Revenue Cycle Analyst
Finance is more about just the numbers. Explore the responsibilities of associates working on the financial side of healthcare. Prina reports to executives regularly and tells you what it's like to present to an executive audience.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
I work on the financial side of healthcare called Revenue Cycle. I work in a mid-sized hospital and help with all the financial aspects of their day-to-day operations. Specifically, I manage a group of staff tasked with collecting from insurances, posting cash, billing, and resolving any financial issues that arise from the revenue cycle process.
I meet with the CFO and COO of the hospital regularly to present updates on progress, suggest room for improvement, and escalate critical issues. To be successful in these meetings, I have to know how to dissect the numbers and understand how everything flows together. There’s a lot of scrutiny that goes into this, and it’s important to analyze the numbers frequently.
My job required relocation. The company paid for all my expenses to move and two weeks of a hotel stay and car rental before I could find my own place. This job will help set me up to move into consulting and eventually become a CFO.
WHAT ARE YOU LEARNING?
I graduated with a Finance major, so the numbers came easy to me. I would say the biggest thing I’ve been learning in this position has been how to be a manager. Motivating staff, resolving conflicts, promoting and disciplining workers is a tough job. On top of that, I’m learning how to manage people well over twice my age. I’m the youngest person in the office.
In college, we were drilled to always have an answer when the professor called on us. In the work world, the right answer later is always better than making something up on the spot. They’ll kill you for making something up. I used to walk into meetings with the CFO thinking I needed the answer to every single question. The truth is, it’s far better to say “I’ll get back to you on that” and then take the time to find the right answers. Just make sure you always follow-up and deliver on your promise.
A DAY IN THE LIFE
6:00 AM – I’m up and get ready for work. I open my closet and pick out a suit and tie.
7:15 AM – I’m making coffee at the office. I love coffee. I’m usually one of the first to get in and I start prioritizing the pressing things I need to accomplish for the day. I run a few reports of the previous day’s numbers and make sure that we’re still on track to hit our targets. No major issues from my first review of the reports.
8:00 AM – Managers meeting in the conference room. There are a few things that have come up that have messed up some of our bills going out the door. We need to meet with another department to find the root of the problem. Also, some people will be on vacation next week and we need to re-organize the staff to cover all the work. We prioritize a few other meetings and get back to work.
9:24 AM – A cash poster runs into my office and tells me that one of the posting programs is down. I remind her about the upgrade we talked about yesterday and that it will be up and running in 30 minutes. I ask her to support the billers in the meantime and to let me know if there are any kinks when the system is back online.
10:00 AM – Revenue Cycle meeting. The directors from all the different departments that touch the financial side of the hospital meet and go over issues that need to be communicated across the teams. The issues list is always very long and it never ends. In the room, we have the Directors from patient access, HIM, Coding, patient financials, hospital finance, and the CFO.
11:00 AM – I head back to the office and review the action items for patient financials to the appropriate teams in our department. The number one item is the insight the coding team had for our collectors on a repeating error that keeps getting generated in the system.
12:00 PM – Lunch. I usually go to the hospital cafeteria because I get a sweet discount, but today I’m craving Pot Belly’s and I head over there with a manager from the HIM department. He’s part of a leadership program at his company too. The hospital has outsourced a lot of their Revenue Cycle to third parties. We’re the two youngest managers in the hospital.
1:00 PM – I start working on the issues list that is elevated to me by my staff. These problems range from system malfunctions to unresolved claims that have bounced back from insurances multiple times. After resolving the issues that I can on my own, I start calling insurance companies, vendor partners, and our overseas division to figure things out.
3:00 PM - Another meeting with coders from a third party software vendor. We’re moving several insurances that we currently post payments manually to an electronic program that will do it automatically. I go over the current errors in the system and we run another test.
4:30 PM - I hear our early shift workers punching out to head home. I begin winding down the day and check back with my staff to see what issues have arisen throughout their day. I go back to my office and write up some new items on my whiteboard. I kick off a few report generation scripts that will be running during the night. They’ll be waiting for me in the morning.
5:30 PM – I’m out the door and head over to happy hour with my buddies. A big hockey game is on tonight, and I cannot wait!