Use the following self-assessment tool to ensure that you have key processes covered ("yes" is the preferred response for each process). Then, check your performance measures against the better-practice target levels in the performance indicator section.

Financial Counseling

Key Processes



Follow-up Action

1. Financial counseling staff report to the patient access manager within the revenue cycle organizational structure.




2. Screen uninsured inpatients and high-dollar outpatients for financial assistance, including:




  • Medicaid eligibility




  • State, local, and hospital charity programs




  • Grants or studies




3. Get proof of income and assets from charity applicants.




4. Financial counselors interview patients in their rooms.




5. Offer prompt payment discounts.




6. Tie financial counselors' incentive compensation to collections.




7. Discuss payment alternatives with patients who are not eligible for charity care, including:




  • Credit cards




  • Bank-loan financing




  • Interest-bearing, hospital-funded payment arrangements




8. All inpatients are cleared through the financial counselors before discharge.




Key Performance Indicators



Follow-up Actions

1. Collection of elective service deposits prior to service




2. Collection of inpatient patient-pay balances before discharge

= 65%



3. Collection of outpatient patient-pay balances before service

= 75%



4. Collection of emergency room patient-pay balances before departure

= 50%



5. Screening of uninsured inpatients and high-dollar outpatients for financial assistance

= 95%



6. Payment arrangements made for inpatients or high-dollar outpatients who are not eligible for charity care

= 95%



7. Prompt-payment discount percentage

05 - 20%



Thischecklist was based on HFMA's February 2004 audio webcast, "Developing Key Performance Indicators for the Revenue Cycle," by David Hammer, Vice President, Revenue Cycle Management Services, McKesson Information Solutions, and Roland Funsten, Assistant Vice President, Revenue Cycle Operations, St. Vincent Hospital, Indianapolis, IN. Questions or comments may be directed to  or

Publication Date: Thursday, June 03, 2004