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Revenue Cycle Management Trends In 2020

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Jessica Shaw

While the world is still recovering from the impacts of COVID and continuing to adapt to the "new normal", the healthcare industry is facing permanent changes that will affect how providers deliver services, what patients will expect as well as why payors and developers will need to implement more intuitive tools to keep up with an evolving virtual care environment. As the pandemic has caused fear, panic and confusion, these feelings have influenced patient behaviors which ultimately help us identify the progressive needs of healthcare consumers. Keep reading to explore 6 upcoming as well as current RCM, Billing and Collections trends!

Redefining Patient Experiences

New patient expectations for scheduling flexibility, better affordability and increased availability have altered the traditional patient/provider encounter, making it more collaborative rather than just transactional. However, with 66% of patients considering switching providers for a better payment experience (1) it is important to recognize the need for more convenient and accessible patient payment options. By simplifying bill formats, utilizing e-statements and offering personalized payment plans, providers will be better equipped to tackle issues of price transparency while still maintaining the quality of services delivered (2). 

Automating Tasks and Workflows

With higher service volumes and increasing operating margins due to the influx of COVID patients, medical facilities around the world are experiencing surges in patient revenue (3) which means more bills to file and more claims to manage. To keep up with demand, providers should seek out technology-enabled solutions that will streamline task management through the use of automated workflows, productivity metrics and comprehensive reporting (4). All of these configurable processes will also help avoid the negative effects of insurers’ cost reduction plans as well as improve the chance for reimbursements (2). Even though 87% of providers still manually use paper bills (1), high level automation will allow businesses to better monitor denials, regulate claim submissions and optimize AR cash flow. 

Simplifying Financial Data

Instead of conventional “data mining”, powerful business intelligence and analytics platforms give providers easy access to both financial and operational insights. Interactive reporting features like customizable dashboards, extensive drill down menus and calculated key performance indicators (KPI) give providers the ability to aggregate multiple pieces of information all at once (4). This saves them from tedious digging and affords more time to focus on actionable takeaways.

Overcoming Collection Challenges 

74% of providers take more than a month to collect patient payments while 78% cannot collect patient balances over $1,000 in 30 days (1). These collection challenges prove just how much payment options matter to patients who are struggling to pay off impending medical debt. In fact, while 37% of patients prefer to pay online (5), a majority of consumers were surprised by medical bills (1) but only 33% had plans to communicate with their provider about the final bill (5). Due to this lack of engagement, providers need to offer more financing options (2) and enforce financial clearances or pre-registration processes that encourage patient payment responsibility (4). Click here to learn more about patient revenue cycle tips.

Facing Demand For Outsourced RCM Services

Along with automation and advanced analytics, outsourced RCM services such as payment posting, AR follow-up and medical credentialing are becoming increasingly attractive to providers who want to gain more efficiencies as well as increase staff productivity (3). With competitive, third-party help from these outsourcing companies, providers can also keep up with the latest billing and coding trends (2).

Pushing For Patient Engagement

In addition to telehealth and other forms of direct engagement, methods of patient management like scheduling and billing also contribute to the overall healthcare experience. Since 83% of consumers prefer electronic forms of payment (1), patients are beginning to heavily rely on digital resources and expect to view statements, manage past due balances, enroll in payment plans as well as pay their bills all in one place. While 86% of payors prioritize these patient preferences, only 23% of providers offer E-Statements (1) which means less accommodations for patients and lower retention rates. Learn how to maintain the financial health of your business during a pandemic.

Sources

(1) https://www.instamed.com/white-papers/trends-in-healthcare-payments-annual-report/

(2) https://sybridmd.com/blogs/general/5-rcm-trends-that-will-define-2020-for-medical-practices/

(3) https://hmi-corp.com/revenue-cycle-management-rcm-trends-for-2020/

(4)https://www.idigitalhealth.com/news/rcm-business-trends-influence-practice-management-2020

(5)https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/waystar-survey-examines-state-of-the-patient-financial-experience-300896915.html


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