SUCCESS STORY | Executive Resources Solutions
Intalere Helps Member Community Health Centers of Central Wyoming Achieve $100,000 in Telecom Savings Through Partner Tryon Clear View Group
For more than 14 years, Community Health Centers of Central Wyoming (CHCCW) has been providing comprehensive healthcare through their Casper, Riverton and Dubois facilities to people of all ages, making them a true healthcare home for thousands of central Wyoming residents. From family medicine services to oral health, women’s health, pulmonary health, behavioral health and Quick Care walk-in services, their staff provides trusted care and experience.
As with any provider preparing for the advent of value-based care and declining reimbursements, the leadership at CHCCW knew that becoming lean and efficient in the use of their contracts and contracting functions was a direct and impactful way to get the most for every dollar they were spending. Cole White, Chief Executive Officer at CHCCW, realizing that a comprehensive review of contracts had not been done in several years, undertook a wide-ranging project to reduce operating expenses across as many areas as possible. “In many healthcare settings, providers lose 3-6 percent in potential cost reduction because of poor contract management,” said White. “We were looking for ways to retain and enhance those savings.”
Among the areas that CHCCW undertook to review was telecom spend, including all local, long distance, internet, cable, data, cell phone and pager services. To begin the process, CHCCW engaged Tryon Clear View Group to perform an audit after being introduced by Jamie Weihrauch, who represents CHCCW group purchasing partner Intalere. Tryon Clear View Group offers customers sustainable cost reduction solutions in the areas of telecom, waste and copiers. They have performed audits on more than 1,000 healthcare facilities and built a proprietary database of cost benchmarks of a national scale that allows them to evaluate bills, contracts vendors and more based on facility
class of trade, size, geography and other factors.
“Telecom charges are often overlooked and in cases when you delve deeper into the charges, they can be difficult to understand,” said White. “Groups like Tryon speak the same language and know what to look for. They have a wealth of information and resources, and were honestly relentless in working to find savings.”
Tryon’s analysis was performed by telecom professionals with more than 500 years of combined experience. The current vendor pricing was entered into a proprietary national database which allowed for comparison of current charges of the hospital with hospitals of the same size on a national scale. Additionally, other potential telecom vendor pricing was compared, all with an eye towards better prices, bundling of services and an overall better contract. Tryon was also able to find and eliminate several accounts for telecommunication services that CHCCW was still paying for in buildings they had long since vacated.
Among the results was best-in-class pricing, bringing 81 percent in savings in the first year and 56 percent savings each year thereafter, totaling more than $100,000 in savings! In addition to this savings, a credit for billing errors in previous years was issued totaling more than $13,000.
According to Alan Woods, project manager for Tryon, the organization’s auditing service can, in some cases, recover 3-5 years of past expenses in utilities and telecom. They also lower future costs by exposing and collecting refunds on common, yet generally undetected, billing errors and erroneous charges. These parts of the service are extremely valuable as they help to, “keep contract creep in check,” said CHCCW’s White. Tryon’s knowledge of the technology and the market also spurred CHCCW to virtually eliminate long distance charges by bundling long distance with existing service under a new contract at one location and switching to a hosted VoIP system at a second location.
White also stressed that when providers are focused on the day-to-day challenges of providing the best, most affordable care to the patients they serve, it offers peace of mind to have a champion with a wealth of deep experience and knowledge, “fighting the battle for you.” Additionally, the presentation of the results often highlights ways providers can modify their planning, ordering, approval and review processes to better manage their utility and telecommunications services.
A further benefit of Tryon’s solution is that it is a contingency-based service with no direct costs to the client. If Tryon’s audit does not uncover savings, the audit is free, although Tryon’s track record illustrates a 98 percent probability for savings and refunds.
Overall, White estimates that the contract management initiative will bring the facility $400,000-$500,000 in savings with the Tryon engagement accounting for 20-25 percent of that total. CHCCW continues to engage Tryon to review utility contracts on an ongoing basis to help ensure maximum contract efficiency and savings. Tryon also recently was able to help CHCCW save 46 percent through auditing and refinement of their waste contracts.