Website of the Month: Healthcare Financial Management Association

Article excerpt

The Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) is a membership organization of healthcare financial management professionals - from accountants to chief financial officers - that covers medical practices, hospitals, managed care organizations, insurance companies, and accounting firms. The organization's purpose is to improve the business performance of healthcare providers and those who serve them. Its website, www.hfma.org, provides a wide range of exclusive resources for both members and the general public. Materials are available in a variety of formats, including webpages, downloadable PDFs, slideshows, spreadsheets, articles, white papers, surveys, research reports, and videos.

The website is organized around the main menu, located at the top of the home and main pages, which contains the site's major categories: knowledge center, education and events, publications, HFMA initiatives, career center, news and opinions, marketplace, forums, and about HFMA. The main pages of each category generally spotiight three or four resources and include detailed sidebar indexes for navigation ease. The homepage highlights die knowledge center topics, upcoming seminars and events, and selected articles, among other resources.

HFMA Initiatives

The HFMA presents information on several of its projects and programs in the initiatives section of its website. Examples include "The Value Project" for improving quality and patient satisfaction, the "Financing the Future" series of reports on strategic planning and related issues, and research on emerging trends in healthcare financial management. These materials are too numerous to address in this review, but users are encouraged to take a look at them.

The healthcare reform section offers an extensive collection of resources, many of which branch out into additional subsidiary webpages. The HFMA provides material about accountable care organizations (ACO), created under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). For example, a downloadable slideshow defines ACOs and provides initial guidance. A Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services shared savings and losses calculator computes die potential savings or losses of forming a Medicare ACO. In addition, a PowerPoint presentation summarizes key ACA provisions, and a handy downloadable chart presents a timeline of major reforms and dates. Users can also browse several white papers on healthcare payment system reform and its keys to success.

The patient-friendly billing resources section includes a 16-page report of case studies on customer service, which found that employee engagement, online price information for patients, and a user-friendly website helped improve revenue-cycle customer service. The HFMA has authored several reports on this subject conveniendy supplied in several formats: full report, executive summary, slideshow, and appendices. Ready-to-use presentations are available regarding standards of excellence in patient billing, improving the revenue cycle, improving pricing strategies, and addressing policies for uninsured patients. Billing pricing tools include a price quote checklist and a decision tree for the steps in the price quote process.

Another HFMA initiative is the MAP revenue cycle program, which stands for 'Measure performance, Apply evidence-based practices, and Perform to the highest standards." The full program is only available commercially, but users can view many of the features online without charge. The MAP strategy provides revenue cycle performance indicators or ratios called MAP Keys, as well as an interactive performance tracking tool called the MAP App. About 25 MAP Keys are grouped into four categories: patient access, revenue integrity, claims adjudication, and management, plus a selection of new keys. Example indicators include point-of-service cash collections, net days' revenue in credit balance, aged accounts receivable as a percentage of billed accounts receivable, and bad debts as a percentage of gross patient service revenue. …