As the healthcare industry undergoes substantial changes—among them an aging patient population, the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the shift to electronic medical records—there is an understanding that these adjustments cannot smoothly occur simultaneously throughout the industry. In other words, where one hospital or medical facility may have the resources to implement changes rapidly, another may lag behind.
To help a facility that isn’t yet up to speed with recent changes, or one that is searching for the right candidate to fill a key role, one way to better facilitate productive change is through the appointment of an interim manager. An interim manager in revenue cycle operations offers a number of advantages to healthcare providers in need:
- Significant experience: Interim managers have substantial experience in the roles they’re appointed to fill. With that experience comes a vast store of knowledge, the ability to seamlessly step into their role and the confidence to survey situations and take appropriate actions. In other words, no training is necessary.
- Clear role and objective: An interim manager has a clearly defined role: to serve until a permanent manager has been found. The objective of an interim manager will vary depending on the organization, the role and any projects that are in progress, but the goal is ultimately to shepherd the organization through a period of change with an eye on improving processes, maintaining stability and creating a good environment for the person who eventually takes over the job.
- Adaptability: Due to their experience and background, interim managers require very little in the way of training or acclimation. Rather, a good interim manager can enter into a healthcare environment, understand their role and accomplish what needs to be done without negatively disrupting the overall workflow.
- Ability to create lasting change in a short time: Finally, thanks to their ability to communicate, implement processes, think on their feet and earn the trust and buy-in of those under their supervision, interim managers are able to effect positive, lasting change. Often, they are able to do this more quickly than permanent managers, for whom processes may need to be approached in a more gradual way.
In the healthcare industry, the hiring process can take a long time, and the need for a qualified person in a key role does not disappear just because there’s no one currently in the position. Particularly given the trans-formative phase currently taking place in the industry, the gains to be realized from appointing an interim manager when necessary should not be overlooked. Interim managers have the power to transform facilities for the better, with minimal disruption and with lasting results.
About Howell Consulting Group
Howell Consulting Group provides healthcare consulting services to hospital and physician practices nationwide. Our key focus areas are revenue cycle management, health information technology, and revenue cycle billing and collections.
HCGs consultants are highly experienced in all aspects of healthcare financial management. We implement revenue cycle best practices to optimize your receivables performance and maximize your cash flow.
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