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Accenture's Global Health Industry Practice

Helping Washington Hospital Center Lay a Foundation for High Performance through Streamlined Patient Access and Revenue Cycle Processes
Washington Hospital Center, the largest health care provider in the MedStar Health System, is the largest private hospital in Washington D.C. The 907-bed tertiary care, not-for-profit teaching hospital boasts one of the region’s most experienced and respected staffs. It is home to one of the United States’ most renowned cardiac programs, and its cardiac catheterization laboratory is the busiest in the country. Washington Hospital Center ranks as one of the best hospitals nationwide in the specialties of heart disease, hormonal disorders, kidney disease and neurology, and its burn, cancer and trauma units are noted for their skilled staffs and excellent patient care. Washington Hospital Center handles more than 400,000 inpatient and outpatient visits each year, and generates approximately US$800 million in net revenue each year.

“ We’ve come a very long way in a short period of time. It absolutely had to be facilitated using outside consultants, and that help has been invaluable. We would not have been able to accomplish this transformation without the help from Accenture.” Leisa Russell, Senior Vice President of Finance

Business challenge
Health care organizations striving for high performance share a common goal: to improve the quality of patient care while containing costs. Washington Hospital Center’s stellar clinical reputation certainly points to the organization’s determination to achieve high performance. In order to ensure the continued delivery of high quality care, the hospital was searching for ways to improve its financial performance. The executive team recognized that existing revenue cycle processes were resulting in too many payment denials from payers, less than desirable cash flow and too much bad debt. At the same time, the hospital wished to enhance patient access by streamlining patient reservations, registration and financial clearance. Realizing that its existing processes were outdated and not representing leading industry practices, Washington

Hospital Center turned to Accenture for help. The decision to select Accenture was based on several factors, including our deep subject matter know-how, knowledge of leading industry practices and experience with not only helping clients identify a desired future state of high performance, but also helping them implement a plan and process for getting there.

? A determination of the net revenue improvement that could be expected from achieving the desired future state ? An implementation plan for arriving at that future state, developed in collaboration with Washington Hospital Center’s executives and staff Critical to the project’s success was including the physicians in the revenue enhancement process. To jumpstart this inclusive and collaborative approach, Accenture organized and orchestrated an intensive work session to help clarify the vision for the hospital center’s desired future state. The session brought together 50 key stakeholders, including the hospital center’s CEO and CFO, as well as clinical and operational staff. In addition to guiding participants through a series of exercises that showed what the desired future state might look like, the Accenture team provided a prospective business

How Accenture helped
Accenture teamed with the hospital to launch a two-phased approach to transforming revenue cycle processes and, at the same time, improving the patient experiences. The initial phase included: ? An assessment of the current state of the hospital center’s revenue cycle and identification of the processes that were leading to poor revenue performance

model with which to examine future state workflows and impediments to implementation. The session resulted in an implementation work plan that identified specific teams, initiatives and individual roles for making the solution a reality. Armed with this implementation plan, the hospital center and Accenture set out to launch phase two of the project. This phase, currently underway, involves transforming specific hospital processes, including those related to patient access, payment denial management, vendor management, and measurement and reporting.

High performance delivered
With Accenture’s help, Washington Hospital Center is well on course to improve net revenues by US$6 million to US$11 million annually. In addition to the projected financial gains, the hospital expects to see a significant change in the streamlined way a patient experiences Washington

Hospital Center services. Previously, patients would stop first at a registration area, give information and then proceed to the site of service. Registration could be tedious, and problems with eligibility or coverage rules could be problematic for both patient and provider. When the solution is completely implemented, the patient or physician will be able to schedule medical care directly with individual service areas. Patients can pre-register by phone during the process of scheduling the required service. Upon the date of service, patients will arrive directly at their clinical site of service and be assisted by staff who review patient information, complete any additional information needs and collect insurance co-payments. A centralized process for financial clearance will help staff manage coverage issues and patient financial obligations as the patient pre-registers. In addition, patients will be able to interact

directly with centralized financial clearance staff to determine their financial obligations. The hospital believes that patient satisfaction will continue to increase as patients experience easier registration, know better what to expect at the point of service and receive more accurate bills. Accenture’s role in the success of this project is undisputed. According to Leisa Russell, senior vice president of finance and CFO of Washington Health Center, “We’ve come a very long way in a short period of time. It absolutely had to be facilitated using outside consultants, and that help has been invaluable. We would not have been able to accomplish this transformation without the help from Accenture.” The changes being brought about by this collaborative project are fast becoming standard operating procedures. The results achieved so far are laying a solid foundation for long-term high performance.

About Accenture
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. With approximately 177,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, the company generated net revenues of US$21.58 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2009. Its home page is www.accenture.com.

About Accenture’s Health Industry Practice
Accenture’s health service group provides innovative solutions to both the private and public sectors of the health care industry, including integrated health care providers, health insurers, managed care organizations and public health organizations. The company has thousands of resources dedicated to helping organizations in the health industry achieve and sustain high performance.

Copyright ? 2009 Accenture All rights reserved. Accenture, its logo, and High Performance Delivered are trademarks of Accenture.

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