October 1, 2010 - MIAMI, FL - Jackson Health System (JHS) ended Fiscal Year 2009-10 Thursday, bringing more than $1.1 billion in cash from government, commercial payers and patients who can afford to pay. This record high is remarkable considering the recent decline in patient volume due to market conditions.

Bringing in cash is critical to a hospital's survival. For the past year, Jackson's Revenue Cycle Department has instituted several changes in how accounts receivable are managed, from initial patient access through coding, billing/collections and contracting.

The revenue cycle team is also working closely with hospital operations on identifying additional efficiencies. Each day, finance management and staff consult with clinical departments to address bills held up in Jackson's financial systems because of missing information. These finance representatives are educating clinicians on the importance of accurate clinical documentation and coding. They are also helping patients fill out the necessary paperwork to become qualified for Medicaid and disability.

Another initiative underway is a team approach to working accounts receivable on bills older than 90 days. This effort has identified issues with accounts receivable and root causes for no payment or less-than-expected payment from government and commercial payers. The central business office has been working closely with operations to address these issues to ensure that they do not reoccur in the future.

An effective revenue cycle department is just one key element to a successful hospital. Jackson also has other initiatives underway that contributed to bringing the health system's net operating loss down from $259 million in 2009 to an estimated $90 million. Over the last seven months, JHS management has worked closely with its union partners, SEIU and AFSCME, to match staffing resources to volume demands. It has also worked closely with SEIU to identify additional efficiencies and improve patient throughput in the emergency department and other clinical areas. One initiative that management is currently working on with the unions is productivity monitoring. Additional cost savings have been achieved through better management over non-salary expenses.

As Jackson Health System begins its new fiscal year today, management is focused on continuing to improve efficiencies system wide. During FY 2010-11, Jackson will kick off a customer service program, aimed at improving the patient experience. Long overdue capital improvements will also be a priority, as Jackson will make significant investments in upgrading its facilities.

"Jackson remains committed to providing the people of Miami-Dade County with the best medical care," said Eneida O. Roldan, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A., president & CEO of Jackson Health System. "We are working diligently to identify all of our funding sources in order to ensure Jackson survives well into the future."