Provider organizations seeking revenue cycle management software should seek consulting help with the selection process if they don't have experienced applications experts, says Margaret Hoban, a consultant.

"We liked it because it had colored bars and looked user friendly," just won't cut it when picking the right applications for the organization, adds Hoban, executive vice president in the Southwind Health Partners division of The Advisory Board Company, Washington. "It takes a solid team of experienced people to put together the criteria." At least 50 percent of physician practices are picking the wrong system "and that's why people are suffering and we don't have a paperless system," she notes.

Hoban will lay out ways to improve physician revenue cycle performance during an educational session at the Healthcare Financial Management Association's Annual National Institute, June 20-23 in Las Vegas.

The biggest mistake providers make when they implement information systems, whether financial/administrative or clinical, is that they don't bring up all of the system features at once, Hoban contends. Bringing up features piecemeal means an application's full functionality will never be realized. "The second biggest mistake is to turn it all on and not test it once you go live with it."

With revenue cycle management applications, comprehensive and timely reporting functionality at the physician level is critical to an organization's success, Hoban advises. Hospitals, for instance, increasingly are aligning compensation with productivity. Consequently, transparency is important as physicians need monthly reports to give them information on how to improve practice patterns.

The educational session, "4 Factors to Improve Physician Revenue Cycle Performance," is scheduled for June 20. More information is available at

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