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Waystar Advisory Board: 5 takeaways from our inaugural True North conference

Waystar Advisory Board: 5 takeaways from our inaugural True North conference

To kick off our first annual True North conference, the Waystar Advisory Board met in September 2023 at The Grand Floridian. This network of experienced healthcare executives comes together regularly to connect, collaborate, advocate, and advise on market and industry challenges.   

Our third meeting of 2023 was energetic and illuminating. We held roundtables to discuss opportunities for artificial intelligence, automation, and scalability. And we talked about our top KPIs, which revealed that while some concerns remain the same — denials — others have increased in prominence (a focus on the front end).

5 top KPIs of Waystar Advisory Board members

  1. Denial rate and amount
  2. Increasing patient revenue
  3. Authorization rate
  4. Cost-to-collect
  5. Pre-registration and eligibility rate

Finally, we held a panel discussion with Advisory Board members and industry leaders:

Headshots of: Madhavi Bezwada, VP of Client Success, Waystar Dustin Hamilton, SVP of Product, Waystar Richard Nagengast, VP of Revenue Cycle, Mount Sinai Doctors Faculty Practice Chris Kiser, VP of Enterprise Patient Access, Advocate Health

From that discussion, a few key pieces of advice for healthcare finance leaders emerged.

5 tips for healthcare revenue cycle leaders

1. Lead with data (especially with denials)

To convince leadership to make changes, come with numbers. Today’s healthcare finance leaders not only have to report on denials to the C-suite — they often must educate the C-suite first.

Panelists agreed: Many providers can’t pull the data they need to show patterns of waste. Data has always been the future, but turning data into ammunition RCM leaders can use has never been more critical. It’s the only way to grow operations without growing headcount.  

2. Put people where people matter most

One common thread running through Advisory Board conversations was that all claims deserve to be worked — even if they aren’t high dollar. And there’s no way to do that without:

  1. Automating
  2. Reallocating

One panelist said: When we work smarter, we stop spinning our wheels. If we can take an employee who’s working manual processes around estimates and automate that, that employee can contribute in more meaningful ways. They can focus on patient care, assist with clinical research, create a video that explains patient estimates, and so on. In the past, organizations added staff when patient volume or denials increased. Today, we need technology to help our people do more with less. 

Mount Sinai Health System’s way forward Health system streamlines claim management + speeds up cash flow 300% increase in back-office automation 14 average days decrease to adjudication 3 FTEs deployed to other tasks

3. Don’t view failure as the enemy

Everyone who goes first has to be willing to fail. Whether you’re activating a new patient payments solution or finding innovative ways to overturn denials, piloting anything comes with risk.

Panelists agreed: Even if you don’t succeed, if you learn from failure, it was worthwhile.  

4. Find + foster true partnerships

When you’re navigating a complex, changing landscape, you need partners you can depend on. Panelists agreed that healthcare finance leaders need partners who will:

  • Take the time to investigate and understand every problem before trying to solve it
  • Understand an organization’s goals before setting expectations
  • Work to gain trust over time through transparency
  • Collaborate consistently — even when it’s hard

Panelists said: One of the most important things a partner can do is be straight with us. If we ask for something and that person says, “We can’t do it yet, but we’re working on it,” that’s more valuable than if they promise things they can deliver, or rush to push poor functionality through. 

Collaboration is about give and take, and that’s not always easy. If we have partners who only do exactly what we say, that’s not really a partner; that’s a vendor. We’ll tell you what we want your tech to do, of course, but we still need you to say “Okay, our tech can do this — but if you don’t clean this up, it will never work.” Honesty is critical to any long-term partnership. 

5. Know your “why”

When you work in an industry focused on improving people’s lives, knowing why you do the work you do is key to doing it well.

One panelist said: It comes down to one word: people. Whether it’s motivating your team, caring for patients, or working with people in different walks of life, people are our why. People are what make it fun and make it matter.  

Wondering what you might learn at True North?

Join us in 2024!

The second annual True North is set for Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resort in September. It’s a place to connect with leaders and peers, exchange ideas, and find guidance — while having a little fun. We hope to see you there.

Waystar True North Conference 2024 is September 9-11 at Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resort. Your path to powerful results. Register now.

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