How long should it take for patient access to register a patient? First, it’s necessary to know the type of registration.

“Each type of registration requires different levels of effort and time,” says Ashwin Kumar, corporate director of revenue cycle management at Miami-based Jackson Health System.

A full registration of a patient, including eligibility and benefits verification, is very labor intensive. On the other hand, says Kumar, “an ER quick reg, or discharging an encounter, are considered to be low effort.”

Therefore, the same metric can’t be used to assess productivity for each of these registrations. “As a large, multi-faced health system, Jackson Health System encompasses a variety of different patient access checkpoints in various locations,” Kumar explains.

The difficulty of the registration depends on the patient’s financial status and the type of service the patient wants.

Myriam Torres, vice president of revenue cycle management, adds: “Different insurances have different ways of checking eligibility.”

Some payers require a time-consuming phone call. Others provide the information online or on an inbound electronic format.

“It was necessary to create an integrated productivity model, which takes all of these factors into consideration,” Torres adds.

Single Metric Developed

Revenue cycle leaders created Jackson’s – Integrated Productivity Model (J-IPM). They divided registrations into these five components:

  • event type;
  • location;
  • patient type;
  • financial class;
  • productive time.

“Each of the factors was assigned a distinct discriminant factor, which represents the effort,” Torres says.

The group created an algorithm. “This takes the raw productivity, distributes it into the component combinations, and applies the appropriate discriminant factor,” Torres says. The result: one integrated productivity metric.

Using a single metric has simplified goal-setting for patient access.

“It makes it possible to compare productivity for all service lines of patient access,” Torres says.

J-IPM will go through a series of tests with a focus group and the leadership team before moving to full implementation.

Jackson Health System recently implemented a similar productivity model in other areas of the revenue cycle.

Telisa Lyons-Washington, corporate director of patient access services, says, “Productivity gains are just starting to get realized, but the reports clearly show areas and people who are underperforming.”

Utilization of overtime also is under close review in relation to productivity.

“As these reports are being shared with the individual team members, we expect to start seeing a spike in productivity,” Lyons-Washington adds.