10 ways COVID-19 will revolutionize the revenue cycle

Hospital administrators and revenue cycle leaders are coping with unforeseen pressures from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Kristen Jacobsen, the vice president of marketing and product management at RevSpring, said during a Sept. 15 webinar hosted by Becker's Hospital Review that these pressures are pushing revenue cycle departments to drive wide-spread adoption of processes that are long overdue.

"COVID-19 is having some positive impact on key initiatives that have been on the books for revenue cycle optimization for years, but have been a challenge to prioritize," Ms. Jacobsen said. "What's clear to us is COVID-19 is driving smart change that's going to be critical to weather the pandemic."

Here are 10 ways COVID-19 is transforming the revenue cycle:

1. Leaders are maximizing value from current products. Providers are turning to broadcast messaging technology to distribute mass appointment cancellations and are using payment portals to provide guidance about telemedicine services.

2. There's a renewed emphasis on avoiding waste. As providers grapple with revenue shortfalls, they're prioritizing waste elimination and ensuring their touchpoints are more efficient without negatively affecting revenue cycle management.

3. Providers will rely more on digital engagement. Whether it's scheduling, billing or collecting, digital is quickly becoming the new standard for healthcare financial engagement and will be used to increase patient engagement. 

4. Understanding patient demand though data is paramount. Through new data techniques, providers are gaining more insight into what their patients' needs and demands are, even if they aren't physically present at their facilities. 

5. Leaders will see technology as a way to keep patients safe. Eliminating direct contact with patients for tasks that can be completed electronically — like taking copayments and appointment check-ins — will help slow the spread of COVID-19 and other viruses.

6. Scrutiny of vendor partnerships will increase. Providers depend on partnerships to help them navigate change and reach their long-term goals and will increasingly use performance benchmarks to evaluate their return on investment.

7. Artificial intelligence is changing the game. Healthcare leaders and revenue cycle managers have realized manual tasks can't be operationalized. Instead, they're turning to workflow automation to reduce errors and improve accuracy. 

8. Leaders will integrate data from multiple vendors. As automated workflows become the norm, providers must take stock of their virtual apps and address interoperability issues within their EHRs, revenue cycle tools and digital infrastructure.

9. Buying criteria for technology will change. Increasingly, hospitals will look to their peers for decision-making support and will expect vendor employees to be able to work remotely without compromising data integrity.

10. End-to-end solutions will be favored. Driving this trend is a need for data consolidation and a seamless patient experience. 

To view the webinar, click here.

To learn more about RevSpring, click here.

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