Essential Skills of Revenue Cycle Leaders: Three Experts Weigh In

Becker's Hospital Review

As healthcare changes, revenue cycle leaders are focusing beyond hospital financial operations. They are getting more involved in patient experience, technology and other areas.

Three panelists offered thoughts on the evolving role and the skill set required for it during Guidehouse's annual Forum of Revenue Cycle Experts conference May 9 in Chicago.

Here are three key insights they shared: 

  1. Steve Scharmann, vice president of finance and revenue cycle management services agreement operations at San Francisco-based Dignity Health: "The message I always send to my staff is we in the revenue cycle have just as much impact on the patient satisfaction survey as the physicians and nurses that treat the patient during the clinical time that they're there. [With] decisions we make as revenue cycle leaders, I don't think often enough we say, 'What's this going to look like to the patient?' Sometimes decisions I make change as I look at it through that lens."

  2. Deborah Vancleave, vice president of revenue cycle at St. Joseph, Mo.-based Mosaic Life Care: "I think the skills that are required [of revenue cycle leaders] are that of true leadership. Stay collaborative. Stay engaged with your industry. You've got to keep up to date on what's happening, not just locally but at the county level, at the state level, at the national level. You have to be creative, innovative, and technologically savvy."

  3. Richard Madison, network vice president of revenue cycle for Bethlehem, Pa.-based St. Luke’s University Health Network: "We definitely have evolved from that billing person to now network vice presidents of revenue cycle, where all revenue cycle is reporting up to this role, be it front, middle, or back. We are now part of the strategic mission of an organization, not just the tactical part of the organization. And we need to be able to translate what we see happening in the industry and be able to translate that to our [executive] leadership so they understand the impact and to the rest of our organization to understand their role and what their responsibilities are to help that revenue cycle be a successful one."
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