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Closing the gap on trauma center ROI

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Trauma centers at any level can be profitable

 

The expense of maintaining a trauma center is substantial. Yet properly managed, trauma centers at any level can be profitable. Whether designated Level I, II, III, IV or V, the trauma center can be very important to the financial viability/stability of the hospital. Recent trauma center consulting efforts by Philips Consulting Services demonstrate this reality. 

 

During 2019/2020, Philips Consulting conducted more than 10 trauma finance assessments in North America involving trauma centers at every level. In each instance significant revenues were left behind – averaging between $1M and $5M per trauma center.

 

Financial diligence

While effective use of a standard billing system is vital to the stability of a trauma center, unique trauma billing codes are often not properly utilized. This can result in trauma centers not collecting all the reimbursement money to which they are entitled. To ensure a positive revenue stream, every effort must be made to maximize proper coding and billing processes.

 

Our approach

Philips Consulting assessment methodology includes review of data provided by the facility, interviews with key stakeholders and observation of day-to-day processes to gain a comprehensive understanding of opportunities within the organization. 

 

Observations and recommendations

During these engagements, a pattern of common issues and challenges became apparent. And like common issues, a set of common recommendations were identified across the trauma centers. While Philips consultants always tailor individual recommendations to suit each client, elements of the following were found to be pertinent for each.

Common issues

 

  • Significant overhead costs
  • Lack of financial/operational commitment
  • Missed billing opportunities
  • Over/under triage issues

Common recommendations

 

  • Proper implementation of a multi-tiered response
  • Reconciliation of registry and finance data
  • Establishment of a Trauma Finance oversight committee
  • A commitment to ethical billing

Tangible results

Trauma center financial assessments by Philips continue to show that there is money to be found in nearly every situation. Whatever the trauma center level, opportunities exist.

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A well-run trauma center can contribute to the financial success of a hospital. The series of engagements discussed here, while small in scope, found significant lost charges*.

 

*These results are consistent and independent of the trauma center level, trauma center volume, or region of the country.

Meet our team

Beth Fuller

Angie Chisolm, MBA, BSN, RN, CFRN, TCRN

Consulting Manager

Angie is a nationally recognized expert in trauma program and emergency services management. She is a results-driven leader with expertise in trauma program operations, providing mentoring and consulting focused on coding and billing, site survey readiness, performance improvement, and operational efficiency. 
Theresa Radeker

Theresa Radeker, MHA, BSN, RN, TCRN

Consultant

Theresa is a high-energy and results-driven hospital operations executive, with a proven track record of achievement in trauma program management, project management, service line leadership, hospital administration, physician recruiting, and quality and compliance.

Recent success

  • Improving trauma center financial performance

    Customer story

    Improving trauma center financial performance

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  • Resolved trauma site survey deficiencies

    Customer story

    Resolved trauma site survey deficiencies

    Learn more