On this episode of The Modern Practice Podcast, host Gary Tiratsuyan is joined by Rectangle Health’s Senior Director of Enterprise Solutions, James Swan, to discuss how the right software is essential in accelerating your revenue cycle.
James shares insights into how healthcare practices can approach selecting the right solution to save staff time and unnecessary stress while encouraging patient engagement and enhancing their satisfaction.
He also details why practices have placed high focus on adopting technology to enhance their revenue cycle at this point in time.
Connect with James Swan on LinkedIn.
From Rectangle Health, this is the Modern Practice Podcast, a show that provides you with fresh perspectives and practical advice from industry experts in the ever-changing world of healthcare technology. Every episode, we tackle a timely topic to help you stay current and simplify the business side of healthcare. Without further ado…
Gary Tiratsuyan 00:21
Hello everybody, and welcome back to the Modern Practice Podcast. Today, we’re joined by James Swan, Senior Director of Enterprise Solutions here at Rectangle Health, to discuss how healthcare practices in larger organizations can increase cash flow. James, I appreciate you taking the time to join the show.
James Swan 00:38
I appreciate you having me. It’s an exciting platform, and I look forward to doing it.
Gary Tiratsuyan 00:43
Awesome. Let’s get into it. And I want to start by giving our audience a look into the into the day in the life of James Swan. If someone were to shadow you on a typical business day, what would they see, hear, and learn?
James Swan 00:56
Yeah, that answer changes by the day, by the week, by the month. It’s been a super exciting 2023, not only internally at Rectangle Health and what my team and our team is doing here on the enterprise side and helping all of our large healthcare organizations. But I think what you would see is somebody who is constantly being agile, finding different outcomes and different challenges, and frankly, finding solutions. Whether it’s internal or external, just navigating conversations as best as possible, and trying to put my peers, my colleagues, and my partners in the best place to succeed. So that’s, I think, maybe the easiest way to potentially phrase what somebody may look at or see if they were to shadow me on a daily basis.
A Focus on Revenue Cycle Management (RCM)
Gary Tiratsuyan 01:43
Thanks for that, James. Recently, you joined Executive Vice President of Marketing, Michelle Dowling for a live training session, to dive into revenue cycle management, or RCM. For anyone that missed it, I’ll have a link to the recording in the episode description below. And James, you covered this in that session. But, I wanted to ask for our listeners tuning in today, why the big push, now? Why are so many practices in organizations focused on RCM? And why should they be if they’re not?
James Swan 02:16
Yeah, it’s kind of the million-dollar question. I think, when we think about RCM, it’s something that is constantly of thought and constantly on everybody’s radar. But in recent times, with a lot of the macroeconomic trends and the increasing inflation, it puts a hyper focus, frankly, on revenue and cash flow and all those different components. And it really makes a lot of these organizations look internally at their tech stack to understand are we being as efficient as possible when money is not necessarily as free as it once was? So, I think that just the overall market dynamics are forcing organizations to internally look to make sure that they are getting as much as they can out of the efforts that they’re already completing through case acceptance and the services that our physicians are performing every day. It’s maximizing and capitalizing on those efforts already to this point. So, I think all those reasons are why RCM is becoming more and more of this hotbed topic. And even to take that one step further, I think that RCM is being looked at more on a broad scale than it ever has. It’s not simply collecting insurance. It’s not simply collecting patient payments after the fact. It’s really looking at this holistic picture, pre-care, point of care and post-care.
Gary Tiratsuyan 03:32
Yeah, and I love that. And that’s a perfect segue, because I wanted to mention a strong revenue cycle management strategy is not only fueled by, as you mentioned, those powerful payment capture methods, but, again as you mentioned, pre- and post-care, strong patient communication and engagement as well, right?
James Swan 03:53
It absolutely is, and what the data continues to show is, patients are expecting more and more and the platforms and the tech stacks in place for our healthcare organizations have to follow suit. And one of the things that COVID maybe was a blessing for is, it really forced organizations to find this communicative style related to different means. What that looked like, or what that continues to look like, is people now are more accommodating and more expecting of text communication. People are looking for other methods to engage with their practice; they want to have an opportunity to share dialogue and get these constant reminders. Because what we found is frankly, if we aren’t sending constant reminders and constant feedback between your patients and yourself, we’re missing opportunities to get patients in the door and ultimately allow them to have those healthcare experiences that we know we can provide.
