The trend majorly affecting provider revenue cycle

Consumerism is one of the biggest trends affecting the healthcare provider revenue cycle, according to a recent report from Availity.

This trend is being driven by patients taking on more of a responsibility for their healthcare costs through the growing popularity of high-deductible health plans.

With the growing use of HDHPs, it is essential providers collect from patients at the point of service or before, according to the report. This is necessary because providers are much less likely to collect from patients after they leave the office.

According to an Availity survey, an average of 90 percent of physician practices and healthcare facilities agree that collecting patient financial responsibilities before the patient leaves the office is important to the financial health of their businesses.

However, there is still significant work to be done, with 35 percent of hospitals reporting they collect from patients at the point of service, and 59 percent of physician practices reporting they collect from patients while they are in the office, according to the report.

It appears providers recognize there is room for improvement, as 81 percent reported making recent investments in software and staff to manage up-front payments and collections.

The vast majority (85 percent) of providers agreed that patient access tools significantly improve up-front collections, and 71 percent of hospitals are using those tools. However, physician practices are lagging with only 45 percent using patient access tools, according to the report.

The survey results reveal that providers see that patients taking on more responsibility for their healthcare costs can have a significant impact on the financial well-being of their organizations, but it also shows there is still room for many providers to improve on collecting from patients up-front.   

The survey results were based on responses from 337 practice-based physicians and 219 facility-based physicians.

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