Wishing all of our clients and friends
A Happy Independence Day!
From the Team at Hollis Cobb Associates
As Hollis Cobb Associates continues to grow and expand service offerings, management is pleased to announce the creation of two new VP positions, and the internal promotions of individuals who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and service to the company. Todd Gullotti has been named the Vice President of Operations, and Josh Best has been promoted to Vice President of Client Services.
Todd Gullotti joined Hollis Cobb in 2017 as a consultant after serving as the COO and CEO of Medac Anesthesia Business Partners. Todd began his career in revenue cycle management in the home healthcare industry, and later transitioned into practice management where he developed his skills managing the operations of radiology practices. He later spent 12 years at the McKesson Corporation serving as both director and vice president.
Todd brings a wealth of knowledge to Hollis Cobb from coding and billing processes to contract negotiations, process improvement and financial analysis. In his new role as VP of Operations, Todd will work with the executive leadership team along with operations and client services to develop processes and structure that will increase efficiencies and service levels while expanding Hollis Cobb’s footprint within the industry.
Josh Best has been with Hollis Cobb since 2008 starting as a legal collector and moving into the position of Earlyout Collection Manager in 2012. During his years as a manager Josh, gained insight into the operations side of the collections industry and began to build relationships with key clients. His strong work ethic and desire to learn and grow lead Josh to be promoted, in 2016, to Director of Operations in the Earlyout Department. He has cultivated relationships with new clients while maintaining strong relationships with long-time clients who are the foundation of Hollis Cobb’s strength and success in the industry.
In his new role as Vice President of Client Services, Josh is charged with bridging the gap between the Operations and Client Services Departments by bringing an operational perspective to the team that works directly with Hollis Cobb’s clients on a daily basis. Josh will be researching current service offerings, proactively analyzing client needs and developing new services the company can offer to help providers streamline and strengthen their revenue cycles.
Hollis Cobb’s executive leadership looks forward to great things from Todd Gullotti and Josh Best as the company continues to thrive, identify trends and develop better ways to help healthcare providers improve their revenue cycle processes and the overall patient experience in the communities they serve.
Hollis Cobb’s business development team is heading to Houston, Texas June 19-21 for the Q1 Healthcare Revenue Cycle Management Forum. Always looking ahead at what is on the horizon for our healthcare clients, and fine-tuning services to meet changing needs, Hollis Cobb’s leadership seeks out educational and networking opportunities all over the U.S. “We need to know what our clients need even before they know,” said President and CEO, Greg Hocutt, adding that, “when our clients need help in any area of their revenue cycle, we want Hollis Cobb to be their go-to business partner.”
As revenue cycles within health systems throughout the U.S. face uncertainty in regards to payer, patient and government reimbursement, Q1 seeks to support health care systems through a unique blend of peer-to-peer engagement, strategic discussion groups, educational presentations and networking with selected supplier partners. The goal for this month’s forum is to help healthcare providers create better incoming revenue stability by shortening account receivables, reducing denials, optimizing coding, working more effectively with payers, improving communication with patients on payment expectations and creating efficiencies in care delivery.
This year’s conference topics include:
The Hollis Cobb team will be manning booth # 7 in the exhibit hall and will be meeting with healthcare providers throughout the conference to learn the unique challenges of each one and develop programs to help them better serve their communities while strengthening their revenue cycle processes. As Hollis Cobb continues to add service lines that help our clients thrive financially in the constantly changing world of healthcare finance, educational and networking events like the Q1 conference help us truly put quality first.
Learn more about the Forum here:
SURVEY REVEALS REVENUE CYCLE OBSTACLES
A recent survey by HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society) lists payer denials, reimbursement issues and obtaining prior authorization among the top challenges facing providers today.
The survey quizzed leaders across the U.S. in revenue cycle, finance and reimbursement roles in hospitals and acute care facilities. The top three challenges cited by nearly half of the survey respondents in order were payer denials, problems obtaining reimbursement and prior authorization.
Additionally, respondents noted that the root causes of their challenges included clinical documentation and coding issues, limited budgets for technology or additional staff, competing projects taking priority and proving return on investment when implementing processes or technology to improve these problem areas.
HOLLIS COBB OFFERS SOLUTIONS
Listening to our clients is vital in learning how our team can best serve their needs, and that is what has led us to develop services that keep pace with the ever changing challenges revenue cycle leaders face every day. Before the HIMSS survey identified these three problem areas, Hollis Cobb already had solutions in place as a result of listening to our clients and developing ways to assist and support them as they strive to improve their processes and their revenue.
