Hospital Turnarounds: Improving Revenue Cycle is Critical

I want to introduce you to Abbeville Area Medical Center. As one of my colleagues often says, “Abbeville is the little engine that could.”

Abbeville is a critical access hospital about 90 miles west of the state capital of South Carolina. It’s a 25-bed short-term, acute care hospital that provides inpatient, outpatient and 24-hour emergency care services. The hospital has been serving its community for more than 110 years.

Like many of its critical access hospital peers, Abbeville knew there was opportunity to improve its revenue cycle, its collection rate and ultimately its revenues. In the year before Abbeville chose Amplify, between October 2019 and September 2020, Abbeville collected 37.2 percent of gross revenue.

In the first year, Amplify increased Abbeville’s gross collection rate by 5.5 percent, collecting nearly $1.5 million more than expected.

Amplify worked closely with AAMC to improve performance from year one to year two of the partnership. Primary drivers of the increased cash from year one to year two include:

  • Reduction of avoidable write offs by 36 percent in the last six months of year two,
  • Amplify started billing for the outpatient portions of those claims for inpatient denials that were appealed and could not be overturned,
  • Increased follow up resources and efforts to accelerate cash,
  • HIM achieved a nearly 1.5-day reduction of DNFB which generated a one-time cash acceleration of almost $105,000 and
  • Improved credentialing process to help recover previously denied claims.

In the second year, Amplify achieved a gross collection rate more than 10 percent greater than year one, generating almost $3 million in additional cash lift when adjusted for revenue volume.

Contemporaneously with the revenue cycle improvements, my colleagues were helping Abbeville expand existing services and add new ones while improving quality. It is important to note that these improvements happened during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As written in a recent case study, the turnaround of Abbeville Area Medical Center focused on three areas:

Among Abbeville’s long list of accomplishments during this period were:

  • Launching an outpatient hospice service line,
  • Initiating pain management, chronic care management and acute withdrawal management service lines, and
  • Completing its triennial DNV survey with flying colors.

The Abbeville way – putting the patients first – prevailed. Without a doubt, Abbeville and its committed staff are the little engine that could.

In other goods news at Abbeville, the South Carolina Hospital Association awarded the organization five 2022 Zero Harm Awards. As the SCHA noted, the awards program recognizes Abbeville’s commitment to quality as a defining cornerstone to patient care and staff support. To learn more, visit:

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Scott Cooper Headshot

Scott Cooper


Scott brings more than 15 years of experience in revenue cycle management to Ovation Healthcare. His career began at companies athenahealth and Nexus Healthcare Solutions where he focused on building tech-enabled revenue cycle services coupled with offshore capabilities to help business find opportunities at scale. At McKinsey & Company, he advised national health systems and RCM service providers on large-scale, operational transformations and performance programs focused on yield improvement and cost reduction. Most recently at Tegria, he led all revenue cycle services, transformation, and integration across the enterprise.