Healthcare systems can effectively employ data to track performance and progress when they have a strong variance management platform.
Eastern Carolina University (ECU) Health Physicians turned to PINC AI™ Margin Improvement to help them develop a system of variance management that would create operational and financial sustainability.
As a result, ECU Health Physicians was able to meet budget during the COVID-19 pandemic and create an overall revenue enhancement of $10.7 million.
Organizations across different sectors continue to contemplate mergers and acquisitions (M&A) as part of their financial and growth goals; the healthcare industry is no exception.
Similar to many hospital-owned medical groups, ECU Health Physicians, located in eastern North Carolina was growing faster than their strategy. Encompassing over 600 providers across 100 facilities, ECU Health Physicians was in urgent need of a management process personalized to support their numerous locations and designed to meet their financial imperative. They also needed a plan for operationalizing process improvement that would easily be expandable across their entire system.
ECU Health Physicians turned to PINC AI™, Premier’s technology and services platform, to help develop a system of variance management that would create operational and financial sustainability throughout their footprint.
Creating Operational and Financial Sustainability
“Variance management is a common way in which we measure what we consider our key performance metrics,” said Dan Drake, Ph.D., President of ECU Health Physicians. “The question always is: How do we empower our local administrators and practice managers to understand these things? Then, how do we create consistent performance improvement?”
A strong variance management platform enables health systems to go beyond data collection and fully utilize data to track performance and development. It also helps to identify areas for improvement and support informed decision making. ECU Health Physicians required a simple, web-based platform that would enable them to share business intelligence with providers, practice administrators, revenue cycle directors, analysts and executives.
A Solution Powered by PINC AI™ Data
To drive effective, informed decision making, medical group leaders must bring the right information to their discussions with providers.
ECU Health Physicians introduced PINC AI™ Margin Improvement’s InflowHealth solution, which combines complex data points and helps health systems manage the operational and financial performance of their employed medical groups, into its system.
One of the most comprehensive physician performance benchmark databases in the industry, covering over 50,000 physicians nationwide in a variety of specialties, InflowHealth provides health systems benchmarks updated every month for accurate comparison purposes. These benchmarks continue to enable data-driven decision making for medical group leaders and providers. InflowHealth can also identify the nuances of operating physician practices at the specialty level and provide a level of depth, transparency and accountability.
“We kind of started with a blank slate and said ‘If you could measure performance in a medical group, what metrics do you think you’d be interested in and why? Tell us what’s important to you,’” said Drake. “People naturally want a good experience for their patients and great outcomes. They wanted to have metrics, such as how quickly a new patient could be seen. Now we can reply, ‘We have an answer for that.’”
Alongside the InflowHealth tool implementation, ECU Health Physicians practice managers were also trained on how to divulge the data they would be seeing, helping them understand how to leverage data as a tool for further investigation. Certain trends or data points might require additional analysis to understand all contributing factors. This additional training was intended to get practice managers on the same page regarding expectations of delivering information for data-driven process improvement.
The Future Impact of Variance Management
After implementing InflowHealth into their system, ECU Health Physicians was able meet budget during the COVID-19 pandemic and create an overall revenue enhancement of $10.7 million. Through this success, the medical group now plans to onboard this solution to their academic practice plan at Eastern Carolina University.
The PINC AI™ platform’s unique combo of clinical, financial, operational and supply chain data is helping to guide margin improvement insights with precision and impact, enabling health systems to aggressively tackle both cost and revenue challenges.
To learn more about PINC AI™ Margin Improvement tools, contact us to see your opportunities and potential savings.
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