RCM continues to trend toward automation

Despite obstacles such as cost and security, RCM departments continue to push toward automated solutions to improve the patient experience and maximize reimbursements.  

Automation can improve your RCM department, adding money to your bottom line.
October 13, 2017

We live in an increasingly automated society. From ordering coffee on an your phone to asking Alexa to write down your to-do list, you can now complete processes faster and more efficiently than ever before by leveraging cutting-edge technology to do the footwork for you.

And healthcare revenue cycle management is no exception.  

Despite obstacles such as cost and security, RCM departments continue to push toward automated solutions to improve the patient experience and maximize reimbursements. Specific trends in 2017 have included enterprise resource planning systems, cloud applications, data analytics and outsourcing –  strategies all intended to increase the efficiency and accuracy of the RCM process.  

Investment in enterprise resource planning systems

In your RCM department, your staff need to budget their time and resources effectively to ensure that claims are completed correctly and on time. Often, that can mean learning through trial-and-error attempts at coordinating team members and tasks.

Luckily, there's a better way. 

Many organizations are opting to invest in enterprise resource planning systems to ensure that they're maximizing their workflow to ensure the highest possible reimbursement rates. According to a report on 2017 RCM trends by Black Book, 93 percent of CFOs believe that ERP is necessary to adequately achieve supply chain efficiency, price transparency and true costing in value-based care.  

This type of automation in healthcare means that your staff have time to focus on the tasks that most require their attention, improving your department's ability to meet deadlines and increase reimbursements without the necessity of additional employees. 

Cloud applications as the primary storage platform

In healthcare and beyond, the cloud is becoming an increasingly popular home for information storage. A McAfee white paper reported that 93 percent of organizations currently use cloud services and 74 percent store sensitive information in the public cloud. 

"In RCM storing information in the cloud is quickly becoming the norm."

In RCM, storing information in the cloud is no longer novel – it's quickly becoming the norm. According to Black Book's 2017 Trend Report, more than 55 percent of CIOs are confident in their strategy for cloud applications.  

But looking forward, these professionals now need to think about disaster recovery. The survey found that 83 percent of healthcare organizations don't have cloud storage that would allow them to recover information in the event of a disaster. 

Cost-estimation through data analytics

When consumers walk into stores, the prices of each product or service are typically clearly labeled and customers know how much they'll pay before they step up to the register. So when it comes to medical billing, patients can become quickly frustrated over the lack of price transparency. Creating estimates involves coordination between billing departments, insurers and more.

To improve this process, some organizations are turning to cost-estimation solutions which use data analytics to not only give patients the cost information they want, but also aid healthcare groups in obtaining the data they need for the successful claims resolution that leads to increased reimbursement rates. 

Strategic use of RCM outsourcing

Throughout 2017, healthcare organizations have strategically used RCM outsourcing options to increase the success of their claims resolutions. 

In fact, a report by Black Book predicted that the market for ambulatory and physician RCM outsourcing, as well as extended business office services, in the U.S. is expected to grow by 42 percent between Q4 2016 and Q1 2019.   

"Rising healthcare expenditures and the complex technology or staffing requirements to succeed under value-based care is creating the urgent demand for cost-effective, technically advanced business office outsourcing solutions in physician practices across the country," said Doug Brown, managing partner of Black Book. "High-impact drivers of the physicians practice outsourcing market include the increasing emphasis on compliance and risk management, and the need for more efficient and cost effective processes," 

To learn more about how outsourcing your specialized claims, such as workers' compensation and motor vehicle accident, can help streamline your healthcare revenue cycle management department, contact PROMEDICAL today.