'Fair and honest partners will always win out in the long run' — this & 2 more thoughts from Levine Cancer Institute's Donna Royster

In this special Speaker Series, Becker's Healthcare caught up with Donna Royster, administrative director of radiation oncology at the Levine Cancer Institute in Charlotte, N.C.

Ms. Boyster will speak on a panel during the Becker's Hospital Review 4th Annual Health IT + Revenue Cycle Conference on "Aligning the Hospital and Practice with RCM Functions," at 2:00 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21. Learn more about the event and register to attend in Chicago.

Question: What do you see as the most vulnerable part of a hospital's business?

Donna Royster: Endorsing the thought that cutting staff and expenses will promote a positive bottom line. The healthcare industry is heavily reliant on people. As reimbursement models continue to trend toward quality-based measures, charge capture is more important than ever. Organizations are depending on staff whose primary focus is not on capturing services. Their main function is to be taking care of the patient and not marking an item on a sheet or scanning an item. Supplies and devices [also pose a risk]. If missed, [they] can result in significant revenue loss. One or two of these devices often cost far more than any associated evaluation and management service. That's because accurate charge capture isn't only about ensuring that the charge master is updated to meet ongoing payer and regulatory changes. Hospitals also must examine their internal processes and develop policies and procedures to ensure that individuals know and understand their roles in capturing charges.

Q: What is your No. 1 deal breaker when it comes to evaluating vendor partnerships? 

DR: Fair and honest partners will always win out in the long run. Any short-term gain realized by lying, cheating or taking advantage of a situation or possible business dealing will tarnish the long-term relationship and destroy trust. Identifying these traits in the early stages will help avoid future conflicts that can affect the enterprise.

Q: What's the best thing you've read lately? 

DR: This article in Forbes titled "Artificial Intelligence In Healthcare: Separating Reality From Hype" gives a layperson description of [AI] and its future. It gives [the reader] more to think about than [the] banking bot examples sometimes used to demonstrate AI and how it revolutionized the banking world. The statistics provided warrant closer examination.

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