Beating Break-Even: The Power of Partnerships

    Posted by Katrina Slavey and Stephanie Boim on May 19, 2016 1:00:08 PM

    One of our clients, a large hospital-owned physician practice network, needed to quickly improve their financial performance. Their Rapid Improvement Plan included goals designed to speed up the cash collection process, maximize opportunities for reimbursement, improve coding and documentation at the clinics, and increase provider productivity. Sound familiar?

    With these goals in mind, we convened in a conference room with about a dozen key players, including practice managers as well as representatives from information systems, finance, revenue cycle, and managed care. The two of us from Halley—a revenue cycle expert and an operations expert—began engaging the group in a conversation regarding the overall performance of the physician practice network. In our passion and enthusiasm for the topic, we seamlessly worked together throughout the discussion, even to the point of finishing each other’s sentences. This was just a normal day for us, supporting one another in our roles, and we didn’t give any thought to the impact of what we were modeling. But for the leaders sitting around the conference table, our synergy was a revelation: This is how it should work. This is the partnership of operations and revenue cycle in action.

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    Topics: Physician Practice Management, Revenue Cycle

    5 Steps to Building a Meaningful Executive Rounding Program

    Posted by Heather Susnik on May 6, 2016 2:27:46 PM

    As hospital CEOs take on more of a market manager role, it is crucial for them to build and sustain relationships with employed and private practice physicians in the community. We all know that referrals follow relationships—and that all relationships atrophy over time—so hospital executives need a coordinated way to proactively visit with physicians on an ongoing basis.

    One way you can assist your CEO to stay focused on physician relationships is by creating an executive rounding program, where hospital or healthcare system executives meet with targeted physicians on regularly scheduled visits.

    The following steps will help you on your way to building an executive rounding program that is both meaningful and effective.


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    Topics: Physician Practice Management, Primary Care Retail Strategy, Primary Care Market Share, Engaging Employed Physicians

    Are You Leaving Money on the Table?

    Posted by Marie Debs on Mar 31, 2016 3:06:03 PM

    As a consultant in physician network management, I regularly recommend that healthcare systems contract with an external expert to perform quarterly audits on coding and revenue cycle metrics for their providers.


    Because if you’re not monitoring metrics, you’re leaving money on the table. And not just a few hundred dollars.

    One example of a revealing metric is the adjusted fee-for-service collection percentage. When we find that a client has not been monitoring this metric, we perform the calculation and often discover that they are leaving hundreds of thousands of dollars on the table.

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    Topics: Physician Practice Management, Revenue Cycle

    High Performing Provider Networks: Do Your Hospital-Owned Medical Practices Measure Up?

    Posted by Lauri Miro on Mar 15, 2016 3:50:01 PM

    Implementing an effective operational governance model is a galvanizing first step on the pathway to developing a high performing physician network. Once this model is in place and physicians are taking an active role in the governance process, it is time to take a closer look at your medical practice network’s level of operational performance.

    Below we’ll examine four key questions that can help your physician and executive leaders gain valuable insight into how your physician network measures up to a high performance standard in today’s demanding healthcare environment.

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    Topics: Operational Governance, Engaging Employed Physicians, Network Evaluation

    Purpose-Driven Interim Management: What the Best Interim Managers Know and Do

    Posted by Luanne Yeley on Feb 18, 2016 3:22:55 PM

    On my last day of a recent interim management engagement, my client team members escorted me to a wall in their office where they’d posted reminders of the work we had accomplished together. During the course of my interim assignment, this team and I had spent many hours developing strategy, designing workflows, and creating policy—in other words, implementing change. My team expressed their appreciation for my influence and vowed to return to this wall often to consider the question “What would Luanne do?” Although I would no longer be with them, they wanted to remember and sustain the change we had effected.

    Organizations increasingly acknowledge that recruiting an interim manager is one of the most flexible, immediate, and effective resourcing solutions for access to top talent while they search for permanent leadership. An interim manager is an experienced executive resource who is engaged on a temporary basis and may be called on to assist an organization with building infrastructure, implementing change necessary for improved performance, restructuring an organization, or overseeing a critical project.

    However, not all interim managers are considered equal. For healthcare organizations and medical networks, here are a few things you should expect from the best interim managers—those executives who have a proven track record of improving performance and driving positive, lasting change for their clients.

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    Topics: Interim Management

    Why Pursue PCMH Recognition? Three Benefits to Consider

    Posted by Lauri Miro on Jan 27, 2016 11:18:11 AM
    The following post was written by Lauri M. Miro, MBA, RN, PCMH CCE and Dale L. Gentz, MBA, PCMH CCE of the Halley Consulting Group.

    With population risk shifting to healthcare providers, interest in patient-centered care is increasing. Healthcare systems that have not yet done so should examine the benefits of having their owned and affiliated primary care practices become formally recognized as patient-centered medical homes (PCMHs). For some organizations, achieving this recognition involves a significant commitment to change, both with regard to workflows and to the organizational culture at large—but in most cases, the long-term benefits far outweigh the initial work required.

