Updated: Nov 4
Revenue Cycle Management Is Not Just Transactional Anymore
As healthcare costs continue to rapidly rise and patient responsibility increases, providers are facing challenges on how to get positive operating costs by employing an efficient Revenue Cycle Management solution and processes. Revenue Cycle Management involves everything from clinical and administrative functions to most importantly, the patient intake process.
However, when the revenue cycle is seen as a cost center by most organizations, thus minimizing operational costs, this becomes the core determinant of the management decisions. It is the wrong move as we are in the era of consumerism, where interactions with the revenue cycle staff affect both the revenue and how patients react towards the healthcare organization and the provider – i.e. The Patient Experience factor.
Importance of Viewing Revenue Cycle as More Than Transactional
When health practitioners start seeing revenue cycle as a value-added function or service for their patients, this allows them to:
● Engage better with their clients (patients)
● Think creatively about how they can view the revenue cycle as a value-added function.
● Improve patient balance collections by making patients feel more cared for by the organization and its staff.
The most key factor Healthcare organizations face today is the Patient Experience. However, most organizations fail to properly include the revenue cycle experience in their customer experience as the organization defines it.
They fail to understand that by offering consumers wonderful experiences from a health care perspective but giving them a less than desirable experience during the registration, billing, communication, and collection processes, everything else loses its positive perception. Revenue Cycle should, therefore, go in line with clinical care if health practitioners wish to enhance their consumer experience and bottom line.
Patient Engagement and The Patient Experience
Cash flow is vital in all industries, including healthcare. The most vital aspect to practice efficiency is the medical collection and billing process. Improving workflow helps practitioners increase their income and enhance time management.
To achieve this, medical professionals need to create a positive and engaging experience with their patients and staff. They should focus on a patient-centric offering to help lower costs and increase their patient return rates. It is also a wonderful way to create a foundation for solid payment collections. A self-service culture is a great starting point.
The most successful practices offer patients an effortless way to schedule online appointments, send an email, and text appointment reminders that help reduce no-shows while encouraging mobile pre-check-in and at the same time provide multiple ways to pay the bill when the time comes.
Providers should think about how simple the registration process is and have a process for patients and staff to check their insurance eligibility once they make an appointment. In your organization:
1. Do you offer patients a chance to fill out online intake forms before their appointments?
2. Do you promote patient feedback on every engagement?
3. Do your patients understand their bill and patient responsibility?
4. Do you have easy-to-understand payment guidelines?
5. Do your patients feel they are getting the attention from your practice they need?
6. Do you routinely or as a practice follow up with patients?
7. Do you have a virtual care model or plan for your practice?
The Importance of Capturing All Patient Information Accurately Upfront
Capturing patient demographics, checking eligibility with Medicare and Medicaid, and collecting all the correct information for each visit is vital to your bottom line, accounts receivable, and the patient experience with your practice or organization and the Patient Experience. Taking a minute upfront to ensure all the patient demographics are captured properly and making sure they are eligible for services they are to be seen for by the provider such as annual visits under Medicare will improve your bottom line. One item to note: It is important that Medicaid and Medicare eligibility be checked directly on their website and not through the EMR or Practice Management as those are often not up to date in terms of patient eligibility.
The Importance of Multiple Payment Options
Payment collection is expansive across all industries. Patients use at least three distinct methods to pay bills, including their medical balances. With patients having multiple payment methods, doctors should accept them to make the payment process seamless.
It would be sad to see your patients get dismayed once you explain that you only accept credit cards, yet they do not have one but would prefer using an e-wallet to settle their bills. Some common payment options to consider adding to your list of accepted options include Apple Pay, PayPal or paying by phone, and other 2021 payment options.
The addition of e-wallets or current pay methods such as PayPal and Apple Pay will decrease your labor on collections and improve your accounts receivable.
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