March 2009

Nebraska Central Business Office Opens


Built upon centers of excellence, CHI’s new Nebraska Central Business Office (CBO) is off to a smooth start after opening March 2. One of four CBOs that serve CHI’s market-based organizations (MBOs), the Nebraska CBO is the first with a staff based not in a central location, but in multiple MBOs. “We knew from establishing the first three CBOs that it is costly to find a central location, configure it and recruit qualified staff,” said Peter Savini, vice president of revenue cycle management for CHI. “However, it was necessary to do that in our Exton, Fargo and Nampa CBOs because they serve CHI facilities that can be as far as 1,000 miles away.” CHI was able to take a different approach in Nebraska. “This decentralized approach is possible because the Nebraska MBOs are located fairly close to each other,” said Savini. “This model won’t work everywhere, but it is working in Nebraska.” The CBOs focus on revenue collection, including patient billing, posting and customer service. The centralization of these functions promotes standardized processes and better customer service. In Nebraska, each revenue collection function is handled by a separate center. The center of excellence for billing is in Lincoln, home of Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center; in addition, one billing staff member is located at St. Mary’s Community Hospital in Nebraska City. The center for posting is in Grand Island, on the Saint Francis Medical Center campus, and the center for customer service is in Kearney, on the campus of Good Samaritan Health Systems. “The structure of our CBO allows us to make the best use of the talent we already had, with minimal relocation,” said Jean Dowling, operations manager for the Nebraska Central Business Office. “It’s a tremendous advantage to keep that knowledge base intact.” A total of 55 employees now staff the Nebraska CBO, including Dowling and two other managers: one for revenue cycle management, one for patient access. “Because we’re not all face to face every day, communication is a challenge, but we’ve established a Nebraska CBO community on Inside CHI to help,” said Dowling. “Our ultimate goal is to collaborate with the MBOs we serve in order to be part of their revenue cycles, from a patient’s initial registration until that patient’s account is brought to complete resolution. We’re off to a good start.” For more information, Peter Savini at petersavini@catholichealth.net.