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Healthcare Industry Labor Shortage: Six Reasons for Providers to Automate and Outsource Revenue Cycle Management

With the Covid-19 pandemic, the demand for healthcare services has increased, but the workforce has not kept pace. The industry was already facing a labor shortage prior to the pandemic, but the crisis has exacerbated the issue. In the past two years, the U.S. healthcare industry lost nearly 20% of its total workforce. This stark reality has left providers struggling to keep up with patient demand. The issue has been particularly acute in revenue cycle management (RCM). The pandemic has disrupted traditional revenue streams and created new challenges in RCM. But thanks to artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), providers can now outsource RCM to technology-enabled companies that automate and streamline the revenue cycle.


What Exactly Is Revenue Cycle Management, And Why Is It So Important?



Revenue cycle management is the process of managing a healthcare organization’s revenue. This includes everything from patient scheduling and registration to billing and collections. The goal of RCM is to optimize revenue and improve cash flow. In the past, RCM was largely manual and time-consuming. But with the advent of AI and ML, it is now possible to automate many of the tasks involved in RCM. This includes insurance verification, claim submission, and denial management. Outsourcing RCM to a technology-enabled company has many benefits, including:


First: Improved Cash Flow

When RCM is automated, claims are processed more quickly and efficiently. This results in shorter payment cycles and faster reimbursement from payers. Imagine not having to wait for 30, 60, or even 90 days for reimbursement. This can make a huge difference for providers, especially small and mid-sized practices. It’s no surprise that 98% of healthcare providers “have plans to use AI in RCM within the next three years.” The facts are clear: automating RCM results in faster and more consistent cash flow. Organizations that outsource RCM to technology-enabled companies will find themselves at a competitive advantage as they will have more working capital to invest in other areas of their business.


Second: Reduced Costs

Another benefit of outsourcing RCM is reduced costs. When RCM is automated, there are fewer errors and denials. This leads to lower overall costs for the healthcare organization. In addition, technology-enabled RCM companies often offer pricing models based on a percentage of collections. This means that providers only pay for the services when they actually receive reimbursement from payers. This is a significant benefit for cash-strapped healthcare organizations. A recent study projected the value of AI in healthcare to increase from nearly $5 billion today to over $45 billion by 2026. Such rapid growth is largely due to the fact that AI can help reduce costs while improving the quality of care.


Third: Improved Patient Satisfaction



When RCM is automated, patients are more likely to have a positive experience. This is because they will receive their bills sooner and have fewer problems with insurance reimbursement. In addition, automated RCM systems can help providers better manage their schedules. This means that patients are less likely to experience long wait times or cancellations. Expect fewer calls to the front desk and fewer frustrated patients.


Fourth: Increased Staff Satisfaction

Outsourcing RCM can also lead to increased staff satisfaction. This is because automated RCM systems take on many of the tedious and time-consuming tasks that staff members are currently responsible for. For example, if insurance verification is automated, staff members will have more time to focus on patient care. In addition, by outsourcing RCM, organizations can free up staff members to pursue other revenue-generating activities, such as opening new clinics or expanding services. A happy and productive staff leads to less turnover and a better bottom line. According to Forbes, 28 percent of those who left their jobs after the pandemic cited “burnout” as the primary reason. A more efficient RCM system can help reduce staff burnout and turnover.


Fifth: Increased Efficiency and Productivity

It’s not just the staff that will be more efficient and productive when RCM is automated. The entire organization will see an increase in efficiency. This is because technology-enabled RCM companies have access to the latest tools and technologies. They also have a team of experts who constantly work to improve processes and workflow. As a result, they can get the job done faster and more efficiently. This increased efficiency will free up time for providers to see more patients and generate more revenue


Sixth: Improved Quality of Care



Lastly, as discussed briefly above, automating RCM can lead to improved quality of care. When providers have more working capital, they can invest in new technologies and hire additional staff. This leads to a higher standard of care for patients. In addition, when RCM is automated, there are fewer errors and denials. This means that patients are more likely to receive the care they need in a timely manner. Think of it this way: if your car needs a new engine, you’ll want to take it to a mechanic who has the latest tools and technology. The same is true for your health. You want to go to a provider who has the latest resources and uses the best possible practices. and patient demand. “AI is on the cusp of becoming pervasive in hospital RCM,” read a recent report by Change Healthcare, “with two-thirds of providers already using it in some way and nearly all expecting to use it within the next three years.” In brief, the current labor shortage in the healthcare industry has created challenges for providers, especially pertaining to RCM. Outsourcing RCM and using automation are the suitable choice for providers at this juncture as it can lead to reduced costs, improved patient satisfaction, increased staff satisfaction, increased efficiency and productivity, and improved quality of care. Providers should reach out to technology-enabled RCM companies such as HealthRecon Connect to help automate their RCM. Based in Texas, HealthRecon Connect uses the latest tools and technologies to help providers get paid faster and improve their bottom line. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you automate your revenue cycle management.

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