CASE STUDY: Transitioning all practices onto one united system gives StrideCare invaluable access to data—along with the ability to analyze it—that helps us maximize financial and operational performance. With athenaOne we continue to enhance delivery of high quality patient care.
StrideCare used a temporary reduction in patient volume during the earlier stages of the COVID pandemic to transition 10 practices to athenaOne in less than two months. “We saw that period as one where people could spend more time onboarding with the system, because they weren’t as busy. So we just took advantage of that to make the conversion in just seven weeks,” said Al Wilson, COO for the largest lower-extremity care group in Texas.
Just a few months after, we acquired and onboarded five more practices. StrideCare’s strategic growth plan includes adding at least 30 new providers a year, through which our EHR plays a key role.
Senior Director of Operations John Jarvis added that another critical component of StrideCare’s smooth transition was a smooth data conversion process that gave doctors access to the information they needed, when they needed it, without any hiccups. Traditionally, conversions at organizations of their size and scope include “a big mess of PDFs to sort through, and try to find and sort stuff,” explained Wilson. “Having access to historical information in new systems can be so difficult. Having that seamless made a big difference for us.”
Beyond clinical efficiencies, StrideCare realized several other efficiencies across the organization—including an electronic remittance rate increase from 90 to 99 percent, and a near 100 percent improvement in days in accounts receivable.
Jarvis says he’s gotten positive feedback from his practice managers, who report that their day-to-day is smoother because of the athenahealth partnership that allows StrideCare to write custom rules where their business needs are unique. Previously, several practices struggled with bills being sent to patients directly without review first. For some of the larger balances, there was a significant lag in getting paid, especially because many of those balances owed to the practices should have gone to payers initially. The impact is two-fold: StrideCare gets paid faster, and patients are less frustrated.
Besides ambitious growth of 30 providers a year, one of StrideCare’s other strategic goals is enhancing the patient portal adoption rate. Before onboarding, most practices either had no portal or used a third-party solution. Using a consumer-friendly option that’s embedded within the EHR are optimal conditions to enhance adoption, said Jarvis. StrideCare sees an opportunity to easily address getting no-show patients getting rescheduled, for instance, with little-to-no-touch functionality.
athenahealth’s suite of financial, patient engagement, and clinical tools is getting StrideCare closer and closer to those goals every day, says Wilson. “We went quickly, and everyone can use the system easily. Now, we continue to realize our abilities to leverage the system and create even more efficiencies. We only see opportunities.”
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