This is an introduction to our OS blog 2.0 series highlighting costly RCM issues and what providers need to address them.
Across the healthcare finance industry, shrinking operating margins (which fell from 1.8% in 2017 to 1.7% in 2018) are making providers increasingly uncomfortable. Most are now focused on finding ways to increase efficiencies and revenue across the enterprise, starting with the front end of the revenue cycle.
But what about the back end?
Is your A/R operation in peak condition?
If you haven’t assessed your collection efforts lately, you might be missing a major opportunity to strengthen your top and bottom lines.
Consider this: all day long (presumably), your A/R team is following up on patient balances, claims, and denials. How much time are your collectors spending on hold? Are they asking the right questions? How productive are your work-at-home collectors? How high is your A/R employee turnover rate, and how much is it costing you?
The only way to optimize your A/R operation, and your entire revenue cycle, is to track these data and work to improve them.
Unfortunately, your EHR platform isn’t designed to give you a good read on front-line performance. Nor can it arm you with the tools you need to help collectors improve their productivity and results. We call this the “EHR platform gap”—the missing piece that’s hampering your revenue cycle along with your ability to compete and grow.
The Secret to Optimizing RCM: Accountable Collectors
Why do collectors tend to underperform and then abandon their jobs at high rates? Because they’re not accountable. After a burst of initial training, collectors are set loose without the benefits of intentional coaching, routine refresher training, and meaningful QA—i.e., a strategic management approach that drives engagement and ongoing improvement.
Making collections work even more difficult and less productive are the crucial capabilities and resources these employees are forced to do without. Between long payer IVR hold times, uncertainty about how to prioritize calls, and missed opportunities on the phone, collectors simply aren’t accomplishing enough. And management is handcuffed without the tools to identify problem areas and trigger process improvement.
Now, imagine a collections team that has it all: solid managerial support, automation that allows them to sprint from call to call, and all the information they need at their fingertips. Collectors recover more, feel a greater sense of confidence and control, and become more seasoned and more effective over the long term.
Soon, a virtuous cycle is set in motion—one that naturally lowers labor costs, improves collections results, and frees the provider to pursue bigger, bolder business and market strategies.
- Provide visibility into collectors’ daily performance
- Ensure highest-priority A/R is being worked effectively
- Automate manual or low-yield tasks
- Deliver ongoing coaching and improvement using an automated QA scorecard
- Manage in-office and at-home staff comprehensively
- Cut wasted time spent on payer IVR hold systems
A Stronger, More Streamlined A/R Operation . . . Without the Side Effects
Having spent the last 30+ years helping providers optimize RCM without upending their operations, we understand how painful change can be. We also know it doesn’t have to be. There’s an easy way to unleash your A/R team and boost revenues without making a single change to your existing EHR setup.
Want to learn more? Subscribe to the OS blog to catch the next post in our RCM Reality Check series. We’ll explain how you can help your collectors handle heavy account volumes with ease—and increase their engagement and productivity.
Disclaimer: Ontario Systems is a technology company and provides this blog article solely for general informational and marketing purposes. You should not rely on the content of this material for any other purpose or as specific guidance for your company. Ontario Systems’ advice, services, tools and products described herein do not guarantee compliance with any law or industry standard. You are ultimately responsible for your own company’s actions and compliance efforts. Because everyone’s situation is different, you must consult your own attorneys, accountants, and/or other advisors to obtain specific advice on your company’s compliance, legal, tax, regulatory and/or other business needs. Despite Ontario Systems’ efforts to provide current and up-to-date information, you need to recognize that the information contained herein may become outdated quickly and may contain errors and/or other inaccuracies.
© 2019 Ontario Systems, LLC. All rights reserved. Information contained in this document is subject to change. Reproduction of this publication is not permitted without the express permission of Ontario Systems, LLC.
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