Providers face steep RCM challenges
As more provider revenue comes from patients, providers must find ways to encourage payment before the bill turns into bad debt.
Sound familiar? If you’ve been reading our blog with any regularity, it should. Just last month we posted Avoid bad debt writeoffs: communication is key, by our VP of Sales, Kent Smith, who wrote:
Providers are thinking a lot more about bad debt write-offs than they have in the past. With the move toward high-deductible health plans (HDHPs), where patients are now responsible for more of the financial aspects of their care, the often-unavoidable write-offs are just a fact of life, right?
Hopefully not, Kent asserted, answering his own question before offering thoughts about the importance of a sound self pay strategy.
But the opening quote above is not from one of our writings; it’s from HealthDataManagement.com (HDM) in a blog titled Providers Unprepared for Revenue Cycle Changes.
HDM offers a glimpse into the findings of a recent HIMSS Revenue Cycle Improvement Taskforce report, which concluded that, as the title would suggest, most providers aren’t ready for the changes happening in healthcare (i.e., the increase in consumer payments, reduced reimbursement rates, constantly changing regulations and shifting consumer expectations), and “the current approach to ‘bolting on’ new technologies and reworking internal processes will not sufficiently address these challenges.”
This particular contention from the report rang true for us: …providers have designed their revenue cycle systems and process around business-to-business relationships with government and commercial insurers. Now, they need new ways of doing [business] with consumers…
One final note: neither the blog nor the report squarely address the importance of cash preparation. Perhaps it’s because cash prep is our business, but we can’t imagine a provider feeling “ready” for revenue cycle changes without a sound strategy for accumulating and protecting cash reserves. No question, every provider is going to need it.