ST. BERNARDS MEDICAL CENTER, AR 

In our facility, the Patient Access umbrella is far reaching. We encompass everything from scheduling accounts with physician's offices, to registration with the patient, to preauthorizing the event. It's the latter area that I'd like to tell you about for this contest...our PreAuthorization Department.

In July of 2011, our facility created a preauthorization department under our Patient Access Division. This was a process that was done in singular areas across our large campus, but was not a process that was done for every area of focus within our facility. We began creating processes within our current computer systems that would give us a way to capture every account (outpatient, inpatient, and recurring) that is served by our staff. With these new processes and reports, the staff we hired for the new department has been able to ensure every account is preauthorized for the patient.

Currently, we have 5 women staffed full time in our Central PreAuth Patient Access Department. Since our department has been live, these ladies have saved our hospital tens of thousands of dollars in Failure to Authorize denials, with a large portion of the months we've been live in this last year being at $0.00 in FTA's. This is no small feat and has been recognized publicly by our Division Vice President and by our hospital President.

These ladies all jumped right into their rolls, working with myself as their manager, and together we were able to hone our processes to ensure we were capturing every account. I have seen each of these women go above and beyond to gather the correct insurance information for every patient that comes to their worklist so they are able to contact the insurance companies properly. Even though they do not have facetime with our patients, they are still focused on providing the very best outcome for the patient. Our department is able to contact the patient before they make the trip to our facility and reschedule them if there is no preauthorization number with their account. Before our department, patients would come to the facility for testing and be rescheduled once they arrived if it was noticed there was no preauth with the account. Because of our created processes, we are able to see the scheduled accounts in real time as they are scheduled and contact the patient's prior to them coming to our facility if we need to reschedule their appointment. This has been a huge patient satisfier, which is reflected in our facility's customer service (or patient preception) scores.

I am very proud of my staff and their continued work to put the patients first. These ladies exemplify excellence in healthcare!

      

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