Accounting for Care: Why You Can’t Afford to Forgo Healthcare IT

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Health and human services (HHS) organizations share a core mission: better the lives of the people they serve. Unfortunately, with rising costs of healthcare and a complicated healthcare landscape, HHS organizations could lose sight of this purpose. Sorting out the details of billing and bureaucracy leaves many organizations just trying to stay afloat.

About half-a-decade ago, Operation PAR, Inc., in Clearwater, Fl., an addictions treatment facility, and Boley Centers, a community-based recovery services and supports organization, saw this writing on the wall. We came together in 2009 to form a holding company and Solutions for Administrative Services, in order to streamline backend processes and save money. SAS now handles all of the human resources, financial, maintenance and transportation needs for Boley Centers and Operation PAR. In addition, SAS also manages information technology for the organizations, which operate on the same electronic health record (EHR). Using the same EHR to manage consumer care plays an important role in streamlining the clinical, financial and operational efficiencies for the organizations.

The preliminary results have been striking:

  • A combined savings of $200,000 through integrating services and automating billing. (This savings comes from reduced need for human resources and fewer billing errors.)
  • We’ve shortened our annual audit time by about two weeks.
  • More co-pays collected at time of service.
  • Our inpatient facility is occupied and we have a more fully-utilized outpatient program.

These benefits have improved organizational success and sustainability. We know now the decisions to work together and to implement healthcare IT systematically and strategically were good ones. A lot of other organizations ask us: “What is your secret sauce?”sas_1

I think the key to choosing how your organization can best harness healthcare IT is threefold.

  1. Evaluate
    The HIT Value Model survey can help chart your path on the HIT journey and determine the value associated with your organization’s strategic IT decisions.
  2. Collaborate
    Look for other organizations who have made these choices and see how they’ve worked out. Find an IT supplier that can think with you about your IT purchases while still remembering the consumer is at the center.
  3. Go!
    Once you have made a decision about your next moves, start implementation. Go-live, re-evaluate, collaborate and optimize.

You can read more about SAS here.