Onyeka Nchege, senior vice president and chief information officer of Novant Health, based in Winston-Salem, N.C., has seen the clear benefit of investing in digital transformation for patient care and the revenue cycle.
He shared the results of two key investments over the last two years: Epic’s MyChart and Cedar Pay, to boost clinical care and the patient experience.
Question: What technology investment has provided the most value to your system in the last 2 years?
Onyeka Nchege: At Novant Health, when we think about technology investments that have provided the most value in the last two years, MyChart and Cedar Pay are at the top of the list as they have exceeded expectations around revenue generation and digital connection and adoption.
MyChart is the integration of Novant Health’s electronic medical record, telehealth and MyChart. This investment allowed for improving the continuum of care through elevated communication across parties and improved connectivity across various providers, whether primary care or specialists. Our ROI resulting from use of MyChart increased nearly a quarter in three years (2020-2022). MyChart has been the central product we have used for patient engagement since we went live in 2011. We have enjoyed returns for open scheduling, direct scheduling, e-visits, video visits and more.
In 2019, we embarked on a journey to modernize our revenue cycle organization. We focused communications using mail, email and our electronic health record to reach patients. While we saw slight improvements, we identified opportunities that led us to Cedar Pay – enabling a more consumer-centric experience for our patients.
Novant Health has been focused on the remarkable patient experience for a long time. The patient experience around wait times and relationship with the care team are critical. But you can’t forget one key piece that patients often remember – paying their bill. Investing in a consumer engagement platform like Cedar Pay is something we wanted to do for a long time as part of our digital transformation strategy. The goal was to make it easy for patients to pay their bill with the technology we use in every facet of our lives – our phones.
Cedar Pay delivers personalized billing through outreach, messaging and bill resolution based on a variety of unique factors and preferences. The platform is fully integrated with Novant Health’s existing Epic electronic health record system across both hospital billing and physician billing. Simply put, we have collected more money faster, amounting to tens of millions of dollars. Here’s how we capture ROI:
• Improved patient experiences: A 90 percent patient satisfaction score
• Personalization that enhances patients’ interactions
• Collections uplift: 13 percent overall collections lift, equivalent to $30.3 million annualized
• Increased engagement leading to increased collections
• Cash acceleration: A 43 percent decrease in days-to-collect
• Digital engagement:
o 94 percent lift in digital payments compared to pre-Cedar
o 87 percent of collections now completely self-serviced
o Bolstering patient self-service capabilities and reducing cost-to-collect
Novant Health recouped the cost of Cedar Pay’s fee in the first six months of going live. Now, we report a seven times return on our investment with Cedar Pay.