SOURCE: Ryerson Healthcare Consultants

Ryerson Healthcare Consultants

September 14, 2010 09:00 ET

Ryerson Cites Information's Value in Improving Hospital Profitability

AKRON, OH--(Marketwire - September 14, 2010) -  The upcoming months will bring a critical need for good, reliable information as America's hospital CEOs brace for what many predict will be unprecedented change.

Hospital profitability improvement expert Peter Ryerson says education will be vital for hospitals to keep their doors open. As president of Ryerson Healthcare Consultants, he has knowledge and experience gained through working with more than 540 hospitals in 40 states.

CEOs' biggest questions, Ryerson says, are related to the U.S. healthcare bill. Estimates are that as many as 15 percent of U.S. hospitals may go out of business because they will lack the ability to adapt to strains resulting from healthcare reform.

"They are very concerned about the Healthcare Bill as it relates to hospital profitability," Ryerson said. "Many are worried about reductions in reimbursements and I hear a lot of questions about how to get better reimbursement, without being RAC vulnerable."

The answer is simple but not easy, Ryerson said.

"If you do your documentation, coding and billing correctly, you will be OK. It's as straightforward as that," he said. "While that sounds easy, it is very, very difficult for a lot of hospitals."

Ryerson Healthcare Consultants finds that many hospital profitability improvement opportunities are missed due to gaps in information and bottlenecks in communication.

"Much education needs to happen, especially with the changes that are coming. Administrators need to be better educated, to recognize what is happening in their own documentation and coding, and then improve those areas and communicate the critical need for full compliance, so they can improve their charge capture," Ryerson said.

Hospital boards often are predisposed to sympathize with the notion that healthcare already is too expensive, and inclined to resist efforts to capture and bill for more services. "CEOs should understand that with proper documentation, coding and billing, they will be reimbursed appropriately, and then have the fortitude to step in front of their boards and say, 'This is what we need and are going to do,'" he said.

"CEOs and boards must no longer delay in addressing these issues as our healthcare system drives us toward the major changes that are ahead. Their hospital's profitability -- and their ability to keep their doors open -- depends on how well they manage through all of the uncertainties ahead," Ryerson said.

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