By now, we’re all familiar with “The Great Resignation.” It’s affected countless industries, and healthcare is no exception.
Experts predict that the healthcare industry could be challenged with staffing shortages for some time.
Since the start of 2022, close to 1.7 million healthcare workers have left their jobs by resigning or taking a position elsewhere. And it’s not all frontline staff or clinicians who are going. Becker’s reports, “front-end revenue cycle staff, back-office specialists, coders, accounts receivable, and denial management experts are all in short supply.”
Experts predict that staffing shortages could plague the healthcare industry for some time to come, and to add insult to injury, national and regional payers have also been hit by the Great Resignation, leading to average appeal lag times doubling to tripling across the industry. When combined with a strategic increase in initial claim denials, many providers have seen their cash flows slow.
Addressing the Challenge
There are ways that healthcare organizations can mitigate the problem:
- Use mobile tools that make it easy for physicians and clinicians to quickly capture simple, compliant charges at the point of care
- Reduce or redeploy staff so that dollars are available to pay their remaining staff higher wages
- Encourage remote work.
But here’s what’s wrong with these ideas. New mobile tools require an investment in technology that may become outdated quickly, adjusting the wages can lead to dissatisfaction among lower-wage employees, and remote workers still need training and proper equipment.
But there is a way to transform the challenges of staffing shortages into an opportunity that will benefit your practice in ways you might never have imagined.
Outsourcing RCM: A Viable Option
For a growing number of practices, outsourcing all or a portion of their revenue cycle processes has become an attractive option, and rightfully so. Beyond filling headcount, outsourcing has several benefits that practices might never be able to realize on their own:
- Outsourcers have the scale needed to alleviate staffing concerns.
- Outsourcers maintain industry-leading quality and productivity standards.
- Because they serve several healthcare organizations, outsourcers develop a deeper understanding of issues payers are struggling with.
- Outsourcers have the capital to invest in technology that can help stretch the impact of current staff.
Choosing a Successful Partner
When choosing to outsource, it is crucial to keep in mind that revenue cycle vendors with the broadest experience and highest levels of expertise will deliver a faster return on investment. The following are four capabilities that set Conifer revenue cycle management apart.
The Journey Forward
Experts predict that the healthcare industry could be challenged with staffing shortages for some time. Outsourcing revenue cycle management can help mitigate the impact and bring greater productivity, lower costs, and improved outcomes.