Maintaining a steady flow of income has become increasingly important to healthcare practices with declining cash flows, tighter margins and the steady rise of bad debt. According to healthcare data analytics firm Health Catalyst, there are many opportunities for hospitals to improve their revenue cycle management. Besides implementing the appropriate information system and properly educating staff on the particulars of revenue management, the company gives the following suggestions:
Healthcare data benchmarking
Trending and benchmarking healthcare data helps administrators identify area of improvement in their revenue cycle. The practice follows the maxim: "you can't manage what you can't measure." Using visualizations when reviewing data will aid in gaining a better understanding of the results and causes of certain trends. Moreover, managers should look at hospital and physician billing data to get the full picture of the revenue cycle.
Regular input from front-line staff
Frontline staff are an equally important resource for improving revenue cycle management. Including them in the process helps guarantee sustainable change. Once a particular roadblock has been identified, consultations with the frontline staff should be done on a regular basis to help find a solution. The workflow should also be reexamined periodically.
Monitoring all payer contacts
Clear and frequent communication with payers can make all the difference to the revenue cycle. Ensure that payers are not under-reimbursing, denying too many claims or putting an unreasonable strain on your patient accounting office.
Maintaining touch points with patients
By ensuring that patients have a convenient and pleasant experience when doing business with hospital staff, they will more likely get correct and complete registration and insurance information. That being said, personnel in charge of registration or scheduling patients should have the proper skill set and caring attitude.