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January 2009 Issue

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Quality Initiatives Focus of New UC Physicians Manager

By Amanda Harper
Published January 2009

It’s time to unleash the quality authority on UC Physicians (UCP).

Kelly Fischbein was hired in November as part of UCP’s reengineering effort to serve as manager of quality initiatives.

This is a new position created to help redefine all aspects of quality at UCP by working collaboratively with departments and hospitals to improve clinical and revenue cycle operations as well as patient outcomes and satisfaction.

She’s ready to tackle this new territory with smart tactics and a clear vision for improving the patient experience. For the first six months, she is working closely with many of the re-engineering teams and views herself as a sort of “project-manager-in-a-box” set to deploy her skills as needed to improve the services offered by UCP.

Her overriding, though multifaceted, goal is to help develop quality standards and programs for UCP. Right now, that involves determining the types of data UCP practices are using and how it can help drive better decision-making that will result in more effective and efficient operations.

“There is no one-size-fits-all solution to improving clinical operations, but we’re looking at other clinical practice operations to determine what we can do better and how we can standardize business processes,” explains Fischbein. “Once we have the right metrics and solutions identified, we can tailor the approach so that it can be realistically implemented in each practice.”

She has begun focusing her work on cardiology and neurology by identifying specific data points for future reporting. These reports will next be used to direct practice improvements in several areas.

“We have already identified opportunities in medical coding and physician scheduling. These are areas that can save the medical staff time while maximizing resources and working toward creating the ideal patient experience,” she says.

Fischbein is already leading teams that will impact the quality of UCP’s clinical operations, including an insurance denials project with eight specialty practices to identify and correct common errors at patient registration that result in health insurance payment denials.

“Our data tells us that patient registration is an area where problems are occurring, but we don’t know exactly how the process is breaking down,” explains Fischbein.

“By examining the process more closely, we should be able to pinpoint common errors and set up better systems in order to get more accurate information from the patient up-front.”

Fischbein has more than 10 years of experience in the health care industry, primarily focused on the operational performance and revenue cycle enhancement of large, multi-hospital systems.

Prior to joining UCP, she spent four years as a senior consultant and then manager of strategy and operations at Deloitte Consulting. As manager of strategy and operations, she handled many things that apply directly to UCP’s challenges, including: redesigning clinical models to improve care and capacity management at several large academic, county and community-based hospitals.

“These initiatives required strategies for breaking down departmental silos, realignment of incentives and performance tracking— all things that will apply at UCP,” says Fischbein. “I hope to help facilitate the same type of organizational change to the clinical infrastructure at UCP.”

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