“I would highly recommend Warbird to any organization seeking project or comprehensive engagement to improve financial performance,” said the hospital’s CEO. “Their contribution will deliver a positive return on investment and you will have lifelong colleagues who will always be there for you.”

Bankruptcy filings by U.S. hospitals and medical companies more than tripled in 2017, hitting an alarming high in a multiyear trend. Since 2010, Chapter 11 filings by healthcare companies with more than $1 million in assets rose 123%, even as filings in the broader economy fell 58%.With the healthcare industry’s financial woes expected to continue, hospital executives know things can go downhill quickly. Many are scrutinizing every corner of their operations to help ensure they survive and thrive.

The president and chief executive officer (CEO) at a mid-Atlantic community hospital proved the efforts pay off. While her hospital had a long track record of healthy margins, she became concerned when performance declined sharply in first quarter 2016. Rather than waiting to see if things would improve, she responded immediately, bringing in Warbird Consulting Partners to analyze the situation, pinpoint underlying issues and execute a plan of action.

The hospital CEO and Warbird agreed there would be “no stone left unturned.” The Warbird consultant, who has more than 30 years’ experience as a healthcare chief financial officer (CFO), looked at every line on the financial statement including supply expenses, services contracts, depreciation expense and labor costs. As interim CFO, he worked closely with the hospital CEO and chief operating officer to quickly develop revenue cycle objectives, establish a budget and assign executive sponsors to each performance improvement initiative. He positively influenced the operational culture, helping hospital teams move from analysis to action and instilling a sense of urgency and confidence to deliver on big promises.

The results speak for themselves. The organization was at breakeven by the end of second quarter 2016, profitable in third and fourth quarters and ended the year with a 3.8% operating margin, substantially better than the 2016 hospital median of 2.21%.Salaries and wages went from 42.8% of net revenue to 39.7%, saving $9 million; and other expenses decreased from 57.5% of net revenue to 56.6%, for $3 million in savings. Annualized savings totaled more than $20 million and exceeded seven percent of operating expenses. Warbird met its guaranteed return on investment for the engagement, delivering significantly more value to the community hospital than what they paid in fees.

“I would highly recommend Warbird to any organization seeking project or comprehensive engagement to improve financial performance,” said the hospital’s CEO. “Their contribution will deliver a positive return on investment and you will have lifelong colleagues who will always be there for you.”

REQUEST INFORMATION

Contact Info
Michael Draa, CEO
404-496-5230
mdraa@warbirdcp.com

Doug Fenstermaker, Senior CFO
404-496-5230
dfenstermaker@warbirdcp.com

[1]Kary, Tiffany. “Next U.S. Restructuring Epidemic: Health-Care Companies,” Bloomberg, November 27, 2017.

[2]Hospital Medians, Merritt Research Services.

Academic medical centers face unique financial vulnerabilities. The right healthcare consulting partner, like Warbird Consulting Partners, can help them manage these challenges and maintain their status as the centerpieces of the American healthcare system.

Academic medical centers (AMCs) have long been positioned at the top of the healthcare provider pyramid. But behind the prestigious brands and flawless reputations, financial threats loom. Declining reimbursements, narrowing healthcare exchange networks and dwindling research funds are among the market dynamics forcing AMCs to reevaluate their missions and strategies.

As margins shrink, AMCs are trying to shore up performance, exploring everything from simple cost-cutting measures to technology investments to partnerships and acquisitions. Most AMC executives, however, don’t have the bandwidth to lead major operational or revenue cycle initiatives. They’re there to teach and care for patients, not worry about making money. So where can they turn for help?

Business consultants are an option, but they tend to bring a corporate or traditional health system perspective that frankly doesn’t apply to the academic environment. What AMCs need are healthcare experts who understand the culture, governance processes, reimbursement mechanisms, referral flows and other forces unique to academic medical center operations.

Equally important in sizing up healthcare consultants is their hands-on experience. AMCs should look for practitioner consultants who have actually done the work they recommend, whether it’s planning strategy, troubleshooting technology or building spreadsheets.

