Hanan Waizman – Revenue Cycle
Hanan is a Doctoral Candidate (DHA) and Revenue Cycle Strategist with a strong passion for solving complex problems. His years of expertise in a combination of information technology and administration functions within the health systems empower him to successfully improve the organization’s revenues.
His specialties include optimizing operations systems, policies, and procedures for all revenue cycle activities. In this interview, Hanan talks to me about his learning, successes, and challenges along with the revenue cycle management (RCM) journey.
From Medical Billing to Full Revenue Cycle Services
In 1994, Hanan entered the world of medical billing looking to make a successful career for himself. As with many others, the dream was to have a huge office space with a window overlooking a nice view and a roster full of clients. As a medical billing provider, Hanan achieved a lot of success but after two years in the field realized that it was time to make a change from billing services to full revenue cycle services.
His revenue cycle service system became a revenue cycle boutique. He and his team became involved with the practices’ daily management, with a focus on efficiencies which lead to improvements in patient workflow. These changes brought in immense success for his business which attracted a lot more physician clientele.
‘I understood being part of the practice management would improve their revenues as well as my organization’s revenues.’
Hanan founded and operated a company in 1994, offering revenue cycle services and working with private practices. After 19 years, he sold his business to a software company in India and joined Bayhealth.
However, the shift from working with his own providers’ clientele to a large healthcare system organization brought in its share of challenges. The organization had a third-party billing system and was about to implement one of the best electronic health record systems.
The transition encouraged Hanan to establish an in-house billing department and assist with the implementation of the EHR. His prior experience with strategic planning, projects and program management skill sets served him well at this time. The transition was collaboration with the organization leaders and the team succeeded in the implementation creation of an in-house billing department.
‘Revenue cycle management is the easy part when the components necessary to establish a new department have been exercised many times before. The leadership skill set our leaders to have strong, positive attitude help us to adjust from the paper world to the 21st century.’
Current Business Structure and Organization
Currently, at Bayhealth, Hanan is part of a team of 32 people that handle the revenue cycle management services for the outpatient group with 87 physicians. There are also other groups with which Hanan’s teams work for numerous services.
They offer credentialing for both hospital and their outpatient group, internal audits, physician training, front-end training, coder training. There is a lot of emphasis on training.
One of the unique aspects of Bayhealth is that all work is done on-shore. Even when the pandemic hit, Hanan mentions that only a few people were working remotely with the majority continuing to work from the office. As COVID created a reduction of activities, the number of team members working at the office was enough to keep the work running smoothly
Talking about solutions that help streamline the RCM process, Hanan believes that the secret lies in building the best RCM team ever. Hiring the right fit for the team and providing training that is beyond the industry requirements are crucial aspects to succeed. At Bayhealth, teams work hard to train and educate themselves.
A rich experience brings in a set of best practices. For Hanan, good communication skills with developed leadership skills have made a big difference to the processes implemented by him. The whole sum of leadership skill sets is being a courageous leader.
‘Being a leader means you must have a team working with you and they fully believe in you. A good leader must have virtuous knowledge of their revenue cycle business and evidence-based practice skills. With all of the above, you are guaranteed to be a good revenue cycle leader.’
Exciting Avenues of RCM
‘When you find opportunities for improvement, you present the ideas and in turn, your ideas are accepted by your leaders.’
Hanan believes that the combination of tasks within the revenue cycle can solidly prove results allowing for full achievement of one’s goals. Revenue cycle systems or operations can be recognized by reports, dashboards and KPIs. All of the data can be shared by the organizational leadership and anyone can review the results achieved.
Being on the green side means success. Success is when people dive deep, encounters are sent, payments are collected, and the benchmarks are above the collective achievements. All of these provide team excitement.
Talking about automation in the field of RCM, Hanan acknowledges that this has been a struggle facing the industry for a very long time. The ability of a machine to read a medical record, translate the documentation into coding, warn the physicians when their documentation is incomplete or unspecified coding used, define when documentation or charges are missed, is immense.
According to him, artificial intelligence is taking over some of their current functions, especially coding. Another part of technology that exists is having the carriers/ payers, have their data directly connected to the practice electronic health records. This will save healthcare costs as data management will be obsolete.
