Norton Healthcare's Jim Meyers to revenue cycle leaders: 'Reach out and network with your peers'

Jim Meyers serves as system vice president of revenue cycle at Louisville, Ky.-based Norton Healthcare.

In this role, he is responsible for revenue cycle function for five hospitals and more than 1,000 providers. Those functions include patient access, utilization review, revenue integrity and patient financial services.

Prior to his current role, Mr. Meyers spent most of his 18 years at Norton Healthcare as head of its managed care department. He previously was a healthcare consultant for Ernst & Young.

Here, Mr. Meyers shares his proudest moment as a revenue cycle leader, discusses revenue cycle challenges and offers advice for other hospital revenue cycle leaders.

Editor's note: Responses were lightly edited for length and clarity.

Question: What is your proudest moment as a revenue cycle leader?

Jim Meyers: We were at the forefront of implementing the single business office concept that combined hospital and physician-patient responsibility. In many ways that also combined our hospital and physician teams.  There weren't many others to talk to or learn from, so in many ways it felt like we were inventing the wheel. Fast forward nearly 10 years later and seeing how far we have come is truly a tribute to the entire team here at Norton Healthcare.

Q: What is the greatest revenue cycle challenge you face?

JM: Norton Healthcare has continued to grow and diversify services. While we consolidated pieces of the revenue cycle that were there at the time 10 years ago, additional service lines, providers, and now even pharmacy, have been added to the list. That presents new challenges to our staff, the IT system, facilities and staffing.  The physician side in particular has grown a great deal, adding volume, though at reimbursement levels different from a hospital setting.

Q: How is the organization working to address that challenge?

JM: We constantly challenge ourselves to follow the old adage of work smarter, not harder. We look to automate anywhere we can within our core system to reduce manual intervention. Standardization has also become key, as it becomes very difficult to customize resources based on the type of provider or service. This is not always possible, but it is something we pursue with great diligence. Having vendor support and assistance has become increasingly important, and we have been very appreciative of those that have been able to help us work though these challenges.

Q: What revenue cycle tools are you most excited about?

JM: Last year we began working with a patient-financing vendor to assist with bill payment, and the first year has proved to be a success. This has given our patients the ability to set up terms that are more flexible and interest-free. It has truly been a win-win for both sides.

Q: If you could offer other hospital revenue cycle leaders a piece of advice, what would it be?

JM: Reach out and network with your peers. The best consultant many times is a colleague or someone else in that situation. We are all dealing with many of the same challenges, and there are occasions where someone just may have figured it out. I've found time and time again how receptive, informative and gracious my contacts are, and I value them tremendously.



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