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How one critical access hospital reduced its AR days by 40%

According to financial experts, “Days in Accounts Receivable” (AR days) is one of the top ten indicators of financial performance for Critical Access Hospitals. A report by the National Rural Health Resource Center expands on the importance of measuring billing efficiency, especially as it becomes increasingly difficult to collect payment for services.

The U.S. median for this measure in Critical Access Hospitals is 52.46 AR days. But North Valley Hospital (Whitefish, Montana, U.S.A.) achieved a remarkable 42.65 AR days in January 2018 by using teamwork and technology to streamline its financial processes.

Teamwork among departments and technology solutions

North Valley Hospital offers a variety of patient-centered services through the main facility, two rural health clinics, an emergency department and other outpatient locations. In 2013, it selected Paragon as its core EHR to integrate with its content management and financial solutions.

According to Project Manager and System Analyst Jeff Steffens, this set of solutions was a particularly good fit for North Valley Hospital’s collaborative work environment. “Paragon integrates well with other technologies, which is representative of how our departments work together,” he said in a recent case study. “The exchange of information happens in a very natural, collaborative way, and it strengthens what we do best here.”

The organization introduced new processes to automate key revenue cycle workflows and find more efficient ways to submit clean claims. The effort put North Valley Hospital among the top in the state, as benchmarked against Montana Hospital Association financial indicators for AR days and Discharged Not Final Billed (DNFB) or number of days it takes to bill patients after they leave the hospital. North Valley Hospital cut its number of AR days from 70 to 42.65.

“These efforts aren’t just about the business office – we’re working to improve the experience for everyone at the hospital,” Patient Financial Services Director Laurie Pierce said. “Our teams are passionate about what they do, and this makes for a well-planned and successful backend process.”

Learn more about North Valley Hospital’s success in streamlining billing and registration processes in a recent case study.

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