3 Successful Employee Retention Strategies in the Revenue Cycle

By Beth Ottinger, RN, BSN, CPC, CCS, AHIMA Approved ICD-10-CM/PCS Trainer, nThrive Vice President, Product Management Education | Posted: 09/09/2020

nThrive revenue cycle education solutions

Employee turnover is high in the health care arena, and according to one site hosted by FOND, a company that hosts a global employee rewards and recognition SaaS platform, turnover in health care is second only to the hospitality industry. It’s a challenge for health care organizations to find new employees and retain them for long.

nThrive Education recommends a career path program for colleagues and a grow-your-own-workforce program for workers in the community. This approach will ultimately provide valuable development opportunities for staff while improving the health of your organization’s revenue cycle.

The Path Ahead – Role Enhancement and Cross Training

A successful employee education program offers two options – first, a path to help colleagues enhance their current roles and secondly, a cross training program that offers colleagues the opportunity to learn other jobs in the revenue cycle.

Role enhancement training provides an ongoing path for skill enhancement and commitment to colleague growth that fosters increased quality of patient care and patient satisfaction at your medical organization. It offers the revenue cycle colleague a path to pursue additional training and skills in their current role. Many health care systems establish job levels, such as entry level, mid-range and senior – for colleagues to train for and achieve – with excellent results. Offering a career ladder that includes compensation for each newly attained skill level provides an incentive to the colleague and benefits the health care organization, too.

Cross training programs offer colleagues the opportunity to expand their skill sets by way of training for a different role within the revenue cycle. For example, an outpatient medical coder cross trains to become an inpatient medical coder or an E & M coder. Or a patient access specialist cross trains to work in the medical billing and collections area. Cross training pays off when there’s a resource shortage in one area and an overabundance of resources in another area. It fills gaps in revenue cycle jobs during business disruptions, such as COVID-19. Cross trained colleagues can be moved quickly to other areas of the revenue cycle to maintain productivity, as well as expand the colleague’s work experience.

Both role enhancement and cross training have proven beneficial to health care organizations’ turnover rates. One organization reported that within 12 months of implementing these programs, turnover rates dropped and satisfaction survey results improved.

Build Your Own Workforce

If your health care organization is struggling to fill positions, consider building a workforce from non-traditional sources. For example, we partner with health care organizations to provide education and training to unemployed and underemployed workers, many of whom have had no previous health care experience. These workers are filling roles, such as medical coders, medical billers, patient access representatives, clinical documentation improvement specialists and patient financial representatives. Besides addressing labor shortages, a grow your own workforce approach builds and sustains community relations and accelerates on-the-job start dates – some of the training can be completed in as little as 10 weeks. The program fosters work force loyalty. One health care organization initiated a project to build its own medical coder workforce from a local population of military veterans. Still, others have become Certified Tumor Registrars.

At nThrive Education,* we have the health information technology and revenue cycle management expertise to help your hospital or medical organization implement impactful education programs for colleagues across the revenue cycle. Are you ready to learn more? Visit our Contact Us page, click Sales Questions, complete the short form, and we’ll be in touch soon.

*nThrive Education partners with HealthStream to provide unlimited access to revenue cycle education.