What R1 RCM learned from its midyear financial trends report

Gary Long hears a lot about the challenges facing healthcare financial leaders in his role as R1 RCM's executive vice president and chief commercial officer. 

The issues that he and his team have heard anecdotally have been backed up in a midyear financial trends report released by R1 RCM in June. The company surveyed 205 CFOs and vice presidents of revenue cycle from large health systems and physician groups from June 9-16.

"The survey tool not only corroborated our empirical experience, but I think it's actually worse what's going on in our industry and the problems that they're facing coming out of the pandemic," Mr. Long said in an interview with Becker's.

He said his biggest surprise was that 46 percent of respondents indicated they're behind on their revenue goals. 

Mr. Long anticipated that the number of organizations experiencing labor shortages in their RCM/billing departments would be high, but the survey showed just how big of a challenge the shortage is. In total, 92 percent of the survey respondents said they are facing labor shortages. Broken down further, 48 percent said they are experiencing a severe shortage; 34 percent said they are experiencing a moderate shortage; and 10 percent are experiencing a mild shortage. 

"That's a huge percentage, that's virtually everybody feeling the pinch of this," he said. 

"We see that as an unfortunate circumstance for our industry, but the way we address the market, we see ourselves as being a viable, strategic option for them not to only survive this particular environment that we're in today, but hopefully position their organization so they can thrive once the economic environment gets better."

Mr. Long said R1 RCM is investing $10 million in additional capacity to service the needs of new customers resulting from the market demand.

"Our ability to help organizations address the market has never been greater than it is today," he said. "That is a leading indicator of what's actually happening on a day-in and day-out basis. Financial leaders need help."

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