Problem to Solve
A management services organization (MSO) is only as good as the quality of the administrative and practice management services it provides its physician clients. Operational issues within a growing regional MSO threatened to jeopardize its working relationships with its clients.
Capitalizing on the health industry’s shift from a fee-for-service to value-based model, the MSO had promised and forged relationships with its clients based on its clinical, technological and administrative capabilities and its ability to deliver greater efficiency and cost reductions. These potential gains would be for naught if the MSO continued to experience internal difficulties managing and prioritizing its health plan remediation and internal reporting. At the MSO’s current rate of reporting issues, the risk of de-delegation loomed.
Rather than continuing to try to address these operational issues internally and risk potentially damaging the company’s business and reputation, the MSO opted to engage Freed Associates (Freed) to assess and improve its operational execution. Freed had specific expertise and insight on the type of reporting issues the MSO was experiencing.
Strategy and Tactics
Freed immediately realized that the root causes and contributors to the MSO’s reporting problems needed to be addressed on several fronts and managed this need according to a master plan. This included developing a new report tracking system and intake process, as well as streamlining IT and executive-level communication about these changes. All work had to be completed within a three-month time frame to meet the MSO’s business requirements.
Part of the MSO’s reporting issues were systemic, dating back to a reporting system the MSO had inherited when it acquired another, smaller MSO a few years prior. It was quickly apparent to Freed that this legacy reporting system and processes no longer met the needs of the MSO going forward.
Freed developed a new report tracker for the MSO which would inventory in-process, outstanding and new report requests, including internal, remediation and regular compliance reports. The new tracker, maintained and monitored daily, included a tool to allow key stakeholders to track report development progress and capture detailed updates.
Next, to develop an improved and more streamlined report intake process, Freed created a new process flow extending from report intake through fulfillment, then communicated this new standard among all key stakeholders and participants.
Freed oversaw all user testing to ensure the reporting process improvements would succeed as planned. So that all key IT and executive resources were aware of and engaged in these changes and tests as they happened, Freed expanded internal communication channels. Daily verbal check-ins and written updates to IT maximized internal development time and minimized distractions. Similarly, Freed kept MSO executives appraised of project status through daily updates and made plans for executives to continue receiving status reports once all new processes had been implemented.
Throughout these reporting process improvements, the focus was on ensuring that all work was tracked according to the master plan. Freed’s goal was “no surprises.” All of the MSO’s relevant internal and client contact connections were kept updated about the progress, status and implementation of process testing and upgrades and any necessary user adjustments and changes.
Results and Conclusion
Each sequential stage of the MSO’s reporting process improvements was a success. The new report tracker, which allows users to prioritize reports based on entrenched knowledge and specific health plan requirements, ensured that report status was readily available for all key stakeholders and health plans. All remediation reports are now being delivered in timely fashion, reducing the risk of de-delegation. Similarly, the new report intake process was quickly embraced by users, improving operational efficiency.
Throughout this initiative, all key internal MSO stakeholders and MSO client contacts were kept updated on the timing and status of process improvement testing and implementation, ensuring cooperation and readiness for these changes. All parties were pleased with the reporting improvements, which the client acknowledged would not have been possible without Freed’s involvement.
Equipped with new and improved reporting capabilities, the MSO is now able to increasingly focus on better serving its current clients while seeking to expand its business.
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