Hollis Cobb’s Insurance Recovery Department includes a denials team that works daily assignments from clients. The team accesses work queues directly in the clients’ systems, has access to payer sites as well and works denials in conjunction with each client’s team. Our team has been highly successful overturning first level appeals for our clients enabling them to focus on their more complicated second level appeals. Additionally, Hollis Cobb provides regular ROI reports to our clients detailing our fee compared to dollars recovered by our team, showing our clients the return on their investment.
Our clients are plagued by payer requests for additional information, coding reviews and other follow up on submitted claims. This piece of the revenue cycle is extremely time consuming, particularly for smaller balance claims. The Hollis Cobb Insurance Recovery Department is staffed with experts who have many years of experience communicating with payers, processing their many diverse requests and working directly in client systems. Our staff can document directly in the client system, or our IT department can provide a daily note file to update the client system on our daily progress. We work as an extension of our clients’ insurance teams and operate according to all client guidelines.
Hollis Cobb has a large Pre-Auth Department located at our main office in Atlanta. That team has an excellent track record of obtaining pre-authorizations for our clients in numbers that exceed our clients’ target goals. Our staff works directly in our clients’ systems and assists the patients with skill and professionalism. This department has grown tremendously over the last five years with the expansion of insurance plans available for more Americans. Additionally, Hollis Cobb can place Pre-Auth staff onsite at client offices; however most clients prefer that we work out of our office, allowing them to use their office space for other staff.
As more challenges arise in the healthcare revenue cycle arena, the innovative leaders at Hollis Cobb continue to look for creative ways to help our clients maintain healthy revenues along with a positive patient experience in the communities they serve.
Hollis Cobb staff and management are gearing up for this year’s Strong 4 Life Superhero Sprint to benefit Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Set for Saturday, June 1 at Piedmont Park in Atlanta, the event includes a 5K Run starting at 9am and a 1 Mile Fun Run beginning at 10am. Participants are encouraged to dress as their favorite superheroes, and enter the costume contest.
Hollis Cobb is a Silver Sponsor for this year’s sprint, and will have a 10X10 tent with promotional giveaways. More information is coming soon about tent location and giveaways. There is still time to register by visiting: Strong4LifeSprint2019 and anyone is welcome to join the Hollis Cobb team of Superheroes sprinting through the park to support Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
Always supportive of providers in the Georgia healthcare community, Hollis Cobb sponsors numerous fundraising events for hospitals all over the state as well as for clients outside of Georgia. The Strong 4 Life movement is dedicated to reversing the epidemic of childhood obesity and its associated diseases in Georgia. The upcoming event at Piedmont Park is designed to raise funds needed for Strong 4 Life to reach and help more families by offering school and provider training programs, community partnerships and policy change efforts.
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta created Strong 4 Life to help today’s busy parents meet the challenges of raising healthy children from newborns to teens. The organization is supported by a team of doctors, registered dieticians and other wellness experts, and focuses on 3 key strategies:
Developing healthy habits starts during childhood can last a lifetime. A plethora of information is available on the Strong 4 Life website with tips on raising healthy children from birth to high school graduation: https://www.strong4life.com/en
Hollis Cobb is proud to further support this exciting event by serving as a 2019 sponsor. Participation is not required to join in the fun. We invite everyone to visit us at our tent during this year’s sprint as we do our part to help Georgia children stay strong for life.
Andrew Acuff is the newest addition to Hollis Cobb’s growing Client Services Department. He comes to the company with over 30 years’ of revenue cycle management experience on both the provider and vendor sides, and is well known and respected in the healthcare finance industry. The client services team at Hollis Cobb works hard to provide all clients with exceptional customer service. “In addition to providing a seamless and enjoyable experience to our clients,” Andrew explained, “I strive to constantly look for opportunities in our processes and operations to ensure accuracy and enhance deliverables.”
Born in a small town in Missouri, Andrew came to Atlanta many years ago and immediately felt at home. He started out as a collector and from there moved into managing physician practices. From there he moved into sales for revenue cycle outsourcing solutions. “I wanted a career that was challenging and rewarding, and healthcare revenue cycle still fits the bill.”
When Hollis Cobb management decided to create a new Key Client Executive position, they looked no further than Andrew, and he was thrilled to join the team. “With my many years of experience in the area of healthcare revenue cycle, I knew Hollis Cobb was a gold standard in the industry,” he said. “Knowing Hollis Cobb’s reputation for excellence, the growth that has been experienced over the past few years and several wonderful staff members, I knew this was the place to be,” he added.