The final consideration in hiring a healthcare practitioner consultant, of course, is cost. It doesn’t make sense to pay high fees when expense control and margin improvement are primary objectives. A good healthcare consulting firm has the confidence to charge a percentage of the results they deliver. If they don’t turn things around as agreed, the AMC doesn’t pay.

Academic medical centers face unique financial vulnerabilities. The right healthcare consulting partner, like Warbird Consulting Partners, can help them manage these challenges and maintain their status as the centerpieces of the American healthcare system.

REQUEST INFORMATION

Contact Info
Michael Draa, CEO
404-496-5230
mdraa@warbirdcp.com

Doug Fenstermaker, Senior CFO
404-496-5230
dfenstermaker@warbirdcp.com

The Warbird approach produced a quick win and ongoing performance improvement. In two short months, the hospital’s denials went down, revenue went up and cash collection improved by $3.2 million with $2.2 million pending.

If you’re feeling pressure from tight margins and sluggish cash flow, you’re not alone. Almost half of rural hospitals lost money in 2017,1 making it tough to manage cash for everything from day-to-day operating expenses to long-term lending requirements and capital plans. Given today’s reimbursement uncertainties, days cash on hand is a critical measure for every hospital.

Many hospitals lack the resources to pinpoint and fix their cash flow problems, putting themselves at financial risk. A smart alternative is to bring in third-party consultants who can objectively assess the situation and implement solutions the hospital can sustain long after the consultants are gone.

A southern U.S. hospital with fewer than 65 beds did just that, hiring Warbird Consulting Partners to help address bad debt, slow cash collection and increased accounts receivable (AR), especially those 90 days and greater. Warbird, whose consultants all have hands-on experience in healthcare finance, revenue cycle and IT, brought in AR specialists to review, correct and resubmit claims to payers to accelerate reimbursement. The Warbird team identified denial trends by payer, type and hospital department to pinpoint root causes and documented denials tracking and appeal processes. Finally, they trained the hospital staff to do the work themselves to sustain positive results.

The Warbird approach produced a quick win and ongoing performance improvement. In two short months, the hospital’s denials went down, revenue went up and cash collection improved by $3.2 million with $2.2 million pending. The denials backlog shrunk, reducing AR inventory by 34.6%. The ratio of project cost versus return, based on $3.2 million, was one to five, proving that regardless of size, hospitals have the potential for a big payback using the right partner and approach.

REQUEST INFORMATION

Contact Info
Michael Draa, CEO
404-496-5230
mdraa@warbirdcp.com

Doug Fenstermaker, Senior CFO
404-496-5230
dfenstermaker@warbirdcp.com

[1]New Data Reveals More Rural Hospitals Losing Money,” The Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania, February 7, 2018.

Within one year, the AMC went from a projected $70 million loss to an estimated $39 million profit and with another $20 million in AR reserves.

While academic medical centers (AMCs) operate differently than typical community health systems, they often face similar reimbursement pressures, rising costs and patient demands for more holistic care. An example of how financial vulnerabilities can affect an AMC and how they can overcome those issues is a multi-hospital system based in the Southeast. The organization is made up of several hospitals including an AMC with 1,100 employed physicians and a school of medicine.

In fiscal year 2014, the AMC faced several operational challenges resulting in a forecasted $70 million loss. To quickly identify and resolve the problems, they hired a new chief operating officer and chief information officer, and brought in an interim chief financial officer (CFO) from Warbird Consulting Partners.

The most pressing revenue cycle issue stemmed from the AMC’s Epic patient accounting system, which was not implemented correctly and did not recognize net revenue accurately. After an accounts receivable (AR) review, they wrote off more than $110 million in net AR dating back to the Epic implementation two years before. To ensure accuracy going forward, the new team reinstalled seven major Epic modules, wrote new policies and procedures and retrained 700 revenue cycle employees.

Reimbursement was another significant pain point for this AMC. Following a thorough analysis, the Warbird interim CFO renegotiated payer contracts to bring reimbursements in line with the complex services provided. He created a separate managed care function, taking it from a one-person function inside the business office to a team with a vice president (VP) and seven additional staff members to support analytics and negotiations. To encourage community hospitals to send patients to their tertiary referral center, executives reviewed patient transfer and scheduling policies to facilitate same-day or next-day appointments with their many specialists.

