UC Davis Medical Center - Huron Consulting Group

UC Davis Medical Center
UC Davis Medical Center (UCD) is a 645-bed academic
medical center in Sacramento, California, with an
associated 800-member physician group. The medical
center operates in a highly competitive healthcare market
and has gross patient revenues of $1.9 billion per year.
The Solution Renewal project substantially improved UC
Davis’ processes and tools, providing more robust and
flexible reporting capabilities and increased accountability.
Major initiatives included:
In the late 1990s, UCD engaged Huron Healthcare to
implement its Revenue Cycle solution. The engagement
substantially lowered both AR days and bad debt referred
to collection agencies, while increasing productivity.
In 2010, UCD re-engaged Huron for a Revenue Cycle
Solution Renewal project. UCD was still using the core
tools and processes from the original engagement, but
its organizational structure had grown and evolved in
response to environmental changes. In addition, Huron
Healthcare’s tools had become more automated and
included increased functionality, particularly in the areas
of reporting and denials management.
“We engaged Huron Healthcare again primarily because
we were seeking to further improve the receivables
process,” said Ann Frankel, Assistant Director of Finance,
UCDHS Revenue Cycle Director. “We also needed to
increase productivity and quality. The Revenue Cycle
Solution Renewal helped us take our performance to
the next level. As a result, we’ve gone from very good to
outstanding. It was a huge step forward.”
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Insurance Verification. The patient access team moved
from an internal workflow system to Huron’s robust
ONTRAC® tool. Online workdrivers, along with real-time
reporting capabilities, allowed the team to respond
more quickly to patients’ urgent and elective needs. The
team also expanded the number of accounts they could
manage, thanks to better workflow efficiencies.
Financial Counseling. In addition to the new ONTRAC
tool, Huron’s financial counseling solution was expanded
to include the Emergency Department, enabling UCD to
manage and track financial screening initiatives for ED
Process and Training. The Huron team worked
collaboratively with leadership to identify process
breakdowns and training opportunities. By leveraging
the new ONTRAC workflow management tool, UCD
improved performance on key metrics related to eligibility
verification, authorization procurement, and financial
counseling conversions.
Billing and Collections Follow-up. The new TRAC®
tool improved collections and billing work-in-progress
processes throughout the hospital and outpatient areas.
Quoted in this case study are:
Ann Frankel
Assistant Director of Finance,
UCDHS Revenue Cycle Director
Kelly McMillian
Manager of Financial Clearance
and Hospital Access Services
Lana Fee
Manager for Technical
Insurance Services
Jack Porter
Manager of Professional Billing
Group, UCD Medical Group
Terri Van Bibber
Manager of Billing
Systems Support
Ruth Baldwin
Manager of Patient Billing
Customer Service
Client titles in this case
study reflect positions at
time of our engagement
Denials Management. Huron helped integrate denials data
into the collections process. This alerts collections staff to
begin working an account immediately upon receipt of an
administrative denial. Management is now able to track and
trend their denials populations and implement proactive
denials prevention processes.
Report and Meeting Management. The Solution Renewal
enhanced accountability, allowing management to focus
closely on key back-end initiatives to increase cash
collections. These included reducing collections workin-progress, removing barriers to billing challenges, and
providing greater focus on high dollar accounts for quick
UC Davis has seen an increase in cash flow and a decrease
in days in accounts receivable since the project, Frankel
said. “We’re definitely surpassing collections over last year.”
“Huron’s solution allows my staff to get things right the first
time. There’s much less churning of the same accounts. In
that sense, it is both cost-saving and revenue-enhancing,”
Frankel added.
The upgraded Huron tools have transformed UC Davis’
reporting, according to Kelly McMillian, Manager of Financial
Clearance and Hospital Access Services. “The capability we
achieved through the renewal is magnificent,” she said. “We
can look at up-to-the-minute reports on productivity and
accounts by individual, team, week, and 13-week average,”
McMillian continued. “We have quality review and denials
reporting, and we’re able to create reports of our own in the
system. The capabilities are very powerful. As a manager, it’s
almost like being a kid in a candy store.”
“[Huron was] receptive to
the concerns of staff and
management – they truly
listened. That’s different
from other consultants.
And they provided
training to make sure
everyone got it. I would
work with them again on
any project.”
Kelly McMillian, Manager
of Financial Clearance and
Hospital Access Services
Lana Fee, Manager for Technical Insurance Services, said
their new reporting capabilities lead to more precise and
effective management. “Previously, I relied on reports
produced by analysts who accessed our main patient
accounting system. It wasn’t something my supervisors
or I could do. Now we can set our own parameters and
run our own reports. I can log in anytime and see exactly
where we are and when a specific representative last
touched an account.”
At the UCD Medical Group, Jack Porter, Manager of
Professional Billing Group, said the reporting capabilities
have allowed the group to track trends and respond
more quickly.
“In the past, if an insurer challenged a billed claim and we
needed additional information from the physician’s office,
we had to request information by phone or fax from the
physician’s office,” Porter said. “Now it’s all automated.
It’s increased efficiency and accountability, which in turn
improves the bottom line.”
The updated workflow processes and increased
accountability have made staff members much more
efficient in their work, while producing significantly
improved results.
“Almost as soon as the project was under way, we started
exceeding the productivity standards we put in place,” said
McMillian. “My staff is meeting or exceeding every single
goal in every category. It’s definitely helped our numbers.”
The upgraded processes and tools have helped staff work
more efficiently, according to Fee. “They now see immediate
results for what they do, and they really like that.”
The Huron team’s collaborative, hands-on approach was
one of the keys to the project’s success, according to UCD
“A lot of consultants will come in and tell you what’s wrong
with your accounts receivables. Huron works with you to
fix what’s wrong, and to improve what’s already working,”
Frankel said. “They did most of the heavy lifting for us.”
“We worked together,” said McMillian. “They were receptive
to the concerns of staff and management – they truly
listened. That’s different from other consultants. And they
provided training to make sure everyone got it. I would work
with them again on any project.”
Terri Van Bibber, Manager of Billing Systems Support,
agreed. “There’s a lot of follow-up to make sure everything
is working. They don’t just come in, give you a solution, and
leave. They work side-by-side with you so that you actually
feel Huron is a business partner.”
“I expected that we would end up with something pretty
fantastic,” said Fee, “and it’s been a complete success.”
UC Davis Medical Center
Huron Healthcare’s commitment to results and their
ability to foster a high-performance work culture creates
sustainable results that clients can maintain long after a
project ends. “We were still adhering to the principles of
the first engagement in the 1990s,” said Fee. The renewal
makes the results even more sustainable, she added.
Ruth Baldwin, Manager of Patient Billing Customer Service,
agreed. “The renewal and the new tools help us meet our
mission. They’re going to be around for a long time.”
Frankel believes Huron Healthcare brings significant value
to their clients. “Huron leaves you with something you can
count on to be successful, now and in the future, because
they help you create a much better-run organization,” she
“I wouldn’t want to work in a place that didn’t work with
Huron,” she added. “The Solution Renewal was built around
the core system Huron started 15 years ago. We’ve taken
our performance to the next level — and we’ll continue to
Talking to our clients is the single most important step you can take in evaluating the
unparalleled strengths of our solutions and results. We are happy to provide contact
information for you to speak directly with our client executives.
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© 2012 Huron Consulting Group Inc. All Rights Reserved.
v 20Apr12
“Huron leaves you with
something you can count
on to be successful, now
and in the future, because
they help you create a
much better-run
Ann Frankel, Assistant Director
of Finance, UCDHS Revenue
Cycle Director
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