Outsource the Front-End to Enhance the Patient Financial Experience
In light of a wide variety of issues facing hospitals and health systems, Revenue cycle management (RCM) remains a significant pain point for maintaining smooth operations in a healthcare environment.
So, what is strategic outsourcing versus simply outsourcing?
Outsourcing revenue cycle management both improves the efficiency of a hospital’s operational capacity and improves the lives of both patients and staff.
Strategic outsourcing ensures more confident, better trained staff, speedier turnaround times and maximized returns. However, a full end-to-end partnership isn’t necessary to make a positive impact. Outsourcing key stages of the revenue cycle process, especially those that are patient facing, can increase productivity and maintain positive patient relationships.
With remote work becoming the norm, hospitals and health systems are expending more resources than ever to recruit, train, and retain experienced staff. High turnover in medical billing poses unique challenges—coding errors, claim denials and interrupted revenue among them. It is estimated that for every dollar spent, 30 cents of that dollar is never actually collected by the hospital facility and one fifth of all uncollected funds can be attributed to incorrect coding practices. Additionally, insurance requirements are not being met at the outset of treatment.
Since the beginning of 2022, 1.7 million healthcare workers have left their jobs. As a result, those still at work are forced to pick up the slack, building on an already stressful environment. Tight staffing can also impact the patient financial experience. When office staffers are stretched thin, patients may encounter long wait times and when they do reach someone, that interaction can be shortened by long work queues. Higher deductibles are also increasing the need for payment plans and other strategic solutions to make care affordable.
Strategic outsourcing ensures more confident, better trained staff, speedier turnaround times and maximized returns.
In terms of patient impact, outsourcing the front end of the RCM process can lead to a higher level of patient satisfaction overall—some good news at a difficult time. An effective solution involves partnering with credentialed and certified professionals with expertise in both patient interaction and technology that can enhance and automate front-end revenue cycle management. Even if the organization only requires a partial or short-term solution, outsourcing can improve the timeliness of the billing cycle, the retention of staff and the satisfaction of patients. These factors can be game-changing in busy, overwhelmed RCM environments. By offering staff augmentation, strategic outsourcing partners provide the opportunity to customize outsourced services to match changing staffing needs through a flex pool approach.
Outsourcing revenue cycle management both improves the efficiency of a hospital’s operational capacity and improves the lives of both patients and staff. Ultimately, the mission of those who work in health care is to provide quality care that restores patients to health. Outsourcing maintains the mission and offers the expertise and flexibility to healthcare delivery organizations that want to find their way back to organizational health.
Conifer Health strives to help your leadership rethink the business of healthcare. Schedule an exploratory call and learn about the unique options we can provide for your practice.