Finally, the AMC’s new executive team made expense control a high priority. They reviewed all open positions to confirm their necessity and implemented a VP-level review and approval process for all new hires. Every month, each department director reviewed his or her operating and financial performance with their VP, explained variances and presented plans to get back on budget.

Within one year, the AMC went from a projected $70 million loss to an estimated $39 million profit and with another $20 million in AR reserves. A strong focus on operational efficiencies and adapting to the shifting healthcare landscape resulted in this $129 million turnaround on the AMC’s $2.3 billion revenue base.

REQUEST INFORMATION

Contact Info

Michael Draa, CEO
404-496-5230
mdraa@warbirdcp.com

Doug Fenstermaker, Senior CFO
404-496-5230
dfenstermaker@warbirdcp.com

Warbird Consulting Partners recently launched a newly redesigned website, www.warbirdconsulting.com. The new website helps visitors make informed decisions about improving financial and operational performance by leveraging the firm’s team of industry-seasoned consultants and suite of solution offerings in the Tech Advisory, Healthcare, and Government & Public-Sector Practice areas.

We are pleased to announce the release of our new website, designed with a fresh new look and user-friendly navigation.  Our main goal in designing this site was to offer you, the client, a more efficient way to find the information you need to address your most pressing challenges.

Mike Draa, CEO and EVP, Healthcare

The new website features updated and comprehensive information on Warbird’s deep industry experience, capabilities and offerings. The improved navigation helps visitors looking for an experienced consulting firm to quickly locate information relevant to their search that will immediately benefit their decision-making processes.

To ensure visitors can quickly find exactly what they are looking for, the landing page at www.warbirdconsulting.com directs visitors to three discrete microsites devoted to each of Warbird’s practice areas: Tech Advisory (www.warbirdtechadvisory.com), Healthcare (www.warbirdhealthcare.com), and Government & Public Sector (www.warbirdgovernment.com).

  • Warbird’s Tech Advisory practice delivers technical innovation, strategy and services to improve financial performance and processes in healthcare and other professional environments through design, development and implementation of industry-specific solutions. Our decades of experience drive the development of applications that automate processes and reduce operating costs, positively impacting your bottom line.
  • Warbird’s Healthcare practice is dedicated to improving the financial and operational performance of healthcare organizations through a nationwide network of practitioner consultants and subject matter experts whose leadership and proven methodologies help organizations solve their most pressing issues and navigate complex industry challenges in finance, revenue cycle and IT.
  • Warbird’s Government & Public-Sector practice serves as a trusted advisor to local, state and federal government agencies, with a proven track record of past performance. We offer accounting, financial management, program/project management, professional and management consulting services that help public-sector clients implement efficient, cost-saving strategies.

Warbird invites visitors to go to the leadership page of each of the three practices to find contact information for Warbird personnel that will answer questions and assist with their needs.

May 15, 2017 — Warbird Consulting Partners and The CEO Advisory Network are proud to announce a dynamic new partnership to help healthcare executives tackle the full spectrum of challenges facing the healthcare industry today. The partnership will bring together consultants with a wide range of expertise in finance, strategic planning, and overall performance improvement to provide a continuum of support across the C-suite, including CEOs, CFOs, and COOs.

“We think this is a historic and unique partnership because our approach addresses a problem that has been lingering in the industry for years, but that nobody has taken meaningful measures to address until now,” said CEO Advisory Network Senior Partner Alan Yordy. “Because we come from many different backgrounds, we are able to break down the silos. We can create a holistic and integrated solution set that addresses an organization’s needs across multiple business units and workflows.”

Warbird Managing Partner and EVP, Healthcare Doug Fenstermaker agreed, saying “There’s an enormous advantage when, for example, a CEO and CFO are in the room together as true partners working on solutions. Hospitals see the benefits from all perspectives — from operations to physicians to revenue. Not only is the strategy stronger, but the united leadership demonstrated by presenting ideas together to other executives creates an enormous sense of positive momentum.”

