May 14, 2019

5 Surprisingly Simple Ways to Influence Your C-Suite Decision Makers

Are you tired of getting your ideas shot down by your managers or executive leadership? Maybe you have a significant technology purchase you know will benefit your organization, but you need sign-off from above?

Before you stand in front of the C-suite to request budget for the revenue cycle department, study up on these simple ways you can impress healthcare executives to improve your chances of getting approval.

1. Do Your Research and Showcase Your Expertise

Long before you think about compiling a pitch to your C-suite or requesting budget for your revenue cycle improvement initiative, you should be comfortable speaking as an RCM expert both in your department and in the industry as a whole.

Stay up on the latest industry news and trends by following leading RCM beats — including Healthcare Finance News, HFMA, Health Data Management, Becker’s, Healthcare IT News, and RevCycleIntelligence — and subscribing to other RCM industry thought leadership blogs.

In addition to the media, keep a close watch on what leading healthcare analysts are covering since they specialize in forecasting trends. If you can tie your request to what the analysts are predicting, you will be more successful.

You will also need to be an expert in your organization’s revenue cycle, which brings us to point number two.

2. Leverage Data Analytics and Reports, But Don’t Stop There

Know your data backward and forward to support your claims. Understand how your programs are faring, where your weak spots are, and how your proposed technology purchase will help.

Data can and should support your story, but you have to be prepared to wow your leadership team with a compelling story that makes your request undeniable. Prepare your pitch with why you need the budget and why now is the best time.

Don’t fall into the trap of regurgitating data and displaying charts and graphs. Anyone can read data points, and simply reciting data will make you look unprepared. Instead, suggest specific strategies to improve outcomes, present the conclusions and insights that you expertly gleaned from your data, and share your vision for your organization’s revenue cycle improvements.

Your ideas should be the star of the show, not the data.

3. Create a Strategic Roadmap for RCM Improvement

Show your executives how your idea or new tech purchase will help the organization achieve its overall business goals. The C-suite lives at this highest tier of strategic thinking, so you have to rise to their level.

How will your proposal enable growth? How will it influence the bottom line? What will their investment accomplish in one month? In six months? In one year? In the long term?

Don’t send your leadership team on a wild treasure hunt. Draw them a map with detailed directions, where X marks the revenue growth.

Pitch the highlights of your strategic plan and have the full plan in gory detail ready if they ask for it. If you do your pitch right, they will be more open.

4. Leverage Others

Think of others you can involve in your cause, either in the background for research purposes or as a figurehead for support. Look for people who will add value to your story and champion your cause. Some figures to consider may include:

  • An executive or VP.See if you can get one-on-one time with an influential person who will either be on the decision-making committee or can heavily influence the decision. Having an internal champion will go a long way to getting your point across and will validate your ideas.
  • Others in the organization who have successfully petitioned for budget. Ask around your department or other departments to find out who has successfully stood before the C-suite, pitched a proposal, and received approval for a new initiative. Understand precisely what worked for them, then replicate their successes and avoid their missteps. These individuals can also give you great insight into the process and the personalities or preferences of your decision makers.
  • Those who are directly impacted or have frustrations. Bring in real quotes or anecdotes from the frontlines where your proposed solution is going to make an impact. For the revenue cycle, these people could be managers who lack data to make sound decisions, customer service reps who interface with patients and identify flaws, or patients themselves who have expressed frustrations with your billing processes. Connecting your request with the patients will bring your story full circle for the C-suite.

5. Leverage the Vendor

When seeking budget for a major tech purchase, ask your proposed vendor for help crafting your pitch. The vendor should be more than willing to provide you with materials, statistics, screenshots, and talking points to guide the conversation. After all, your win is their win.

When creating your strategic roadmap (see #3 above), pick your vendor’s brain to understand what they think an organization like yours needs to do to improve revenue cycle management. How have they helped similar organizations improve? Which programs have been the most successful? Do they have a strategic, phased approach to RCM improvement?

For more questions to ask an RCM vendor, read this blog post.

Parting Tips

Remember to be confident and show passion for your cause. Be willing to take ownership of your new initiative and commit to being the driving force that ensures its success.

Leave your executive team wanting more and be ready to provide it. Offer a short leave-behind piece that recaps your main points, gives them the next steps for evaluating your proposal, and has your contact information with an offer to provide additional resources.

RevSpring Can Help

Integrated payment communication is part of RevSpring’s DNA. We tailor the payment conversation to influence behavior and inspire action. Our segmentation rules and workflows help you become hyper-focused on the patient, understanding their ability to pay and mapping their financial obligations to repayment pathways.

If you’d like to learn more about our comprehensive patient engagement and billing solutions, we’d love to help you. Request a demo to see how we can help your organization meet its goals.