Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital

HRG/Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital Case Study/ Yakima, Washington

How does a successful hospital keep things running smoothly during a computer conversion of their accounts receivable system? This was the question that Pat Smith, CPAM and Manager of Projects for Healthcare Resource Group asked Berniece Thornton, CPAM and Director of Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital in Yakima, Washington, regarding their recent computer conversion from Siemens/Invision to Siemens/Soarian.

Business Situation

Berniece made the decision not to attempt to convert accounts from Invision to the Soarian System so she weighed their options of keeping the AR in-house and increasing staff to work the old system versus outsourcing the existing AR and having her existing staff concentrate on learning and working the new Soarian system. Due to the lack of an experienced work force in the area, the decision was made to completely outsource the existing AR.

Berniece looked at several vendors during her search. When asked why Berniece chose Healthcare Resource Group (HRG) over others to handle this task, Berniece said that they went with a company that had an excellent reputation for customer satisfaction and one where she personally knew some of the key players. She wanted to feel confident that the job would be done correctly, timely, and with integrity. She felt that after looking at all vendor options, HRG could best deliver the outcome they were looking for. After reviewing all the RFP’s, it was unanimous that HRG would be the one to get the contract.


Berniece reported that John Vornbrock, Yakima Valley’s CFO, supported her decision 100% but in the beginning not all of her staff felt the same way. With the pressure of knowing that the only cash coming in over the next few months would be from what HRG billed and collected for them they were very concerned about giving an outside company “their” accounts. Berniece reported that it did not take long for HRG to win them over once they started to see the quality of work produced by HRG’s staff. The fact that the cash flow stayed healthy was also a factor in winning over her team. Now the hospital staff feels that HRG is part of their extended team and they have a great working relationship with the HRG staff at the OutPartnering™ Center in the Spokane Valley.

The start date had to be pushed back several times due to the Sorian project being delayed at the Hospital. HRG was able to provide the flexibility needed and adjusted according to the needs of the hospital. HRG actually started the project prior to the switch to Invision. This allowed HRG to get the ball rolling and get a cash flow established prior to the conversion.


Berniece reported that going into this conversion their AR days were at 50; now 5 months later with the conversion complete, the days are at 48. This is a testament to the team work of Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital and Healthcare Resource Group and the pre-conversion planning of the hospital’s leadership.

Berniece and her CFO are also pleased with the cost of the project. Because the cash collections were high the overall cost to collect on the old AR was only 2.4%.

Berniece stated that the Accounts Receivable piece was the last upgrade in the Siemens/Sorian suite to be installed. They previously upgraded to the Document Imaging System and the Clinical Systems, which includes Medical Charting and Charging and are now on their way to becoming a Siemen’s Show Case Facility.


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