Where to Start
Gary Tiratsuyan 04:51
Yeah, so where to start for practice organization that serious about increasing cash flow profitability? Treating more patients and ultimately delivering a better patient experience that leads to that longevity, that stronger relationship, loyalty and retention—it’s no small task. And especially when you implement technology, it can be overwhelming for an organization, for a practice. What do you say to those who look at this whole thing and worry about business disruption, the learning curve, and really, where do I start?
James Swan 05:28
Yeah, and that’s another one where it’s a fascinating dynamic. And the first thing I would tell the listeners is, be curious. There are so many organizations and more technologies out there than maybe ever before. And be curious about what’s in the marketplace, because a lot of these technologies are positioned to offer streamlining effects and automate some of these processes that are taking place.
But that kind of leads into the second conversation. While you have to be curious, be willing to do your due diligence. And what I mean by that is, if you’re an organization who has five, ten, 100, or even one practice, make sure that the organization that you’re looking to partner with has a proven model that can accommodate. When scale comes into play in some of this change management, you want to make sure that the partner who you’re ultimately looking to work with is out there seeking, solving and ultimately challenging those same exact goals and outcomes that you’re also looking to achieve through some of these relationships.
Gary Tiratsuyan 06:36
Yeah, I think a big, very key factor is, you know, consolidation, right? A system that does it all or a lot of that business admin work in the day to day, right?
James Swan 06:51
Yeah, and one of those buzzwords right now is this idea of single sign on and being able to accomplish more through one platform. Taking what used to be many organizations and vendors, and funneling it down to, ‘How do we allow one platform to be our tech stack to solve the different challenges?’ And frankly, speaking to a platform like Practice Management Bridge at Rectangle Health, we’re able to find a lot of these efficiencies, and really build out this a la carte methodology that solves problems without forcing unique technologies that may not be appropriate for every single business that we interact with. It’s taking that consultative approach to each and every conversation that we share.
Cost Saving Areas
Gary Tiratsuyan 07:30
Yeah, James, consultative is definitely a word we’ve heard on this podcast many times, and that is the Rectangle Health approach and methodology. So as your team begins to identify areas for improvement within the revenue cycle, what would you say are the highest areas of cost savings?
James Swan 07:50
Yeah, when we think about cost savings—really this idea that we can come in and create some of those efficiencies on day one is truly going to move the needle and save some of those costs. And whether it’s the ability to save the staff time through automated payment posting into any practice management system, or really putting a hyper focus on some of these collection processes… Something like a solution like bulk text, where we can, instead of sending 50 individual text messages—which is going to already shrink the time, instead of making phone calls—we can send a batch file of 50 texts to all of those patients who owe balances. Ultimately, what that’s doing is it’s allowing for one activity to accomplish many different outcomes. So those are just a few of those small little nuggets that we’re going to save significant time and energy for your end-users. And those are the individuals who really are able to provide the best level of care and the best experience for the patients coming in the door. So it’s really this building upon the tech stack, to allow for your office individuals to have time back to provide more care and provide those additional benefits that one would expect when you get time back in your day.
Gary Tiratsuyan 08:59
Yeah, that’s awesome. Thanks so much. And I will say we recently had Shirley Devi, a former office manager with 18 years of in practice experience on the podcast. And time is one of the most, if not the most valuable asset to the staff in her experience, when she’s helping practices implement Practice Management Bridge. So, thanks so much for that. Incredible stuff, James; thanks again. And I will ask our listeners if you’d like to connect with James on LinkedIn, I will have a link to his profile in the episode description below. James, thanks again. Thanks for making the time and I hopefully we can do this again soon.
James Swan 09:44
Likewise, I appreciate the platform and like Gary said, please follow and reach out on LinkedIn. I love people being curious and I’d love to learn more about your organizations and potentially your challenges as well. So, I appreciate the platform and really look forward to the opportunity, Gary. Thanks.
Gary Tiratsuyan 10:00
My pleasure. Thanks for tuning in. Until next time, everybody.
Thank you for listening to the Modern Practice Podcast. If you enjoyed today’s conversation, subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify or SoundCloud for new episodes and follow Rectangle Health on social media for more helpful information news and event details. Thanks for tuning in.
Editor’s note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity.