Beating The Odds: Clinical Services Firm Wins Big With Their Billing Success

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Beating The Odds: Clinical Services Firm Wins Big With Their Billing Success

Background:

A leading provider of clinical management services, faced challenges with its invoicing process that resulted in delayed cash flow, inaccuracies in billing, uncollected payments, and decreased customer satisfaction. Recognizing these issues, the company decided to implement lean methodology to streamline their invoicing process, enhance efficiency, and improve client relationships.

Objectives:

  • Reduce invoicing errors and discrepancies.
  • Shorten the payment cycle time to improve cash flow
  • Increase overall customer satisfaction with the billing process.

The initiative began with a comprehensive analysis to understand what aspects of the invoicing process were most valuable to clients. Feedback indicated that accuracy, clarity, and timely receipt of invoices were the top priorities.

A multidisciplinary team mapped out the entire invoicing process, from service delivery to payment receipt. This exercise highlighted several inefficiencies, including manual data entry, multiple hand-offs, and various errors causing delays in issuing invoices or just plain missed invoices.

The team identified the root causes of key errors in the invoicing process and established countermeasures to reduce or eliminate the errors. During this exercise the team discovered over $700,000 of missed invoices.

The company committed to continuous improvement by regularly reviewing the invoicing process, incorporating feedback from clients and staff to identify further enhancements, and adjusting processes in response to evolving client needs and regulatory changes.

Team members were trained in problem solving methods and root cause analysis to address the invoicing errors, empowering them to identify inefficiencies and suggest improvements. Ownership of the process improvements was distributed among team members to foster a culture of accountability and innovation.

Investment in a new, integrated invoicing system allowed for seamless data flow from service delivery to invoicing, reducing manual interventions, and enhancing accuracy. The system also provided real-time reporting capabilities to monitor invoicing metrics and identify issues promptly.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) were established to track improvements in the invoicing process, focusing on error rates that resulted in uncollected payments, the average time to payment, and customer satisfaction scores. Regular reviews of these KPIs ensured that the team was on track to meet its objectives and could make data-driven decisions for further improvements.

The lean transformation of the invoicing process at HealthStream Clinical Services led to significant improvements. Invoicing errors decreased by 75%, the average payment cycle was reduced from 60 to 30 days, and customer satisfaction with the invoicing process increased by 40%. These changes not only improved operational efficiency but also strengthened client trust and loyalty.

The clinical services firm application of lean methodology to its invoicing process demonstrates the effectiveness of lean principles in addressing complex administrative challenges. By focusing on value, eliminating waste, and continuously seeking improvements, HealthStream was able to achieve a more efficient, accurate, and client-friendly invoicing process, setting a new standard of excellence in managing the invoicing process.

Focus on process improvement
Improving the invoicing process

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