Automate Revenue Cycle Tasks to Improve Efficiency

Posted in Revenue Cycle Management (RCM)

Efficient revenue cycle management (RCM) is a cornerstone of effective patient care and provider profitability. Unifying healthcare’s clinical and business facets via a fully integrated RCM solution allows medical professionals to provide the best patient experience possible while simultaneously optimizing the revenue stream.

One key to unlocking the potential of your revenue cycle is RCM automation. While many tasks associated with the healthcare revenue cycle still require a human touch, others can be partially or totally automated to reduce staff burden, improve workflow, increase profitability and enhance the patient experience.

Opportunities for Automating Within an RCM Solution

Before taking a closer look at the benefits of RCM automation, it’s important to consider some of the myriad opportunities for automation within an end-to-end RCM service.

Following are just a few examples:

Scheduling

To outsiders, healthcare scheduling may seem like a simple task. In reality, it requires vigilance to ensure accurate registration and proper appointment lengths, and to minimize patient wait time.

Scheduling is one area in which medical RCM automation has excelled. A comprehensive RCM solution accounts for patient data, patient flow, seasonality and other factors. This helps smooth out scheduling spikes and diminishes the associated workload and stress on physicians and other staff members.

Payment Pre-authorization

One of the biggest opportunities for medical RCM automation is the pre-authorization process for insurance or other health plans such as Medicare.

Failures at the pre-authorization stage can lead to multiple downstream challenges including claim denials and appeals, delayed payments, and decreased patient satisfaction. Automating aspects of pre-authorization can help guarantee that subsequent steps in the revenue cycle progress in a timely manner.

Medical Coding and Automation

While automation cannot replace a knowledgeable and dedicated medical billing and medical coding team, automation can help that team become more accurate and efficient.

One recent survey found that some medical billing and coding teams spend 25% of their days — at least two hours for most — dealing with “repetitive, structured and standardized” tasks. This equates to hundreds of hours per employee lost to data entry that automation could handle methodically and precisely.

Another recent study examined the variations in costs related to medical coding mistakes and found a single error that cost a practice over $10,000. And that’s just one error.

Even for practices that aren’t ready to embrace full automation, automating medical coding tasks is worth considering. Coding errors cause more than two-thirds of improper payments, and even the most experienced coders can fall victim to human error.

Fortunately, medical RCM automation can be the answer to overcoming these mistakes. In addition to reducing errors, medical coding automation offers the following benefits:

  • Scalability so a provider is not always dependent on skilled personnel
  • Removal of dirty data from medical systems
  • Prompt payments thanks to accurate and timely statements
  • Real-time audits
  • Decreased transition challenges and costs related to new code sets
  • Reduced disputes and support queries

Improved coding is just one advantage of medical RCM automation, but it’s one of the most significant benefits. To get the most value out of automated tools, though, it’s crucial to use solutions that communicate with one another. Piecing together a patchwork of revenue cycle management tools from different sources can reduce the financial benefits of automation.

Benefits of Automating RCM Tasks

Medical RCM automation provides an abundance of benefits. One of the most vital is improving the patient experience. By automating tasks that typically need human input, a practice can free up team members for other duties that have a greater impact on patient care.

Some of the most notable benefits of medical RCM automation, though, relate directly to the revenue cycle and profitability. For instance, a recent study found that automating just nine common administrative transactions could save the healthcare industry more than $16.3 billion:

  1. Eligibility and benefit verification
  2. Pre-authorization
  3. Claim submission
  4. Attachments
  5. Acknowledgments
  6. Coordination of benefits
  7. Claim status inquiry
  8. Claim payment
  9. Remittance advice

With RCM automation, it’s possible to be more efficient in these and many other areas. Automation of just a few tasks has far-reaching advantages to healthcare workers, patients and a provider’s bottom line.

Automation and artificial intelligence (AI) are the future when it comes to healthcare RCM, and an end-to-end RCM system can integrate and perform various tasks that would otherwise be conducted by multiple sources. This allows accurate and effective data collection among other advantages, and that data can further be used to drive decisions that improve the revenue cycle, increase profits and better the patient experience.

Take Advantage of Healthcare RCM Automation Today

Accurate processing and timely payment receipts benefit healthcare organizations and patients alike, and automation offers numerous opportunities to strengthen the revenue cycle and augment the patient experience.

GeBBS Healthcare Solutions offers inclusive and scalable RCM systems with the automation tools healthcare providers need to amplify their productivity and improve their profitability. A leader in RCM technology and health information management (HIM) services, GeBBS is ready to help you maximize your revenue cycle.

To learn more, request a consultation today.

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