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How to Use Healthcare Technology to Accelerate Revenue Cycle Management

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Healthcare organizations need to accelerate their revenue cycle management (RCM) to be successful. They can do this by leveraging the proper healthcare technology. With effective RCM, your healthcare organization can offer services that protect your patients’ well-being and health. 

RCM technology requires healthcare leaders to work together and communicate well to maintain peak conditions throughout the revenue cycle. Poor performance in RCM can lead to lost revenue, which is why improving and accelerating RCM is crucial. RCM begins when one of your patients schedules an appointment, continuing through registration, delivery of care, claim submission and billing. 

What Is Revenue Cycle Management?

To stay financially healthy, healthcare organizations need to establish effective policies and processes for managing the revenue cycle. Revenue cycle management (RCM) in healthcare is the process of managing the clinical and administrative functions related to payment, claims processing and revenue generation. This process includes identifying, collecting and managing patient service revenue. 

Your organization can use healthcare RCM to collect profits and keep up with expenses, allowing your facility to stay in operation and continue treating patients. When a patient schedules an appointment for healthcare services, the RCM process begins. The process is over when your organization collects the claims and payments. 

Challenges to Accelerating Revenue

Cycle Management 

Accelerating your RCM tends to be an ongoing process, as the revenue cycle can be unwieldy. Healthcare organizations face numerous challenges that can make improving RCM difficult, like:

  • Compliance: One of the challenges providers and healthcare organizations face regarding RCM is compliance. Providers may need to adjust revenue cycle workflows to stay compliant with policy changes, such as the surprise billing rule that prevents out-of-network providers from issuing surprise bills to patients. Healthcare regulations change regularly, so organizations may struggle to maintain steady RCM policies. 
  • Coding errors: Coding errors are also a common challenge that healthcare organizations face, as these errors can lead to issues with claims reimbursement. Your facility may need to invest in employee education programs and training sessions to demonstrate proper coding techniques and chart documentation. 
  • Limited support: Many healthcare organizations are struggling to fill open positions, which means running practices with fewer staff members and less support.
  • Decentralization: RCM activities broadly affect healthcare providers, but when there are siloed departments, there may be a lack of coordination and communication throughout the organization. 
  • New expectations: Patients now have new expectations for digital options to manage healthcare expenses, such as email or text notifications regarding payments.  
  • Manual processes: Many areas of RCM are still reliant on inefficient manual processes. Manual processes are time-consuming and error-prone.
  • Payment collection: Getting payments from patients is another common RCM challenge among healthcare providers. By collecting payment before your patient leaves, your organization saves time and effort. However, this can be difficult, and the process of collecting payments typically takes far longer. Due to financial struggles and high deductibles, many patients struggle to pay healthcare bills upfront. 
  • Prior authorization processes: If your healthcare organization faces prior authorization requirements, your patients must wait until the health plan authorizes a service before they can receive treatment. 
  • Higher out-of-pocket expenses: Rising costs and economic downturn have led insurance companies to shift more out-of-pocket costs to patients through higher copayments, coinsurance and deductibles. This makes it more important than ever to collect patient payments.

How to Improve Revenue Cycle Management

If your healthcare organization is facing any of the above challenges, there are steps you can take to improve and modernize RCM practices. Implementing effective digital strategies and technology can help.

1. Use Healthcare Online Registration Forms

New patient registration can be a time-consuming, labor-intensive process. If your office is still using paper packets, consider switching to online registration forms that patients can complete at their convenience before their first appointment. You can email or text new patients a link to your online registration forms so they can even fill them out at home. 

Online registration forms can automatically populate patient information into the electronic health record (EHR). Additionally, these forms are uploaded automatically, so you can skip the task of manually scanning each form. Using online registration forms can both save your staff time and reduce check-in time for patients. You can also use these forms to collect the payment information needed for future payments.

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2. Prioritize Patient Access

For RCM to be successful, your organization should prioritize patient access. Engage with patients digitally during intake to make patient access easier and safer. Patients can verify demographics, take a picture of their photo ID and insurance card and sign digital forms with greater convenience.

3. Implement Convenient Payment Options for Patients

When it comes to collecting payments, the best option for your healthcare organization is to collect what’s owed while your patients are in the office, so you don’t need to chase payments later. To increase your odds of collecting payments upfront, you may want to implement convenient mobile payment options, such as digital wallets, QR codes, mobile wallet apps and touch-to-pay cards. With these options, your office can more easily and quickly collect payments before or right after providing care.  

4. Use Healthcare Technology to Accelerate RCM

Electronic health records (EHR) and IT systems can help refine and streamline RCM strategies. You can use technology to collect payments, address claim denials and track claims, facilitating a steady revenue stream. Technology can also automate RCM operations, including payer-provider communications, patient appointment scheduling and medical billing process monitoring.  

With solutions from Millennia, you can engage with your patients through the entire process, scheduling appointments, reminders, forms, authorizations, eligibility, estimates, pre-payments and registration. Our solutions integrate with your existing system to help your organization:

  • Offer user-friendly, digital solutions patients want to use, building engagement
  • Gain more revenue, as that engagement encourages patients to pay their bills
  • Provide improved patient journeys, contributing to enhanced satisfaction and returning patients

Contact Millennia for Effective Revenue

Cycle Management

At Millennia, we focus on patient engagement and seek to make it easier for patients to pay and understand their bills. We offer solutions that hospitals, ambulatory facilities, post-acute care providers and mid-to-large physician and medical groups use to create a better patient experience while generating more revenue. 

The Millennia Patient Payment Solution, streamlines patient care on the non-clinical side from beginning to end. 

If you want to better engage with your patients from the first appointment to the final payment, trust Millennia. Contact us today to learn how we can help you with the healthcare revenue cycle management process.

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