How Xtend Healthcare’s CEO is excelling at employee satisfaction and technology enhancements

Mike Morris is the president and chief executive officer at Hendersonville, Tenn-based Xtend Healthcare. 

Mr. Morris will serve on the panel "What Patient-Designed Collections Would Look Like" at Becker's 10th Annual CEO + CFO Roundtable. As part of an ongoing series, Becker's is talking to healthcare leaders who plan to speak at the conference on Nov. 7-10 in Chicago. 

To learn more and register, click here.

Becker's Healthcare aims to foster peer-to-peer conversation between healthcare's brightest leaders and thinkers. In that vein, responses to our Speaker Series are published straight from interviewees. Here is what our speakers had to say.

Question: What is the smartest thing you've done in the last year to set your system up for success?

Mike Morris: As hospitals and health systems endured historic financial disruptions throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Xtend invested in the organizational design and technology necessary to deliver quality service in a "virtual" service center environment. As demand for revenue cycle assistance grew and access to revenue cycle experts dwindled, we could meet our customer's needs in our distributed environment. Our employees are happy because many of them can work from a home office and our customers are happy because we can offer the people and solutions health systems need.

Also, to assure customers that our environment is secure, we earned certified status for information security by HITRUST for our proprietary suite of applications that support our distributed workforce. The HITRUST risk-based, two-year (r2) certified status demonstrates that Xtend Healthcare's systems have met key regulations and industry-defined requirements and are effectively managing risk. This achievement places Xtend in an elite group of organizations worldwide that have earned this certification.

Q: What are you most excited about right now and what makes you nervous?

MM: The most exciting thing to me is the opportunity for Xtend to play a strategic role as health systems evolve their model to remain financially viable into the future. The revenue cycle is becoming more complex amid reimbursement reductions and increased revenue leakage for many health systems. We need to solve many challenges to assure financial viability — which is both exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time.

Q: How are you thinking about growth and investments for the next year or two?

MM: Xtend is investing heavily in artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic process automation (RPA) to dramatically reduce manual work events while increasing our customers' cash flow yield. Technology can reduce the number of manual interventions and assure claims are paid compliantly, accurately and quickly.

Q: What will healthcare executives need to be effective leaders for the next five years?

MM: Executives must embrace new ideas and delivery models to remain viable. Specifically, concerning the revenue cycle, providers need to increase reimbursement while simultaneously dramatically reducing their cost to collect. It is counterintuitive to expect more while spending less, but it is necessary for financial survival. The path to get there is a technology-heavy workflow that materially reduces manual work events and routes claims that must be handled to specialized experts with a deep understanding of the claims in their queue. Fortunately, service vendors in the RCM space are investing in these tools. Executives that embrace these re-engineering efforts will position their institutions for success.

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