For almost 60 years, Presby’s Inspired Life (Presby) has provided quality senior living environments in the greater Philadelphia area. A regional leader in senior living, Presby provides continuing care and affordable housing to more than 3,000 residents in 31 communities through the dedicated, compassionate work of nearly 800 employees.
To better deliver on their mission to provide exceptional communities and care for individuals with a broad range of backgrounds, physical abilities and economic circumstances, Presby needed to replace outdated financial and clinical management systems. When Dianna Winters joined Presby as Controller, the evaluation process had just begun. Having been through multiple software implementations, she was well versed in how to manage the process.
The systems that Presby was replacing required extensive manual calculations, including inter-company allocations and multi-company consolidations done outside of the system in Excel. With 28 divisions and continued growth on the horizon, Presby needed to increase efficiency, ensure transparency and enhance financial analysis capabilities.
Since Presby was replacing both the financial and clinical systems, the evaluation team considered both combined financial/clinical and best-of-breed systems. Based on Winters’ experience, the best-of-breed solution was the better choice because combined systems always meant sacrifices in functionality. After careful deliberation, the evaluation committee agreed that they could get superior functionality by combining the financial strength of Microsoft Dynamics GP (GP) with the clinical specialization of HealthMEDX.
Crucial to their decision to take the best-of-breed approach were the references from multiple organizations attesting to the expertise of Intellitec with GP and HealthMEDX. “Before we made the final decision, Intellitec took the time to show us how the system would really work for us,” according to Winters. "Not just answering questions, but making suggestions to help us make the best decision. I have been through a lot of implementations and Intellitec is the best partner I have worked with.
Two separate teams worked in parallel implementing GP and HealthMEDX, with regular coordination to make sure that everything tied together. Through a well-planned phased roll out, all Presby locations were brought online with GP first - with HealthMEDX following one community at a time. Through the close coordination, “We were up and running on our financials the first month without a hitch,” said Winters.
From the outset, Intellitec’s Long Term Care expertise set the project on the right path. While Winters is an experienced GP user, Intellitec team’s recommendations for setting up the GL account structure made reporting easier than she had envisioned. “They really understood the health care side,” explains Winters. “We went with their recommendations and it has been incredibly efficient. I would not have known that separate account structures would make reporting and analysis so much easier.”
Training was crucial to the success of the implementation and ease of “go-live.” In addition to the traditional training, Intellitec provided test scripts that guided users through specific tasks that they would perform when the system was live. Winters believes that the exercise provided the additional test of the system to make sure everything – from security settings to reports – were set up and working as expected.
Another valuable exercise came after users had spent time in the system. Several months after go-live, Intellitec brought the system users together to share best practices. “As each person uses the system, they figure out different ways to make their day more efficient,” notes Winters. “We shared our own best practices and Intellitec shared lessons learned from other companies.” Winters plans to hold an annual day of best practice sharing to promote continuous improvement within the department.
Time savings add up from a multitude of simplified tasks
“The true savings comes from all of those tasks that took us far longer in the past,” says Winters. “The combined value is tremendous and allows our staff to focus on more important issues.” Just a sample of the specific time savings that Presby has achieved through the implementation include:
- Month end close shortened by 1 to 2 days.
- Completing 990 tax returns questionnaires, which previously took weeks of data collection, budget allocations and manual reporting, now takes hours through Microsoft Dynamics GP Management Reporter.
- Adding new GL accounts, which used to be a painfully slow process, is now fast and simple.
- Bank reconciliation has gone from 4 days to 2 hours.
- Time savings through automatic approvals and accruals for payables saves time at every step. In addition, financials are more accurate, reflecting actual liabilities allocated to the proper accounts.
Analysis capabilities expose exceptions to save the organization money
With the complexities the health care providers face today due to varying Medicaid and insurance coverage, identifying exceptions is critical. By matching costs to revenues at a detailed level, the accounting team can uncover an undercharged prescription or a service line that is not covering costs.
“We can easily compare our revenue line items with costs to identify exceptions,” adds Winters. “The data that is imported into GP from the HealthMEDX gives us the detail that we need to perform the analytics that identifies exceptions – without having to go back to HealthMEDX.”
Simplified audits and compliance reporting
With the flexible reporting capabilities of GP, compliance reporting and audits are far simpler, including:
- Auditor questions can be addressed with reports created directly from GP, giving auditors more confidence and taking far less time for Presby’s accounting team.
- With the old system, the auditors had concerns about the purchase approval process. The implementation of REQLogic for payables management has eliminated their concerns.
- The GL structure recommended by Intellitec has made HUD reporting far easier.
"It’s great that I don’t have to wait for the IT department to write a report for me. Intellitec will either create it for me, or show me how I can do it myself," states Winters. "Now that I can quickly deliver the information that the board or executives need, it saves us so much time"
Continuous improvement through partnership
Presby is on the path of continuous improvement, keeping a prioritized list of projects that will continue to increase the benefits of automation for the organization. Currently Construction in Progress tracking and Fixed Assets top the list of plans. Every quarter Winters reviews the list with Intellitec.
Members of the accounting team attend Intellitec sponsored user groups that help them use the system more effectively. An additional benefit from the sessions comes through talking with other GP users who can share their experiences and best practices.
"Intellitec truly is our partner. We work together for the benefit of Presby and I see that going on forever,” says Winters. “I’ve worked with smaller groups and when things were done, they were done. It’s nice that our relationship is evolving. When you have a partner like Intellitec you are always finding new ways to improve the system and your business processes.”