Reporting and compliance are inescapable duties in the business of hospice and palliative care administration.
But as important as these responsibilities are in order to keep a hospice agency going, and as rigid as compliance-based regulation is, by definition, there are countless different ways to tackle the gathering, collation and submission of required report data.
Drawing on over 30 years of knowledge and experience serving solely customers in this specific industry, mumms has pulled together five under-the-radar strategies to deliver better, more efficient and more cost-effective reporting and compliance functions at hospice and palliative care agencies.
1. Run reports to match your requirements
The time, cost and labor involved in generating a full Hospice Cost Report can vary wildly, depending upon whether an agency farms duties out to a CPA or staffs up to be able to handle the process in-house. But in either case, cleanliness and organization of all reporting data is paramount.
Utilizing an end-of-life EMR platform like mumms’ own web-based Hummingbird software, agencies can run reports that are tailored to match even the most complicated compliance requirements. For the Hospice Cost Report, Hummingbird users can quickly export Census by Payer Source and Level of Care data to be included in the overall report without wrangling with data sources or manually rearranging spreadsheets.
Same goes for running a Quarterly Credit Balance Report or Volunteer Savings Report – running a report with the right parameters the first time cuts down on the need to finagle with data before submission.
2. Look outside your own state’s licensure reports
When submitting your annual State Licensure Report, stick to the script. Your agency’s compliance operations depend upon it.
But if you’ve set out to take a snapshot of your agency’s operations from a new angle, want to shed light on a specific issue or business challenge, or just want to learn something new and interesting about the goings-on within your clinical or business operations, have a look at licensure reporting requirements from a state other than your own.
Licensure requirements vary from state-to-state, and within the granular differences lie data-points that may help steer your own patient care or operational strategies.
3. Ditch pivot tables
Compiling a Year-End Financial Report can be an arduous and complicated task.
Some organizations pull separate reports for revenue, payments and accounts receivable, then depend upon building and maintaining complicated pivot tables to synergize the data to align with regulatory requirements. This manipulation of data is a time-consuming process that carries a not insignificant risk for user error.
But by utilizing a business intelligence approach like that like in Hummingbird, agencies are able to run very detailed queries straight from the database using a quick and intuitive reporting process and generate the right reports with very little labor.
4. Don’t put all your reporting eggs in one basket
The average hospice care site has 50 to 75 patients. Each site typically has one biller, and that biller is often the go-to-person for reports because the biller tends to know best how to work with the agency’s database.
But what happens if that go-to person goes on vacation, takes unexpected leave or is otherwise unavailable? Requests for data suddenly hit a brick wall.
Removing the need for manual manipulation of data and shifting toward a BI approach to clinical and administrative data management doesn’t just save time in labor, but also enables more than one key employee to understand and execute reporting processes. This mitigates the inherent risks to leaving important business processes up to a single individual on staff.
5. Close your books, close your reports.
What do you call an accountant with an opinion? An auditor.
Not aligning your reporting strategy with accounting strategy is a recipe for disaster on multiple levels.
First, by giving individuals leeway outside of accounting best practice, you risk the chance of misalignment between your accounting records and your general ledger numbers, which can alienate internal accounting resource and/or burn sunk third-party cost for accounting work that has already been completed.
Long-term, allowing past records to be edited or altered opens up the possibility that reporting and compliance records that once were accurate may become inaccurate, creating knock-on issues that can lead to larger business issues or trigger unwanted audits.
mumms’ CEO and core author of Hummingbird’s ClearPay feature started his career out as a CPA, so naturally, the platform is built with standard accounting principles at its core. For example, Hummingbird includes a built-in “Closed books” feature, which ensures that data associated with books closed by accounting may not be altered and that new postings may not be added to any closed month. This means that reports run two decades from now will be just as bedrock solid as today.
Bonus Strategy: Use Hummingbird canned reports
The five reports mentioned in this post (Hospice Cost Report, Year-End Financial Report, State Licensure Report, Quarterly Credit Balance Report and Volunteer Savings Report) are among 200+ canned reports that the Hummingbird core clinical module offers.
These reports span clinical, financial, administrative and everything in between, empowering mumms’ customers to save time and money on compliance-based reporting and unlock new insights to better run their hospice and palliative care agencies.
Contact the mumms team for more information on available reporting options in Hummingbird today.