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.
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.
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.