Andrew’s enthusiasm and dedication to his clients is hard to beat. Always ready to embrace a challenge, he noted that he enjoys the fast-paced dynamics of Hollis Cobb as well as learning the new processes and systems.
Andrew lives in Stone Mountain with his partner John, and he enjoys cooking, gardening and other outdoor activities. Hollis Cobb leadership is excited about Andrew joining the client services team, and expects great things from him in the months and years to come.
The pre-authorization program at Hollis Cobb started off with our staff assisting a client with a backlog of pre-auths, and has grown into a highly successful product in our current line of service offerings. Our pre-auth representatives work out of one of our call centers or onsite in our clients’ Patient Access Departments. This service allows our clients to focus on other core competencies and also helps decentralized offices to monitor and report productivity and accuracy. Our representatives have experience with a wide range of platforms that capture appointments and procedures scheduled across all specialties and insurance plans. Our team has experienced great success exceeding our clients’ daily targets of financially cleared accounts.
For some of our clients, our pre-auth work has been so successful that clients have re-allocated their pre-auth teams to other departments in which more staff was needed, while Hollis Cobb has continued to handle all pre-authorizations. Our pre-auth work has been exceptionally helpful to clients in the midst of system conversions as our team will continue to keep the pre-authorizations current while the client’s team goes through training on a new system. Typically, after the conversion is complete, and the client’s new system is up and running, the Hollis Cobb pre-auth team continues to assist the client with pre-authorizations in the new system as well.
The Hollis Cobb pre-authorization staff is not only proficient with a host of real-time eligibility tools, but also contacts patients directly to obtain updated insurance information when coverage is found to be inactive. Our staff also obtains primary care physician referrals when required. The team will update the client’s system with any current insurance information obtained and verified and continue to complete the pre-authorization.
Our well-honed pre-authorization product has been so successful in part due to the unique productivity and quality assurance process that we developed. Our Patient Access Managers have developed an internal scorecard to audit our representatives’ production and quality on a daily and hourly basis. Client audits have consistently shown lower error rates among our team which helps our clients reduce costly denials. Our Quality Assurance Department continues to look for ways to improve processes and increase production while decreasing errors.
With the help from the Hollis Cobb pre-auth team, our clients have seen an overall increase in production which has substantially reduced their cost per account. In addition, consolidating decentralized pre-authorization teams into one Hollis Cobb team has resulted in closing holes in the process and streamlining the workflow. Our pre-auth program is flexible and our staff can adjust quickly to changes in volumes or other client needs. Every client and patient population is different. We understand that and are able to tailor our pre-auth programs based on individual client needs.
Accountability is key, and our team has proven their expertise through internal quality analysis and intense client audits. What started out as a favor to a long-time client has turned in to one of Hollis Cobb’s most successful and fastest growing service offerings. Our innovative management team is always looking for ways to bring more value to the services we provide to our clients and the patients they serve.
Hollis Cobb welcomed Karen King to the Training Team in November. She brings to the table over 25 years of experience in healthcare administration and revenue cycle management. Throughout her career, Karen’s work has included providing oversight in a medical clinical operations environment as well as using her expertise in call centers, central billing offices and as a Medicare coding auditor. Karen has also worked as a consultant to providers in the area of revenue cycle management. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Ashford University and is also a Certified Professional Coder (CPC).
Her career started as a Staffing Coordinator; staffing nurses to hospitals when they could not fill a shift. She then began to staff physical therapists (PTs) for home health visits. One PT in particular had private patients and asked Karen to help with the billing and collections. That is how Karen got started in the revenue cycle arena, and she has learned along the way, gaining a lot of experience.
Karen’s role at Hollis Cobb includes training new employees on Compliance, HIPAA, Customer Service, Self-Pay Collections, Insurance Basics, Insurance Follow-up, and multiple systems such as EPIC, Centricity, and FACS. When asked about how she got to Hollis Cobb she stated she was “ready to come back to Atlanta and find a position that would allow me to train staff in revenue cycle management, because I saw the need for training in this area and wanted to get involved more in the training aspect of the revenue cycle.”
