"Best Practice" Performance Indicators Are Not Always The Best...In Practice

Do you have a hard time finding metrics that relate to your facility? Are you frustrated because the healthcare industry is overrun by “best practice” indicators, and plagued by the notion that every revenue cycle fits into a cookie cutter best practice model?


After many years in the industry providing services across numerous revenue cycles and reviewing client results, it became very clear to me that the standard “best practices” performance indicators touted in revenue cycle publications are not likely the best gauge of AR health for your individual facility. 

There is nothing more frustrating than rallying your leadership team to hit a goal that is unattainable because it does not fit your unique situation.  This is a common struggle, and the reason for this is that two measurements can significantly impact the calculation of your ‘Best Potential’ metrics.  Those two measurements are Payer Mix and Payer Time-to-Pay.

These two variables can pinpoint AR Days that are the ‘Best Potential’ for your facility and not simply a generic best practice.  For example, a hospital with a high rate of slow paying commercial and uninsured patients will likely have higher days in AR, where a clinic that has almost exclusively Medicare patients will likely be well below the standard best practice metrics.  Both of these situations will have a different strategy to reach the best possible outcome.

I encourage you to expand your AR goals to utilize payer mix and payer time-to-pay.  Once you have mastered this, you can then apply the same logic to calculate your best possible percent aged over 90 Days.  This will allow you to have a better view of your AR and assist with a more detailed plan on how and where you can make progress.  When you reach revenue cycle goals that are based on the measurements taken from your unique facility, it is then that you will know you have reached your best potential.


Cassie Wise

Senior Director CBO Division for Healthcare Resource Group, Inc. 


Cassie Wise's healthcare career began as an afterschool job at a rural hospital in the Inland Northwest. Fifteen plus years later she is leading one of the largest Divisions at HRG and possesses extensive experience with multiple Health Information Systems, Clearing house software, and EHRs, 

Cassie's Division provides CBO services to multiple facilities nationwide including: PPS & Critical Access Hospitals, Rural Health Clinics and Indian Health facilities.  She and her team provide their CBO partners with the AR tools and economic stability needed to focus on what is really important....caring for their communities. 


Want help in calculating these goals? Want to talk further about this process? Contact our revenue cycle experts!