Heather Lautman is a Managing Consultant who specializes in revenue integrity and charging.
What projects have you focused on at Sagacious Consultants?
My projects most recently are focused on supporting our client’s Revenue Integrity (RI) areas: the department in middle revenue that sits between clinical and billing operations. In these engagements, we assess the people, process, and technology for Revenue Integrity. We look at clinical charging workflows, late charge data, analysts’ daily tasks, and revenue monitoring strategies, for example.
With the transition to new EHRs, charge producing workflows are heavily dependent on front end, clinical input. Due to this often large, cultural shift in organizations, we see the need for an augmented focus on revenue management and oversight. What was once known as a one-person CDM team is now a larger, more strategic revenue department focusing on overall revenue management in addition to CDM maintenance responsibilities.
What project are you especially proud of?
In the past two years, I have worked on four different Revenue Integrity projects and I do not know if I can pick a favorite! Each RI manager or director was fantastic to work with, and for each engagement I was most motivated by their enthusiasm. The directors and managers were excited to receive attention in their area and have a resource to discuss their process and operational questions. I am proud of the support I have been able to provide to these directors and managers in each assessment.
How have you seen the healthcare industry change during your six years of working with EHR systems?
The healthcare industry is fluid, with changes spurred by new regulations or new advances in technology. What I see most is the need for clients to dedicate the time and resources to Revenue Integrity. This is often an overlooked area of the revenue cycle as we typically see engagements strictly focus on the true back-end: follow-up, coding and denial workflows. The middle-revenue cycle is the connection point between clinical and billing that, once mature and strategic, can really reduce operational headaches.
What are your best skills you can offer to healthcare clients?
The best skills I can offer consist of my problem solving skills combined with my experience with operational and EHR complexities as they relate to Revenue Integrity. With moving pieces and multiple levels to issues, assessing and addressing opportunities within RI is a complex task and where my problem solving skills come in most handy!
What was your most challenging feat in the last two years, and how did you overcome it?
Designing the methodology for the RI assessment was a personal challenge for me. The effort was well worth it when we had our first client. We have refined parts of the process since then; for example, expanding on the operational indicators and key performance metrics used to quantify the net revenue and cash acceleration opportunity that exists at each client and would be obtained through an RI optimization project. Our clients come away with a clear understanding of next steps for implementing improvements through our methodology.
How do you like to spend your time when you’re not working?
Skiing in the winter and biking in the summer! Colorado is a wonderful playground!
Any big goals for 2017?
My number one goal for 2017 is to continue work within Revenue Integrity. I am excited to see who we will be able to assist next.