Insurance companies don’t like this process as it will be efficient. They will lose money as claims will be readily paid or rejected based on immediate documentation being received. This is the money companies retain by causing barriers during claims processing forcing untimely filing in some practices.
‘Artificial intelligence is part of century old changes and no one wants to find themselves obsolete.’
Standout Moments Along the RCM Journey
‘Changing my service-line of business from a billing service to offering full revenue cycle services was the defining moment.’
A source of pride for Hanan is that as a revenue cycle leader, he has created a team of employees that believe in his leadership, as well as the organizational mission, vision, and values. Together, they build a strategy in which they are involved in the creation and are eager to implement the said strategy.
‘Having our client’s physicians being successful provides rewarding and stand out moments for those successful physicians.’
With regards to moments of pride at Bayhealth, Hanan lists reduced revenue cycle costs and increased revenues at the top. All of the departments at Bayhealth reflect the company’s innovative and efficient work ethic which proves positive measures and improvements as well as a high rate of job satisfaction.
Overcoming Challenges in this Field
A challenge that Hanan mentions is the ability to influence the decision-making individuals within organizations regarding patient value measures and concepts. The challenge is effectively presenting evidence-based practice projects. Once data is available, the next challenge would be the implementation of required changes. Implementing changes require high communications skills.
‘I am surrounded with brilliant leaders which make the implementation of the processes easier. A virtuous combination of evidence-based practice and high leadership skills bridge challenges.’
Regarding plans for improving the functions of the RCM department, Hanan’s focus is on automation. Any measure which creates accuracy and reduction of workloads is considered to be in the department’s future.
Top Philosophies and Core Values
Always have your patients come first, have the best team working with you, be the best leader you can be, always improve skill sets, and the last item is to always bring evidence-based practice ideas to the table.
It is important to see through the eyes of the patients beyond the clinician’s specific professional and clinical decisions. If the patient see their value is a part of their medical decisions, it is likely to contribute to the success of an RCM professional.
Advice for Newcomers Starting a Career in RCM
Hanan recommends having a solid knowledge of the revenue cycle. Healthcare and revenue cycle is a business. Clinical services are part of the business offering a product or service. For newcomers, it is advisable to learn finance and have the foundation to understand how finance is a significant part of the revenue cycle.
Equally, it is important to understand the strategy of the organization and always think about how to better serve the patients. Studying lean management will also help keep the focus on good values and get rid of no-value workflow.
2 Key Learnings
- Know healthcare business administration
- Study lean management.
Vision for Future of the RCM Industry
Technology is likely to take precedent in removing labor requirements and will enhance the medical record, enhance the coding and charges, in turn changing the healthcare system in the long run. When it comes to the short-term range of the structure of the revenue cycle, Hana does not envision any drastic changes.
‘Decisions need to be made of how you process patients, their information, and how you process the claims, as well as how you’re trying to reduce errors and denials.’
Taking about emerging trends in the space, in the large spectrum of the larger healthcare systems and revenue cycles, particular hospitals will lose business to private entities, beds will be lost to home services.
Technology will take precedent on every item as it serves patients at their convenience, at their residence with audio-visual communication and the healthcare organizations will experience a reduction of revenue by not preparing for the new world of healthcare. The government is getting involved in the healthcare systems administration and how they conduct their business. They will look to reduce the cost to the patient and they will look for efficiency for better quality of care outcomes.
For companies and professionals looking to remain successful in RCM, Hanan advises updating the organization’s strategic plan often. During strategic planning, investigate what external forces affect external and internal processes. Be sure to align the strategic plan with the current and future information including new governmental restrictions of policies.
Revenue cycle is a vast part of organizational operations. Operations cannot function without a strong revenue cycle team. Every decision must have supporting data and information for a solid foundation to base any changes.
‘Have the courage to lead when implementing your changes. Healthcare system success today is all about adapting to change. If you don’t understand how to negotiate the trail of constant change, you are going to face a very unpleasant outcome when you are not willing to adapt.’
Leadership Lessons Learned Over the Years
Surround yourself with the best team you ever dreamed to have. Companies and professionals cannot have a noble, successful strategic plan unless they have goals. Any decision is made must be supported with evidence-based practice.
‘You must be a courageous leader, with skill sets to help you influence your team members. It is important to be empathetic, transparent, and transformational.’