7 things keeping revenue cycle executives up at night

Managing a healthcare organization’s revenue cycle is not for the faint of heart.

More than 30 revenue cycle executives gathered at the Becker’s Hospital Review 4th Annual Health IT + Revenue Cycle Conference to discuss the top challenges, priorities and pressures they’re facing in a swiftly changing field.

Below are a few highlights from that roundtable, as well as results from real-time poll questions we posed to participants throughout the session.

1. Disruption from consumerism

Nearly two-thirds (64%) of participants selected consumerism as the most significant disruptor, ahead of value-based care, the rise of retail clinics, telehealth, government-mandated quality reporting and mergers.

2. Increasing patient financial responsibility

Related to consumerism, 79% of respondents identified the growing number of high-deductible health plans as the most concerning change in patient coverage. On another question specific to the revenue cycle, three out of four respondents said that growth in patient receivables has been a disruptor to revenue cycle operations.

3. Patient access capabilities

The majority of respondents (72%) ranked patient access as the function they were most anxious about within the revenue cycle. Interestingly, more than half of those surveyed (56%) said they would be least likely to outsource this function to a third party.

4. Hiring the right talent

For executives who choose to keep revenue cycle management services in-house, they must have a robust infrastructure and team members. One executive expressed that hiring people with the right skills had been challenging in specific geographies. When asked which function would be the most attractive to outsource, 32% of execs selected coding.

5. Quality of outsourced services

Several comments submitted during the roundtable illustrate executive concerns about the quality of outsourced services, especially with companies that claim to offer end-to-end revenue cycle management services. One executive said, “Seldom would you find a company that is excellent at all of the various segments of the revenue cycle.”

6. Lack of visibility with vendor partners

Executives reported experiences with some outsourcing partners withholding information. For example, one vendor partner contracted with third parties – adding to overall cost – and another partner selectively reported results to inflate the perception of performance.

7. Consolidation

Healthcare organizations are consistently reevaluating process in the wake of merger and acquisition activity. As revenue cycle management companies merge, it can create challenges and instability in negotiations, customer service and pricing.

While these points come from a small sample of revenue cycle management executives, these themes resonate with most of us in the industry who are working to lower the cost of care. If you have questions about how Allscripts can help with your revenue cycle, email me at lkhorey@allscripts.com.

Editor’s note: To learn more about this roundtable discussion, read Responding to RCM challenges and weighing decisions about whether to partner: Thoughts and observations from hospital leaders.


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