Our backlog of denials escalated rapidly. Before her departure, our denial turnaround was within 24-48 hours. But now? Sure, we were down a person, but this was planned maternity leave. We worked for months to redeploy the substantial majority of her workload. So why couldn't we keep up?
I wish I could tell you it was the fault of some outside, uncontrollable force.
In reality, we taught ourselves to "work" denials. We put a note of some sort on them so they would fall off the working queue, but we were not resolving denials. We quickly realized the workload we displaced with all of our careful planning was simply shuffling. But the actual resolution work...the figuring things out...that was one person and even she did not recognize it for what it was.
Those were unpleasant times. I kept throwing more (and greater) AR talent and experience at the problem. It was actually getting worse.
Then I started to study the problem rather than react to it. After pulling data, I realized even my most inexperienced staff had more than adequate reimbursement knowledge. They knew what was supposed to happen, they simply had no plan...no organization...no follow through.
"Aha!" I exclaimed. "This is not an AR problem after all. It is a process problem!" And then the reality set in "Ah crap. That is my responsibility, isn't it?"
December 5 is what we refer to as our "zero day". That is the day we drew the line in the sand and proclaimed "We will not add to this pile any longer!" We began to transform our staff of non-believers (who were adamant it couldn't be done) into fierce devotees that refuse to ever go back.
Learn more about zero day and other strategies for denial workflow during our Enough? Enough! Denial Success for the Understaffed event Thursday, August 31st at 2 PM Eastern.