In most healthcare organizations, such as hospitals and nursing homes, medical billing and collection staff have among the highest rates of turnover. However, these employees are crucial to the continued operation and success of any healthcare business or medical facility.
These employees, often called the patient access staff, do not always get the opportunity to develop and foster meaningful, long-term relationships with your patients or engage with them in any way other than requesting payment.
You already know that revenue cycle management (RCM) is an important part of healthcare IT. It can ultimately lower your administrative costs and enhance the revenue cycle and your reimbursement. But it’s worth noting that earning healthy and stable revenues for your practice does not simply stop at medical coding and billing.
If your healthcare organization wants to realize its maximum revenue potential, you have to marry excellent patient care with optimal revenue cycle management. This involves providing top-notch patient access solutions and improving your patients’ experience.
In a fraught, expensive, and complicated industry landscape, healthcare system and administration leaders in the United States increasingly must operate on thin profit margins with dwindling resources. However, you cannot overlook the value and importance that better patient access and patient experience can have for your organization’s financial success and wellbeing. This is especially true when unprecedented changes, like the COVID-19 pandemic, compromise access in new ways.
So, why are patient access and patient experience solutions essential to revenue cycle management success?
What is Patient Access?
Typically, patient access involves patient scheduling, financial clearance, registration, and patient collection. It also includes charge capture, medical coding, clinical documentation integrity, and case management. Keep in mind that during the patient access process, various revenue cycle groups have the opportunity to get medical billing and their reimbursement right.
For example, enrollment is an excellent opportunity to capture and confirm your patients’ demographic information and insurance information. This is significant data that you will require later for a precise and complete reimbursement, and it applies to other patient access and contact services, as well.
Too often, health systems only focus on healthcare RCM and fail to realize the importance of revenue cycle opportunities that come with better patient access. If you want to improve your revenue cycle management through patient access, you first have to understand the important relationship between them.
Importance of Patient Access to Successful RCM
Patient access is imperative to successful RCM. This is because if patients can’t access care at a health system, your medical organization can’t generate income from offering care or performing medical procedures. It is worth noting that in many healthcare organizations, such as psychiatric facilities, patient access teams are the unsung heroes, yet they often receive the least amount of training. A lack of patient access training can disrupt your revenue cycle success and even patient satisfaction.
No part of your revenue cycle – including medical billing and insurance, payments, and financial clearance – can occur unless your health system adequately cares for patients. And adequate patient access will also help your health system respond more rapidly and effectively to challenges like the coronavirus. For instance, by leveraging virtual access, your health system can seamlessly convert in-person visits to remote telehealth visits.
In a challenging and unprecedented time with many limitations from the pandemic, your organization can still generate stable income and streamline revenue cycle performance via patient-centered access. Advancing access through consistency and responsiveness, while optimizing resources to better reflect availability accurately, can lead to an effective and efficient patient-centered access center where your health system can easily understand, review, and track all patient access entry points.
Patient Experience and RCM
With medical coding and billing, claims submissions, and all of the other moving parts that tend to make up the revenue cycle, the last place some medical providers look to focus on when attempting to enhance their revenue cycle is the patient experience.
If you view patient care and customer service practice as a second-tier consideration, your practice will likely miss many revenue opportunities. There is no doubt that the experience your patients have at your office or hospital can play a pivotal role in revenue generation.
Hospitals, clinics, and health systems should identify new and innovative ways to align their revenue cycle processes and procedures with consumer demands. This is because, ultimately, enhancing your patients’ experience will help boost your bottom line.
Steps to Create a Smooth and Efficient Revenue Cycle
- Set a positive tone for your whole patient experience
- Complete your patients’ financial clearance process correctly
- Collect relevant monies due at the time of service
- Locate a third-party vendor or provider that can automate your needs
- Educate and train your staff on patient engagement, patient experience, and collections
Consider Outsourcing Medical Billing, RCM, and Patient Access
Patient access has become crucial to a health system’s ability to proactively offer access while achieving a better bottom line.
Medical billing and RCM outsourcing in the U.S. is now quite common. If you do not have the internal expertise, consider outsourcing medical billing, revenue cycle management, risk adjustment, and patient access to a single vendor, such as GeBBS, which takes a holistic and comprehensive approach to the revenue cycle. They will incorporate solutions that positively impact across your entire process, from patient access to payment resolution.
Outsourcing these functions generates significant cost savings and better outcomes for your practice because of superior systems, streamlined processes, cutting-edge technologies, and economies of scale.
Improve Cash Flow
When you outsource your healthcare RCM, medical billing, and coding, your doctors will not be anxious or concerned about administrative work. Things like insurance verification and accounts receivable collections become your outsourcing partner’s responsibility, so you will not have to deal with them, saving time and money in the process.
You may be surprised to learn that it’s considerably less expensive to hire a medical billing and coding company than hiring and training new billers and coders for your medical practice. This is because an employee comes with overhead expenses like insurance, salary, other benefits, and training costs, and you can avoid these costs by outsourcing medical billing and coding.
Prioritize Patient Care
With your revenue cycle management and billing partner helping you get paid, you can focus your attention on providing all your patients with top-notch medical care and an improved experience.
GeBBS is one of the leading healthcare revenue cycle management companies providing RCM and patient access technology and solutions to enhance patient care. By partnering with GeBBS, you can eliminate the administrative workload and hassle associated with dealing with several vendors and minimize organizational silos.
Patients now expect greater transparency and engagement in order to better understand the financial components of their care. GeBBS’ RCM and patient access solutions combine accurate data, industry expertise, and valuable insights to provide you with better patient engagement.
GeBBS provides an exceptional patient experience with a team of highly skilled customer-service professionals. We utilize technology-enabled services to guide and support patients through the end-to-end process of scheduling, eligibility verification, pre-authorization, and self-pay collections. Our dedicated patient contact service experts combined with our team of staffed RNs substantially reduce turnaround times for insurance eligibility and pre-authorization approvals while significantly improving collection outcomes, accuracy of resolution and overall patient satisfaction. Contact us to request a consultation today.