Physician offices, clinics and provider staffing companies often fall under the umbrella of “healthcare management” organizations, which serve as holding companies for a myriad of medical service providers. These organizations have very specific technology needs.
Accounting management, payroll administration, invoicing and other financial tasks are especially challenging. Healthcare management accounting processes are generally very different from those used in other industries. For example, healthcare providers must manage patient co-pays and the many different rates they’ve negotiated with various payers. Additionally, these organizations often operate in highly acquisitive environments.
Nolan Business Solutions(opens in new tab) and Oracle NetSuite offer solutions tailored to help healthcare management companies. Here are five ways a unified cloud ERP system can help them streamline operations while also saving time and increasing revenue:
- Supports scale. As a healthcare management company grows, its technology infrastructure becomes more geographically spread out and detached. For example, a medical service provider may have a long-range plan to partner with small doctors’ offices, at which point those doctors become partial owners of the healthcare management company. While this creates economies of scale on the procurement and insurance side of the business, and supports population health models (i.e., a general medical practice that also includes a pediatrician can refer younger patients to the pediatrician within their system) it introduces complexity often in the form of multiple on-premises systems. Using a cloud ERP solution, these growing entities can easily onboard new acquisitions without the need for new technology investments, implementations or internal IT resources.
- Easy integration of new entities. While there are many positives associated with merging multiple healthcare providers into a single entity, healthcare management companies face unique challenges in integrating independent clinics to their corporate portfolios. Most acquired companies are small to midsized practices and use platforms like QuickBooks for basic accounting functions. Others rely heavily on Excel spreadsheets. “We’ve seen some healthcare management organizations using 20+ different instances of QuickBooks,” said Diana Dunphy, a NetSuite Consultant with Nolan Business Solutions. “That’s because when a healthcare management organization buys a new entity, that entity still needs a legal ID in order to run its individual financial statements.” By consolidating those activities and files onto a single, cloud enterprise resource planning (ERP) system like NetSuite, healthcare management organizations can bring all of their reporting, purchasing/procurement, financials and accounting onto one platform.
- Consolidates financials and leverages contracted rates. For many of these organizations, “trying to do consolidated financials is a nightmare,” said Dunphy. “That’s where NetSuite steps in.” With it, these companies can grow their practices in the way that they intended. For example, when a patient gets a flu shot, his or her insurance company is billed for a portion of the charge (e.g., a $100 flu shot may be paid in part by the patient [$20 co-pay] and the rest by the insurance company). This process is managed through a database that records patient revenues, deductibles and allowances. “The more patients the clinic can put into the system,” said Dunphy, “the better its contract rates will be.”
- Simple data extraction and sharing. Nolan Business Systems sets up NetSuite in a way that enables data extraction from the clinic’s billing system—via an application programming interface (API)—and into a NetSuite-ready journal entry. “The administrator pushes a button and a file is generated,” said Dunphy, whose team has years of experience working in the healthcare field, helping it consolidate and digitize its operations.
- Plug, play, and go. With its plug-and-play chart of accounts and a financial reporting structure that caters to healthcare management companies, Nolan Business Solutions’ implementations typically take 90-120 days to complete and include easy customizations and financial reporting structure. Six years in the making, its chart of accounts is continually honed and updated to ensure that it meets the needs of today’s healthcare management organizations. “We know our customers’ financial structures, and how to slice and dice their accounts,” said Dunphy. “Working closely with our clients, our chart of accounts just keeps getting better and better.”
Over the past decade, healthcare management organizations have significantly increased both their services and geographic coverage. With this growth comes new challenges, many of them related to accounting and financial management. By implementing a unified cloud ERP system and working with a provider like Nolan Business Solutions, healthcare management organizations get a solution that’s tailored to their industry and to their individual businesses. Access this info graphic(opens in new tab) and data sheet(opens in new tab) to learn more about how Nolan Business Solutions’ has developed a proven process for supporting healthcare management implementations.