    If you’ve considered pursuing formal PCMH recognition for your hospital-owned and affiliated PCP practices—and even if you haven’t—here are three reasons you should take action and work toward achieving this status.


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    Site-neutral payments: What does it all really mean?

    Posted by Stephanie Boim on Dec 18, 2015 1:27:00 PM

    Experts agree that the days of payment differential are fading. The new and revised place of service codes become effective January 1, 2016. What are your considerations for developing strategies in a site-neutral environment?


    As a revenue cycle leader, one of my most challenging moments was trying to explain to an eighty-six-year-old patient why she had to pay more for her doctor visit. The patient had a great understanding of her deductible and coinsurance. She also had been seeing the same internal medicine physician for more than thirty years, as she reminded me frequently throughout our conversation.

    But things had changed. Her internal medicine physician’s practice had been acquired by the local hospital system. What was once a private practice, owned and operated by the doctors within the group, was now an off-campus hospital outpatient department.

    I asked the patient if she had seen the new signage and if she’d received the written notice describing her potential financial liability with the change in practice ownership. She informed me that she’d had to fill out new paperwork and had been given plenty of documents in return—but in her opinion, it was all a big waste of time. Nothing had changed for her in years. She lived in the same home and carried the same red, white, and blue Medicare card she’d always had. Why, she wanted to know, did she have to pay more money to receive the same care she’d been receiving for years?

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    Topics: Revenue Cycle

    Hospital-Owned Medical Practices: Managing for Performance

    Posted by Marc D. Halley, MBA on Dec 15, 2015 8:30:00 AM

    This post originally appeared on the MedCity News website on December 6, 2015.

    On a recent assignment, we encountered a hospital client who had built up a bureaucratic maze of medical directors and executives tasked with steering both the business and clinical sides of the hospital’s owned medical practice network. Unfortunately, rather than facilitating smooth operations, the additional layers of management slowed the decision-making process, created confusion for providers and support staff, and produced inconsistent operating performance from clinic to clinic.

    At the client’s request, we provided training on operational governance and introduced our council model to the physician network. As they began to implement our training, the physicians and other providers became engaged as peers and as partners, providing the positive peer pressure and clinical direction necessary for day-to-day operations within each individual practice and across the entire medical group.

    In implementing this new system of operational governance, our hospital client noted that many of their traditional medical director roles had become superfluous. As a consequence, they asked for our help in creating a streamlined and effective implementation management infrastructure that would support the new operational governance model and perhaps even allow for the elimination of these unnecessary director roles.

    Such a request is not uncommon; we have interim managers out in the field who are seeing similar situations on a regular basis. What we’ve learned from being on the ground is that, as we mentioned in the previous article, hospital-owned physician networks can benefit greatly from studying successful independent practices and applying what they learn to their own infrastructure.

    Let’s take a look at some of the principles of management that work well for independent practices and examine how those principles can apply in a medical practice network setting.

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    Topics: Operational Governance, Interim Management, Physician Practice Management, Engaging Employed Physicians

    Are PCPs the Foundation of Your Growth Strategy? They should be.

    Posted by Sarah Montijo, MHA on Nov 10, 2015 10:00:00 AM

    The following post was written by Sarah Montijo, MHA, Director of Business Analytics and Consulting Executive for Halley Consulting Group.


    Sit in almost any hospital leadership meeting focused on growth or strategy, and you will likely hear the phrase market share—the percentage of admissions the hospital captured relative to the market basket, or total admissions for a given area. The competitive landscape of healthcare makes monitoring your market share trends, and understanding what and who is impacting those trends, a must.

    Gone are the days when hospital CEOs could focus strictly on managing the hospital. Now they must also manage their market. These hospital CEOs, whom we often refer to as market managers, have to appreciate what drives their market share by understanding the relationships and affiliations that exist with physician practices in their community, and by forging relationships where they are currently absent. Market managers should consistently ask themselves three questions:

    • Where is my market share?
    • Who holds my market share?
    • What are they doing with it?
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    Topics: Primary Care Retail Strategy

    Engaging Employed Physicians in Your Hospital's Success - Part II

    Posted by Marc D. Halley, MBA on Oct 5, 2015 10:00:00 AM

    In Part I of our post on engaging employed physicians in your hospital's success, we discussed engaging with physicians as business partners. In this post, we explore a successful model for decision-making, performance improvement and accountability.

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    Topics: Operational Governance, Physician Practice Management, Engaging Employed Physicians

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    Halley Consulting Builds High Performing Medical Groups

    Industry Insights from Leaders at Halley Consulting Group

    Halley Consulting Group has a proven track record of building high performing medical practices. We can show you how to continue to benefit from the downstream revenue provided by your owned physician network, while at the same time, diminishing the losses. If this type of measurable performance improvement would be of interest to you, please contact us! We would be delighted to visit with you. 

    Check our blog regularly for industry insights on many topics, such as:

    • Enhancing physician-hospital relationships
    • Improving performance through operational governance
    • Managing medical groups
    • Evaluating revenue cycle
    • Planning physician compensation
    • Facing changes in the healthcare industry

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