You’ve decided it’s time to lighten up your workflow and invest in outsourced processes – now what?
First, you need to clearly identify what pieces of your workflow you want to automate or have a vendor handle for you. Next, you need to establish a plan of when/how you’d like this change to happen. Finally, you need to find the ideal vendor.
Here are five questions to ask a vendor when you begin outsourcing operations.
1. What level of access will my team have to patient information?
This is the most important question to ask. Whether you’re looking to automate parts of your RCM cycle or you’re interested in improving the quality of care your team provides, your team should have access to all the information they need.
It’s hard for billers to manage payments or nurses to understand a patient’s condition if they’re constantly having to dig for the claims and codes they need. The whole point of outsourcing is to simplify your workflow – and that means making sure access to important information becomes more available, not more complicated.
2. Will your company train my team to use your product?
You need training just as much as you need proper access. It’s not every day you change how things are done in your office. Team members will need time to adjust to the change, and they’ll also need someone to guide the way.
Taking on the training yourself leaves practically no room in your schedule to handle other aspects of the business, and you risk missing key details. Bringing the vendor in to walk your team through the process is much easier. It establishes a strong working relationship with whom you’re outsourcing, and it encourages a positive reaction from your team to this new way of doing things.
3. How knowledgeable is your staff about my industry?
It’s one thing to know how a product works and another to understand the industry problem it solves. Make sure the vendor you’re working with has a deep understanding of your business. Their team needs to be highly educated in industry standards and regulations. They should be aware of any major shifts going on and prepared to answer any questions you have about how they affect your outsourced workflow.
4. Do you offer any additional services?
The only thing better than improving one part of your workflow is improving multiple parts. One vendor may be able to do that for you, but you won’t know until you ask.
Chances are, if they can help you create more clean claims, they can also help with resubmitting denied claims. The same goes for vendors who specialize in staff management/training or ways to enhance the patient experience.
5. How are performance reports generated?
The final thing to ask a vendor is how they manage performance reports. Some vendors will offer regular reports for their products. This provides customers the data they need to better understand how a certain tool/service is impacting their organization. Other vendors leave performance reporting up to the consumer. They have a more hands-off approach, which can put a strain on the customer experience.
And ultimately, a negative experience is what these questions aim to avoid. To get the best results possible, you need to find the best vendor to fulfill your business’s needs. Mentioning the points shared above will guide you in the right direction.
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