How preregistration technology can maximize revenue and optimize patient care

Claim denials can be a challenging area for hospitals and health systems aiming to improve revenue cycle performance. Establishing a solution to help reduce these denial rates can significantly improve a practice's earnings and boost its bottom line.

Claim denials are cited by 76 percent of hospital leaders as the biggest revenue cycle management challenge, with the number one cause of denials highlighted as missing or incorrect information, according to a survey by Dimensional Insight, an analytics and data management company.

In the survey, nearly 69 percent of healthcare organizations that used more than one RCM solution reported larger problems with claim denials. 

By providing patients with a preregistration solution to submit their information ahead of time, providers can better prepare for the patient visit and reduce the chance of denials, write-offs or last-minute schedule changes, which ultimately leads to lost revenue.

During a March 25 webinar sponsored by Interlace Health and hosted by Becker's Hospital Review, Theresa Moss, solution marketing manager, and Ann Hill, solution architect with Interlace Health outlined common registration challenges that practices face and how preregistration technology helps mitigate these obstacles.

Common registration challenges 

The registration process can be a high-pressure environment for administrative staff struggling to keep up with the patient load and maintain accuracy. Staff must review the patient's health information and ensure they identify every potential issue in a short period of time.

The best practice benchmark laid out by the Advisory Board is 35 registrations per registrar per eight-hour shift, which boils down to 14 minutes per registration.

"You need to process a lot of patients without having a lot of staff," Ms. Ross said. "You may end up with too many patients with too little staff and not enough time, so registration becomes your bottleneck."

The administrative staff are the first point of contact for patients on the date of service and an overwhelmed staff can have an adverse effect on the patient experience, according to Ms. Ross. Patients become frustrated with the registration process, viewing it as a barrier to care and end up disengaged.

Clinicians can also become frustrated with the process, with last minute patient safety concerns and forced schedule changes costing them an opportunity to recoup reimbursement from that particular schedule slot.

These hurdles negatively affect the bottom line of hospitals and health systems, adding up to lost revenue and can be a difficult challenge to overcome, according to Ms. Ross. Preregistration technology can help navigate these issues.

Clinical paperwork, copay collections, insurance details and demographic information can be easily obtained through preregistration technology, which empowers patients to submit this information ahead of time. As a result, these activities shift from staff-led processes to patient-led processes, easing the administrative staff's workload when the patient arrives for their appointment.

Advantages of preregistration technology 

In addition to boosting reimbursement rates, preregistration also has a positive impact on patient engagement and patient safety. An invitation to complete the preregistration steps serves as an appointment reminder for patients who complete the steps ahead of time. 

"Patients are more likely to attend the visit ... because there is less of a barrier and hurdle to their care when they arrive in your facility," Ms. Ross said. It also offers staff the opportunity to make schedule adjustments and avoid last minute changes as well as notifying the clinician about potential red flags ahead of time. 

Interlace Health's preregistration system helps clinics achieve this through a mobile-friendly process that can be integrated into an existing EHR system, according to Ms. Hill. The technology facilitates the registration process on the date of service, increases compliance, allows clinics to run more efficiently and alleviates stress for the care team.

The technology sifts through patient information about the appointment and sends the correct forms and tasks for that patient to fill out. Patients complete the documents by toggling simple 'yes' and 'no' questions, with the system requiring them to scroll to the bottom of each page before proceeding.

"On paper there are likely many fields that don't pertain to the patient. With an electronic solution, patients no longer have to be presented with all that noise that may not apply to them," Ms. Hill said. "Instead, the data input can really be streamlined using conditional logic to only present relevant questions to the patient."

Image capturing technology enables documents such as a driver's license, insurance details or a physician's order to be uploaded securely and provides administrators with a flexible dashboard to monitor patient progress. The system is also equipped with payment processing to help optimize reimbursement.

"Patients have the ability to take a picture of their insurance card, driver's license or even the label on their pill bottle," Ms. Hill said. "Not only do the registration team have important information about the patient prior to arrival, they also have an image of the patient's insurance card, allowing them to start the preauthorization process and kick off the revenue cycle much earlier."

Conclusion

Equipping your practice with a preregistration solution helps mitigate common revenue cycle challenges. Ultimately, preregistration technology improves registration accuracy and efficiency, alleviating stress on administrative staff and can lead to improved revenue generation, schedule maximization and operational efficiency.

To learn more about Interlace Health click here, and view the full webinar here.

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