CFO's of hospitals of every size have to contend with the ever changing landscape of technology. Where the business of managing a successful, cutting-edge facility is concerned, being behind the times in data and record keeping can negatively impact the bottom line, often pushing facilities to the brink of insolvency.
It becomes a constant question and struggle - what programs and protocols need to be implemented? What is the ROI? How long will these processes be adequate before adapting even more new technology?
The bottom line is that incorporating new programs to streamline patient information and payment processes will increase revenue. For struggling hospitals, there is no question that an investment in RCM technology is the key to patient payment solutions.
Looking At Successful Integration
According to an article in PRWeb, a whopping 91% of the CFO's who identify their hospitals as financially healthy indicated that they were taking steps toward next generation revenue management. They had either already started implementing RCM solutions, were outsourcing them, or they were investing in new RCM software. If every financially successful hospital is utilizing the full capacity of current IT and updating software or protocols in their revenue management, it's logical to assume that the organizations that haven't updated may struggle.
Best Practices and Building a Stronger Integrated System
While there may be questions and fears surrounding new systems and protocols, the end payoff to a streamlined, well running system is essential for growth. Common fears include training and the ability to navigate systems, or the lack of understanding the technology interfering in the staff's ability to do their job.
Like any new system, there will be a training period for most new processes. Other concerns might be in job security. Depending on the route the hospital takes in implementing revenue management, there may in fact be less work for office staff or no need for a full scale billing department. But, increased revenue means that there will be more funds to grow other departments and employment positions. According to the same article, 61% of CFO's from failing hospitals expect to lose their jobs in the coming year due to their inability to take their hospitals from the old mode of payment and patient debt to a new, streamlined revenue system.
What are the best practice options to streamline revenue management in the coming year?
- Updated RCM system. An updated RCM system keeps the hospital in line with changes implemented by the Affordable Care Act that weren't covered in the older RCM system models.
- Outsourcing. Avoiding the cost of the implementation of a whole new RCM system, many CFO's have opted to outsource, taking advantage of their vendor's systems.
- Card on File. Card on File is a patient payment processing software that allows hospitals to keep their patient's credit and debit cards on file in a secured server. The initial payment is covered at the time of visit and the remainder after insurance coverage can be charged immediately.
The solution will depend on the amount a hospital can feasibly invest at the moment. But there is no doubt that implementation of newer models is necessary to move into the future. For both financially healthy and struggling hospitals, it is clear that the revenue cycle process needs to be updated for future stability and growth.
Hospitals and practices alike are facing a patient revenue crisis. Learn how card on file is one solution that is making it easier to collect from patients and reducing patient bad debt. Download the eBook below.