Tag: revenue cycle

Payment Technology Key to Patient Experience and Financial Responsibility

Guest post by Jeff Fountaine, director of healthcare, Ingenico Group.

Jeff Fountaine

In 2017, the healthcare industry is continuing to discuss the major shifts that are taking place around a patient’s financial responsibility. While it’s important to acknowledge that these discussions have been largely driven by significant changes to reimbursement models, it’s imperative that we look beyond this single causation. Financial responsibility involves more than simply making and collecting payments.

Consider these figures:

As a result, healthcare providers are managing much higher transaction volumes from patients, which is causing them to rethink their approach to collecting payments. A new approach requires a deep dive into payment security, PCI scope, EMV and workflow changes – a challenging proposition to say the least.

To understand these challenges and how healthcare providers are responding, let’s take a look at some of the top revenue cycle trends in the industry.

Key Revenue Cycle Trends

Bloomberg recently reported that the second-biggest for profit U.S. hospital chain revised its Q4 2015 provisions for bad debt up by $169 million. Forty percent, or $68 million, was from patients that were unable to pay deductibles and co-payments.

In a similar fashion, J.P. Morgan’s Key Trends in Healthcare Patient Payments report pointed out that the rate of bad debt for insured patients is increasing by over 30 percent per year at some hospitals.

Not surprisingly, these and other challenges stemming from increased patient responsibility are dominating the 2017 revenue cycle management agenda for senior finance executives in healthcare. Among the top revenue cycle initiatives for 2017 are several related to payments:

  1. Preventing or resolving underpayments
  2. Lowering the cost to collect patient payments
  3. Increasing collection rates among insured patients
  4. Collecting more balances at the point of service

Understanding the role of payment technologies

At its highest level, payment technology plays an important role in advancing revenue cycle initiatives and addressing increases in patient responsibility. Most importantly, the technologies offer patients easy and secure payment options at multiple touchpoints within the continuum of care.

Below are a few of the ways payment technologies help healthcare institutions achieve their revenue cycle objectives while improving the patient experience:

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Taming the Revenue Cycle Beast: Leveraging Same-day Billing Strategies to Improve Cash Flow

Allison Errickson
Allison Errickson

Guest post by Allison Errickson, CPC-H, director of coding compliance, ProVation Medical, with Wolters Kluwer Health.

Never before have effective revenue cycle management strategies been so critical to future positioning in hospitals and health networks. In today’s lean environment of declining and unpredictable reimbursement, effective oversight of timely billing practices can simply be a make or break element to success.

Because the revenue cycle is dependent on the time-to-bill for procedures and diagnostic care, healthcare organizations must enact processes to support the most efficient coding practices to speed receipt of payment. Success in this area remains an obstacle for many organizations struggling with how to allocate limited resources to ensure the most accurate coding and efficient turn-around.

Denials plague the industry in terms of maintaining consistent cash flow. Inaccurate or incomplete documentation can impact as much as 5 percent of revenues if a healthcare organization is experiencing denial rates of 25 percent or more. Revenue is also negatively impacted when documentation does not support the highest level of acuity, minimizing reimbursement potential.

While accurate documentation remains an ongoing issue, resource allocation to effectively address the issue will likely be further impacted with the introduction of ICD-10. The industry has been granted a reprieve with the recent deadline extension of Oct. 1, 2015, but the reality of the transition will be coming into focus very soon. Coding challenges will be exacerbated as coders will now have 72,000 unique procedure codes to choose from, increasing the complexities associated with specificity and accurately coding to the highest level of reimbursement.

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