The most rewarding aspect of her job at Hollis Cobb, Karen said, is teaching the employees and watching them progress in their roles. The most challenging part, she noted, is learning and keeping up with all the unique guidelines specific to each of the many Hollis Cobb clients nationwide. “Here at Hollis Cobb,” Karen explained, “we serve numerous clients, so training has to be geared to the unique workflow processes and systems. As a trainer, I have to learn all of the clients’ systems and processes to be able to accurately train the employees.”
Although born in Cleveland, Tennessee, Karen has lived in Atlanta for 35 years. She and her husband, Gregory, enjoy spending time with their children and grandchildren. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, swimming and water Zumba. Karen has already proved to be a great asset to Hollis Cobb in preparing our staff to meet the specific needs of each client to whom they are assigned, and ensuring that we exceed our clients’ goals and expectations.
A long time HFMA supporter, Hollis Cobb Associates is proud to be a platinum sponsor of the 50th Annual Region 5 Dixie Institute. Set for February 24-27 in Mobile, Alabama, the conference will take place at the Renaissance Riverview Plaza Hotel in downtown Mobile during the yearly Mardi Gras celebration. The event represents providers and their business partners from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee.
The Hollis Cobb team will host several events at Booth # 5 including complimentary coffee and beignets on Monday, February 25 and Hollis Cobb Hurricanes on Tuesday, February 26. Unique giveaways will be on hand at the booth as well as information about Hollis Cobb’s expanded service offerings. Our valued clients will enjoy a special appreciation dinner on Monday night at the popular eatery, Felix’s Fish Camp.
Representatives at Hollis Cobb’s Booth # 5 will be available to talk about the company’s front-end, active A/R and back-end solutions customized for every client’s unique challenges. From pre-cert to scheduling to customer service to collections and everything in between, the Hollis Cobb team is able to design a combination of services to address every client’s special circumstances, demographics and payer mix. Along with ongoing services, Hollis Cobb handles temporary clean-up projects, and provides staffing either onsite at client facilities or at one of our call centers for clients unable to hire additional staff due to budgetary constraints. Our experts are able to analyze a provider’s revenue cycle processes and recommend the most cost effective solutions to increase revenue and enhance the patient experience.
This year’s HFMA Region 5 multi-day conference will focus on Disruptive Healthcare, Consumerism and Innovation. The annual event is designed for thought-leaders in the healthcare industry. C-suite professionals, directors, physician groups and healthcare business partners will gather to participate in peer-to-peer discussions, networking and educational presentations. Other hot topics will include, Cyber Security, Effective Leadership, Enhancing the Patient Experience, Continuing Impact of High Deductibles and Selecting the Right Solutions Partner.
Some fun evening activities are scheduled for conference attendees as well, including an evening Mardi Gras parade in front of the hotel on February 24, an early morning fun run on February 25, and the Golden Gala Ball on February 26. All conference breaks will feature Dixie through the Decades and each break will showcase a different decade from the 1970s through the 2010s.
All 40 provider scholarships to the conference have already been awarded; however it is not too late to register for this 50th anniversary event at https://www.hfmadixie2019.org/. Join the Hollis Cobb team in supporting Region 5 HFMA and finding ways to successfully handle the ongoing challenges in healthcare finance.
A long time Georgia HFMA Gold Sponsor, Hollis Cobb is proud to be a special sponsor of this week’s Georgia HFMA education and networking event in Atlanta. This first time ever HFMA function features axe throwing activities following an hour of industry education. Continuing education credit is available for the hour long educational session. Organizers are expecting a great turnout for this event.
Set for Thursday, January 31, registration opens at 3:30pm and the educational session begins at 4:00. Food and drink will be available along with an evening of axe throwing from 5:00pm to 7:00pm. This unique educational/networking event will take place at Bury the Hatchet, located at 6450 Roswell Road NE, Suite B in Atlanta, Georgia.
According to the staff of Bury the Hatchet, axe throwing goes all the way back to the 7th century, and was a sport performed by the Vikings. It is not difficult to learn and is great for team building, stress relief, exercise and just for an evening of laughter, fun and adventure. The axe throwing competition is held indoors, so no need to worry about cold weather. This is a great opportunity to learn something new and have a healthy competition with colleagues.
It is not too late to channel your inner Viking and sign up for this exciting evening. The cost for education, refreshments and axe throwing is $35 per person. You do not have to be an HFMA member to participate. Georgia HFMA leaders strive to provide innovative events and activities to enrich the membership, and are thrilled to offer this opportunity for members to bury the hatchet.
Join the fun! Click here to register: BURY THE HATCHET