakes made in the Patient Access area.

Hospitals also fail to optimize revenues when POS (point of service) collections are weak. Missed opportunities to collect deductibles, co-pays and co- insurances early in the revenue cycle result in more bad debt for hospitals on the back end. Patient Access staff must have adequate training and tools to accurately register patients, determine their financial responsibility and clearly communicate hospital policies for early collection of balances due from patients. increase-dollars

Adequate staffing, streamlined processes and high-level technology are the keys to optimizing revenue for healthcare facilities. This is where Hollis Cobb staff steps in and helps clients who are not able to increase staff in the area of Patient Access or upgrade technology to improve processes and increase speed and accuracy of pre-registrations.

Hollis Cobb tailors our Patient Access product to meet the specific needs of each client which is determined in part by patient demographics, provider specialties and payer contracts as well as the client’s existing staff and available technology. Hollis Cobb Patient Access staff go through an internal training program along with client-specific training. Our staff receives continuing education monthly and takes part in quarterly testing administered by our Director of Training and Compliance — all part of our commitment to providing clients with the most qualified and skilled patient access representatives.

healthcare-techWe work with central insurance verification departments to financially clear patients through the pre-certification process, allowing central business office staff to focus on other core competencies. Analysis reports from both clients and Hollis Cobb’s internal reporting tools have shown that our patient access staff exceeds clients’ daily targets of financially cleared accounts, and with very low error rates. The Hollis Cobb Monthly Scorecard internally audits staff production and quality while daily reports analyze numbers of patient cleared, accuracy, denials and patient satisfaction. Our clients have let us know that our Patient Access services have helped them improve processes and generate payments faster in the revenue cycle.

Point of Service collections is a key to improving the overall financial health of any facility. Hollis Cobb staff have access to real-time software that assists in verifying eligibility, documenting benefits and determining balances due from patients. The staff is skilled at identifying when pre-certs and PCP (Primary Care Physician) referrals are required, and obtaining those as quickly as possible to expedite claims processing. Hollis Cobb staff are well-trained at asking for deductibles, co-pays and co-insurance payments from patients as well as helping patients identify money sources and set up aggressive but reasonable payment plans.

Communication is vital in the Patient Access area as it sets the tone for the patient experience. Hollis Cobb staff are multi-lingual and skilled at explaining coverage and hospital policies to patients. They are educated on every client’s 501r policies for financial assistance and clearly communicate the policies to patients, providing applications when needed. Always looking for ways to streamline processes, Hollis Cobb conducts regular meetings with clients and staff, and values staff input into potential process improvements.

Hollis Cobb staff ensures that each clients’ system is updated daily for every patient account that was touched. Our clients have communicated to us that our professional staff, top technology, patient-friendly processes and detailed analytics have resulted in more accurate claims and faster reimbursements. Even more important, patient satisfaction scores are higpatient-firsth among the clients we serve.

Our 40 years in business has seen a change in healthcare from all money collected on the back end to a shift in which more dollars are collected on the front end. Hollis Cobb is dedicated to meeting the challenges of the ever-changing healthcare environment, thereby helping to improve the financial health of our clients and provide an overall positive experience for the patients we all serve.