By Teri Gatchel-Schmidt, vice president, consulting and business development, SYNERGEN Health.
Almost a quarter of U.S. national health expenditures go toward administrative costs. In revenue cycle, rising costs continue to escalate which negatively impacts the bottom line. There is a silver lining in all of this; as a potential recession looms, these costs can be reduced with automation.
By simplifying daily routine tasks with automated tools like robotic process automation (RPA) and machine learning (ML), nationwide spend could be reduced from 25% of the national healthcare expenditure to 18%.
Automation: The key to improving efficiency
As it stands, manual revenue cycle processes burdens staff with repetitive, mundane tasks, causing staff burnout. Additionally, the reimbursement landscape evolves in complexity year after year. Staffing issues also continue to plague health systems, leaving chief financial officers playing defense, with high turnover rates causing a decrease in productivity and an increase in aged receivables.
When it comes down to it, organizations must either add more resources to support the manual way of working – which can prove to be costly and inefficient – or invest in automation. Simply put, revenue cycle is ripe for automation which results in reducing cost-to-collect and creating large-scale cost savings throughout the revenue cycle. When pairing automated technology with best practices to empower operational teams, revenue cycle leaders will streamline workflows to reduce manual work and increase efficiency, all while boosting revenue.
Many providers are not fully aware of just how deeply denied claims can affect their bottom line. According to HFMA, providers lose nearly $5 million on average per year due to claim denials.
With ever-changing reimbursement and collection requirements, providers and their staff need tools to analyze and prevent denials to reduce the workload required to avoid an increase in denials.Instead of assigning denial management and appeals to staff members, providers should look to automation as a champion for claims and denials management.