While insurance reimbursements continue to fall and costs to provide care continue to climb, boosting revenue cycle performance is a key focus for hospitals and healthcare facilities seeking to improve bottom-line results in 2020. Taking a critical look at your revenue cycle management (RCM) strategy is one big way to keep your organization financially healthy in the new year. Here are three things to consider when assessing your RCM strategy:
Tap into technology
Have you considered artificial intelligence and other automation technologies to help optimize and enhance your operations? In short, AI can be used to capture, consolidate and make sense of large amounts of data with very little manual work required. With the right technology, hospital operations managers can improve efficiency and accuracy in their processes while also uncovering opportunities in claims management, receivables management and other areas.
Robotic process automation (RPA) uses a “robot” to quickly execute pre-defined workflows for any number of administrative tasks that typically require human labor hours. Hospitals leveraging RPA technology stand to get a two-for-one benefit by taking people away from repetitive administrative tasks and reallocating them to customer-facing activities. This reallocation of resources can both reduce labor costs and improve patient satisfaction.
Be transparent about costs
Being more proactive about your patient communications, especially when it comes to costs, can help your receivables. In addition to fulfilling regulatory requirements for publishing prices, communicate early with patients regarding their responsibility, simplify your billing processes as much as possible, and be available for questions. Patients may be better able to pay their bills when they understand their costs up front and have time to budget accordingly. While it may sound as simple as providing a price and setting up a payment plan, there’s more to it. To improve your revenue cycle management through proactive patient communications, you’ll need staff to provide financial counseling—explain insurance coverage, verify covered and non-covered services, and discuss payment options—before the patient receives any services.
Partner with an expert
Thinking of outsourcing? In addition to reducing late payments and unpaid balances, outsourcing may free up in-house resources for other high-priority projects. A qualified third-party RCM vendor has the resources and expertise dedicated to working with patients and collecting payments. Plus, depending on the vendor, they may also be able to help reduce the number of claim denials, which can help cut the amount of time spent on insurance interactions and improve payment rates. When shopping for an RCM partner, keep these things in mind: A good vendor will act as an extension of your operations team, will have access to technology, and will have proven financial results that they can share with you.
If you’re looking to outsource to a trusted RCM vendor in the New Year, let us help.
Our experts are highly trained, professional and dedicated to helping you improve your finances in 2020. Learn more about our services and how we can start turning your bad debt into revenue today.