Shared services – health and human services

A major city’s deputy mayor for health and human services asked us to prepare a strategy for sharing administrative and support services across her seven agencies. The common functions included financial oversight of vendor agencies, human resources, facilities management, purchasing, claiming for state and federal reimbursement and printing services. We interviewed leaders and experts in the agencies, analyzed financial and operations data, and created a shared services strategy which the city implemented. The strategy will increase claims revenue, reduce the impact of uncoordinated audits on non-profit agencies serving the city, improve employee disciplinary processes, and generate an estimated $15-20 million from more effective purchasing.

Financial turnaround – health care  

The new CEO of a Midwestern hospital asked us to improve the bottom line by five percent and to strengthen leadership in the process. He wanted to avoid the traditional “slash and burn” savings approach. We led a team of hospital staff and consultants that assessed financial conditions and set improvement targets, and we held a leadership retreat that brought fractious hospital leaders together around the targets and created commitment to shared values in pursing them. As a result, the hospital tackled previously intractable problems, including high staff vacancy rates, and it completed revenue cycle, staff productivity, surgical scheduling and other turnaround work. The bottom line improved by more than the five percent target and the leadership team strengthened its teamwork measurably.

Operations restructuring – child development

Working with a child care eligibility program that faced significant staff reductions, we facilitated staff planning sessions and led work teams to set productivity standards, streamline the operations structure, redefine jobs and design new performance management practices, including the agency’s first automated workflow system. The agency implemented the new operating structure, handling eligibility operations effectively with nearly 30 percent fewer staff. 

Technology project management – housing

A large housing management and development organization asked us to serve as the interim project management director for technology development. We analyzed current processes, policies and staffing and redesigned project management functions. We established new meeting structures and schedules, redefined staff roles and competencies, altered reporting routines, and upgraded analytical and communication standards. We facilitated team-building among the agency’s business and technology staffs. The changes hastened IT development and improved communications across agency siloes and between the IT program and the executive who oversees the program.

Operations rescue – health care

The CFO of a suburban hospital was at wits end because of the failed implementation of a record scanning system, which had promised to lower staffing and improve record retrieval and utilization. Asked to revive the project, we discovered problems with supervision, technical knowledge, performance goals, project management, staffing and equipment. We set productivity targets and created a new staffing plan, added equipment and space, trained staff in records control and coding, and recruited people for system implementation and ongoing operations. We eliminated scanning and indexing backlogs, reduced uncoded claims by $2 million and doubled coding productivity.

Financial controls – health care  

Responding to trustees’ concerns about financial management, we managed a project to design and implement financial controls for a billion-dollar academic health care center. We organized and facilitated work groups and supported these teams with analytical tasks, resulting in new controls over cash management, clinical trials, procurement, payroll, affiliation contracts, grants, endowments, revenue cycle and business expense management. The new controls were praised by university trustees and outside auditors.

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