Not everything can and should be automated. This is especially true for a Health System’s revenue cycle. Although technology is perfectly suited to manage certain tasks, other jobs are best left in the hands of your staff. Still, just because something isn’t a good fit for automation, doesn’t mean your revenue cycle staff can’t use technology to get the job done more efficiently. In this blog, we’ll discuss three ways to empower your staff with the right technology to boost revenue cycle efficiency, from pre-service to post-service.
1) Complement estimators with self-service payment options.
Today, almost all patients, 99 percent according to our patient survey, want better pre-service communication about costs and payment options. Yet, most estimator tools lack integration with existing payment options, let alone self-service payment options. This means the burden is on staff to collect payments at pre-service. Furthermore, the workflow for accepting and posting the payment can be unnecessarily complex.
Instead, integration with an estimator should be single sign on and support real-time data exchange. This minimizes any complications to your staff’s workflow. After running the estimate, leverage digital channels like email or text to communicate estimated fees to patients. Reinforce these communications with self-service payment tools and affordable payment options. This helps establish a patient’s commitment to pay sooner without any additional work for staff, enhancing revenue cycle efficiency.
2) Use business rules and real-time payment reports to improve performance at POS.
When we surveyed providers earlier this year, they revealed that collecting payments upfront and improving service at POS were top priorities this year. However, disparate revenue cycle systems and workflows make it hard for staff to accept and post payments, resulting in missed payment opportunities.
Not only should staff have payments embedded in their workflow, they should also have flexible payment options embedded, like payment plans. Affordability is patients’ number one concern. To collect more payments upfront, Health Systems must address affordability. Empowering staff to do this is easier than ever with dynamic business rules. By establishing business rules based on bill balance, staff can confidently select the payment option that works best for the patient.
Many Health Systems also lack an up-to-date view of staff performance, making it difficult to improve revenue cycle efficiency. Reporting is a task that can be automated with technology and real-time automated reporting analytics support better performance management. With real-time payment reports, Health Systems can quickly identify staff training opportunities and provide incentives to drive revenue cycle efficiency. Learn more about the value of payment reporting in our latest interview with Healthcare Finance News.
3) Automate posting and reconciliation.
Managing disparate revenue cycle systems doesn’t just complicate workflows for your staff, it also leads to posting and reconciliation complexities. For large Health Systems, posting and reconciliation is a highly manual, time- and staff-intensive process.
To maximize your revenue cycle efficiency, you need proven integrations that facilitate enterprise-wide connectivity for patient payments. This supports automated payment posting with one fully reconciled deposit per day that includes all payment forms and transaction types.
This also reduces the risk of manual errors, as well as processing times. As a result, Health Systems streamline revenue cycle management and increase operational efficiencies.
Technology has the power to generate efficiencies within your Health System’s revenue cycle, but this requires a strategic approach in how you apply technology. By following these simple guidelines, your Health System can empower staff with the right tools to ensure revenue cycle efficiency while delivering a modern payment experience for each patient.