Maintaining a steady stream of income for any hospital is very important. With margins tightening, cash flows declining and bad debts increasing, retaining a stable income may seem difficult.
Common problems faced in revenue cycle management:
- Healthcare providers used to rely on payers – private and public – to provide compensations of their revenue. There were the usual coding and billing challenges, but patients were mostly on-lookers when it came to financial transactions. Today, many high-deductible plans are common and thus providers find it difficult to collect what they have earned. Many plans that force consumers to dig deep in their own pockets have shot up in the recent times. This is an unsustainable trend for hospitals, but the increase in the number of plans shows no signs of declining.
- Backed up workflow can have a negative impact on any team’s performance. Not adhering to simple procedures while admitting a patient too can cause workflow to be backed up. A simple, basic checklist kept at the registration desk will make a significant difference in keeping your patients on track and organized, and also give the patients a reliable sense of service and organization.
- Small errors like coding errors, name misspellings and patient ineligibility can lead to claims being denied and miscommunication which back up the return on your revenue cycle. Taking a few extra minutes to prevent these errors from the start can put a stop to days or weeks of delay in payment on the back end.
- Nowadays, patients expect technological solutions for everyday tasks. If your office is not digitized, it will put you back in the run and will show in the services provided. This lack of digital solutions stops the revenue cycle flow, affects patient/provider communication, and gives a bad impression of your office.
Ways to improve revenue cycle management:
There are many opportunities to drastically improve your revenue cycle management. These improvements may seem to be on the pricey side and time consuming. But, it is the tiny changes that add up to provide the biggest impact. Some effective tips to improve RCM are:
To keep a track for streamlining patient communication and payments, digital solutions are a must. Using cloud-based RCM softwares help combine invoicing and payment transactions, claims filing, appointment scheduling, etc., all in one convenient space.
With any service, going the extra mile for a customer will always create a good workflow. When it comes to pre-admissions, making contact with patients before the actual day of admission, allows them to inquire about anything or voice any concerns they may have. Since your front-line staff handle all the pre-admission communication, they are responsible for identifying any hiccups during the process. It is vital that they achieve as much as possible before patient arrival, even taking it to the next step like verifying contact information and even potentially to take payment over the phone. Simple upgrades for the front-line team can make a big difference!
Hire a designated care coordinator
Care coordinators can understand the transition to value-based reimbursements by keeping up to date with legislation and policy changes and measure the quality of care and efficiency of the organization. They also serve liaisons between patients and providers by helping the management to better understand patient concerns. Care coordinators organize health and wellness clinics which optimize the quality of care patients receive.
Successful revenue cycle management is not only being mindful of your organization’s payments or keeping a track of errors when filing claims. It is measuring key rates and statistics and setting goals to assess the efficacy of workflow. This way you can figure out if things are not going in the right direction and can consider how to make things turn around to manage your workforce and resources.
Enhance patient financial experience
Taking small steps to improve the patient payment system, including mailing them before admission or verifying valid contact or offering multiple methods of payment like credit, debit, online portals, payment plans etc., will improve their experience. Knowing the patients’ expectations and acting accordingly will also make things easier for both parties.
In this day and age, healthcare organizations adapt to value-based payout models and mount demand for digital solutions that create the future of revenue cycle management.
If you’re interested in improving your RCM or just want to get more information on the same, get in touch with our healthcare consultants today!
Visit our website at: https://www.infognana.com/services/healthcare-services/