ASC turnarounds: Keys to improving culture and margins from Bayfront Health Ambulatory Surgery Center's Kathryn Rice

Administrator of St. Petersburg, Fla.-based Bayfront Health Ambulatory Surgery Center Kathryn Rice is in the process of turning around a multispecialty ASC.

From operations to culture, Ms. Rice outlines key steps to developing a strong foundation for a successful ASC.

Question: What initiative are you most proud of at your ASC over the past 12-18 months?

Kathryn Rice: I have been working on a multispecialty ASC turnaround project over the past 13 months. We had many initiatives right away such as state inspections, as well as getting ready for and passing the AAAHC accreditation survey. We also worked hard to meet quality benchmarking goals, made major improvements in productivity, help lead physician recruitment efforts, improved billing and collections, and reduced material management costs.

All these things added to improving margins. Now we are currently working towards re-syndication with the goal by first of next year.

Q: How do you make sure your team is motivated for continued success and growth of the ASC?

KR: Being transparent with staff and having them be a part of the turnaround process is key. Keeping them informed as much as possible about changes and why they are necessary for improvement help keep staff engaged. They have to see the vision with you. Working side by side with them in the OR helps bring validity. As an administrator, if you can do what you ask of your staff then they feel supported and you become a team.

Q: What are your best practices for meeting revenue cycle benchmarks?

KR: I have found that simple things such as demographic errors and missing information can hold up your billing cycle and hinder you from meeting benchmarks. You have to have an attitude of urgency and nothing left unturned to move you forward. Continuous communication with your billing team is extremely important as well as making sure you have an updated charge master. In addition, your money is in your contracts. If you aren't checking your contracts carefully, you can have missed opportunity. Contracts should be reviewed at a minimum of every three years.

Q: Where do you see your center growing in the second half of 2019 and beyond?

KR: My center should show improved physician growth and volume as we continue improving our customer service and recruitment efforts. We are also looking to bring several different services.

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More articles on surgery centers:
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