At the Margins

Make change a reality: How to gain stakeholder buy-in across the revenue cycle

by Robin Brand and Rachel Matthews

Today's provider world moves at an impossibly rapid pace. Between mergers, EHR "go-lives," and staffing revamps, your revenue cycle has likely undergone significant change in the past year. In fact, research suggests that the average health care manager juggles five to 15 change initiatives at any one time.

With such a high a volume of proposals, it's no wonder that an estimated 70% of strategic initiatives across the industry fail. Intentional change management is the most effective mechanism for building long-lasting change. In our new research note, the Revenue Cycle Advancement Center identifies four imperatives to change management, outlining everything revenue cycle leaders need to know to make their "someday project" today's reality.

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1. Secure commitment from leadership

The first hurdle for the revenue cycle change leader is securing buy-in from the organization's c-suite leadership. Without explicit commitment from the c-suite, the proposed change isn't likely to see the dawn of day. Revenue cycle leaders need their executives to grant necessary resources to the project, from both a financial and staffing perspective.

While securing c-suite buy-in may appear to be a daunting task, the pitch's success will rely heavily on your ability to tie the proposed change to the top-of-mind priorities of your executives. We also recommend presenting measured data that shows why the status quo isn't working and why your specific proposal solves the issue.

2. Convince your frontline staff

After receiving c-suite sign-off, revenue cycle leaders must turn their attention to an equally important stakeholder: frontline staff. While these individuals may not hold as much tangible authority as the system's c-suite, change leaders who attempt to enact change without frontline support will likely encounter staff resistance at each step of implementation.

When presenting the change to frontline staff, change leaders should adopt a collaborative attitude, avoiding a top-down mandate. Best practice communication strategies will work to convince staff that the proposal is the right answer for the organization's day-to-day operation, not just for you as the leader. To convince skeptical employees, we recommend communicating a willingness to convert back if the initiative is proven unsuccessful after a sufficient trial period.

What patients want along their financial journey

Follow the patient financial journey, from pre-care through billing and collections. Learn a patient's questions and fears that arise at each step, and what tools and support your revenue cycle program must proactively provide.

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