5 recent RCM tips

Here are five revenue cycle management tips from industry experts, published by Becker's Hospital Review since Jan. 19.

1. "Though it can be challenging in many ways, the good news is that with focus on training and oversight during patient registration, [urgent care facilities] have control over … revenue cycle. The patient experience is critical in the urgent care setting, so … be sure you put the right staff in place to oversee this important and high-profile position.

"Then, require they be trained — not just on how to greet patients — but also on tasks like verifying insurance coverage to make sure they have active coverage with a plan your clinic contracts with. Using real-time verification, you'll not only verify coverage, but can determine patient responsibility from the outset, and require payment before the patient leaves the clinic. As more of the responsibility is shifted to the patient, it is becoming increasingly important to collect at the time of the visit. And storing the patient's credit card information on file with appropriate authorization can cut down significantly on the time and energy required during the billing and collection process." - Monte Sandler, executive vice president of revenue cycle management at DocuTAP

2. "Ongoing education is key to ensure financial success. Without an education department, it is impossible for integrated delivery networks to ensure field staff and registrars are doing what the leadership team expects of them. Trainers must be sent out to the field on rotation to certify staff are following through on verification, maintaining the required financial paperwork, and communicating with patients as appropriate." - Kenneth Miller, senior RCM Specialist at Cantata Health

3. "Patient satisfaction and denials are interconnected. With the continued prevalence of high-deductible health plans, even patients with sufficient coverage are asked to pay significant costs out-of-pocket for their care. Patients will continue [to] expect more transparency with the costs incurred, and they appreciate when providers utilize charge capture audit to produce an accurate statement of services rendered while ensuring charges are billed appropriately." - Sarah Bird, vice president of service solutions at nThrive

4. "The healthcare industry has spent decades and billions of dollars developing technology, specifically the EHR. However, comprehensive, standard, interoperable, effective and efficient revenue cycle systems remain elusive. Continuous improvement on developing an improved revenue cycle IT infrastructure will improve efficiency and control costs." - Cathy Bukowski, vice president of revenue cycle at Boston-based Tufts Medical Center

5. According to the Healthcare Financial Management Association, "1 percent of net patient revenue is lost due to charge capture errors. Despite perceptions that charges don't 'matter' in a value-based payment, it is important to continue to focus on charge-based reimbursement as a salient portion of hospital revenue cycle." - Glen Reiner, RN, principal director of revenue capture and charge audit services at nThrive


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