Healthcare revenue cycle management needs to be automated! Revving up the revenue cycle or optimizing cash flow by cutting down on the time between patient-related services and monetary collections is critical. Hospitals, medical clinics, physicians, and other healthcare service providers need technology, specifically automation, for revenue cycle management to assure best practices in financial performance.
One technology at the forefront of healthcare automation, robotic process automation (RPA), has the immediate potential to not only make your clinic, hospital or healthcare organization run more efficiently, but, when applied to healthcare revenue cycle management, it can shorten your revenue cycle significantly! One way RPA does this is by increasing returns through revenue-generating reminders; another way is by freeing up staff to be more productive elsewhere. These examples are only for starters. Much of RPA capabilities remain untapped and underutilized.
Robotic process automation, applied to healthcare revenue cycle management, is the next logical step for the healthcare industry. Revenue Cycle Best Practices, to include robotic process automation, is where everything is heading. It is the future.
Common processes in healthcare automation
Many healthcare processes in hospitals, clinics, and other organizations already rely on healthcare automation in various ways. For example, when patients forget their appointments, the expected revenue for that time frame is lost. Automated reminders can be set to notify patients at their convenience, increasing the likelihood that they do not miss their appointments. Annual reminders can also be automatically sent to patients who have not been seen in your clinic or hospital for an extended period and are due for an exam or other disease management activities.
Automated patient health surveys help generate revenue by gauging patient satisfaction with your practice or clinic. Will the patient come again? Will the patient recommend a friend? Where would the patient like to see improvements? Patient portals can be set up to accept payments and give patients access to their EHR records without requiring lengthy phone conversations. These portals can also be set to update automatically.
Automatic prescription refills, without the input or phone calls of an employee, is another way robotic process automation helps budget time for staff, time better utilized elsewhere.
Healthcare revenue cycle management incorporates all these processes and more, expanding the entire automated process into a virtual assistant.
Healthcare revenue cycle management automation
RPA is already being used to perform routine tasks in every major industry. It uses scripted processes to deliver messages to consumers and perform routine tasks such as generating reports or making automated calls. It can monetize through patient reminders, can extract data for regulatory reporting, and order supplies.
Unlike artificial intelligence processes, RPA is not used for tasks that require cognitive skills; instead, best practices usage are tasks and activities that are predictable and highly repetitive.
Many opportunities for automation presented in the healthcare industry meet many capabilities of RPA already in use by other industries, the potential for improvement is high. The greatest outlet for unleashing the full power of RPA is to use it to shorten the revenue cycle, ultimately increasing profits.
Here are a few ways RPA can shorten the healthcare revenue cycle:
- Reduces the time and labor for manual data entry.
- Reduces the time and labor required for staff to engage in phone calls and tracking.
- Automates claim tracking.
- Cuts down on costly and time-consuming human errors.
- Improves customer service and customer experience.
- Assists with pre-authorization.
- Increases collection rates.
- Cuts down on missed appointments and the resulting lost revenue.
- Provides the necessary data to make organizational improvements.
- Culls data for regulatory reports.
- Reorders supplies without human interface.
Revenue cycle assessment – the next step
Currently, your revenue cycle management may be focused on just the traditional billing and collection process. It may even include some automated processes. Or does it? This case study demonstrates how assessments & benchmarking improves medical group cash flow. It shows how in just 6 months, an additional $2 Million was collected, and the days in AR were reduced to 50! Imagine what may be possible and expected as a result of the next iteration of automation in healthcare!
Evaluating your medical practice and auditing the billing and collection process, may be one of the best next steps to get ready for more automation.