In addition to broad spectrum financial consulting support for C-suite executives, Warbird Consulting Partners and The CEO Advisory Network provide interim staffing services for executive leadership vacancies. Warbird’s OnDemand service is a proprietary national network of over 4,000 tenured and thoroughly vetted practitioner consultants. The CEO Advisory Network adds well-respected and capable Chief Executive and Chief Operating Officers to that group. Together, this partnership will help organizations fill critical C-Suite vacancies before their impact is felt — often within a few weeks or less.

 

For press inquiries, please contact:
Doug Fenstermaker
Managing Partner and EVP | Warbird Consulting Partners
813.345.1111 | dfenstermaker@warbirdcp.com

Alan Yordy
Senior Partner | CEO Advisory Network
541.954.8884 | alan.yordy@ceoadvisorynetwork.com

 

About Warbird Consulting Partners
Founded in 2012, Warbird Consulting Partners is a professional services firm based in Atlanta, Georgia that specializes in scalable, value-driven financial management solutions for businesses, healthcare organizations and government agencies. Warbird’s proven service delivery model and industry-leading expertise allow us to offer unparalleled value to organizations of all sizes and in all industries.

About The CEO Advisory Network
CEO Advisory Network is a team of highly accomplished healthcare leaders firmly grounded in senior level executive experience. Recognized nationally as leaders of Truven Top 100 Hospitals, U.S. & World News Report Top Hospitals, JACHO Codman Award winners and many others, our passion is to leave a lasting legacy by assisting today’s forward looking CEOs and senior executives in leading their organizations on their individualized path during these transformational times. Our collective experience spans virtually every challenge a healthcare leader will experience in a world of dramatic change. For more information, visit https://ceoadvisorynetwork.com

Click above to download this presentation.
Click above to download this presentation.

This PowerPoint presentation will help readers

  • Gain an understanding of how the revenue cycle has evolved
  • Discuss options hospitals have for revenue cycle going forward
  • Describe efficiencies and ROI for each piece of the revenue cycle

To download the presentation, please click the thumbnail image.

Telehealth has become a vital part of healthcare delivery, a cost-effective and patient-centered tool enhancing the overall quality of a health system’s care. Already, more than half of American hospitals offer telehealth care to their patients, with 7 million patients expected to receive telehealth care by 2018.

Yet the fact that telehealth is now mainstream doesn’t mean that implementing a telehealth service is easy. Health-system administrators looking to add telehealth to their services still need an implementation strategy. Without such a strategy, a telehealth program may never get off the ground or, if implemented, achieve its potential.

This white paper takes a high-level look at the telehealth landscape—what telehealth is, how quickly it’s being adopted, the ways telehealth benefits hospitals and patients, and some of the challenges health systems may encounter in implementing a telehealth service. Finally, we offer health-system leaders a framework to help them successfully implement a telehealth solution in their organization.

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It is critically important for health systems to implement new IT systems properly, since poor implementations can have a significant negative financial impact. By conducting implementations the right way, health systems position themselves to gain the most benefits from the technology and achieve the best possible financial performance.

Of course, implementations are often challenging, as evidenced by recent congressional inquiries into the difficulties encountered during some health systems’ implementations. But implementations need not be an exceptional burden. Lessons learned from previous implementations can help health system leaders ensure that future implementations proceed more smoothly and at lower cost.

This white paper looks at one health system’s poor implementation and the effect on its finances. Highlighting the lessons drawn from this experience, we offer healthcare leaders guidance on how to prepare for and undertake a successful IT implementation in their own health system.

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The role of hospital chief financial officer has changed dramatically over the last 50 years. No longer simply responsible for managing the hospital’s finances, today’s CFO is a change agent, an indispensable member of the leadership team helping chart his or her organization’s long-term success. This white paper examines how the role of hospital CFO has evolved, some ways in which CFOs act as change agents, and how CFOs can draw on their financial expertise and leadership skills to become change-makers in their organizations.

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