Healthcare facilities are committed to the health of patients, but how do these organizations measure up when it comes to financial wellness?
One way to measure company’s financial wellness is to analyze an organization’s revenue cycle. The Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) defines the healthcare revenue cycle as "All administrative and clinical functions that contribute to the capture, management, and collection of patient service revenue." In other words, the healthcare revenue cycle begins when a patient makes an appointment at a healthcare facility and concludes when the facility receives payment for services rendered.
What is Healthcare Revenue Cycle Workflow Automation?
The revenue cycle involves time-consuming tasks: account creation, scheduling, pre-registration, insurance eligibility verification, coding, claims, payment posting, appeals, and collections. Traditionally, these responsibilities are completed manually, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
‘Healthcare revenue cycle workflow automation’ is simply the process of automating some of this work. Workflow automation saves healthcare facilities valuable time.
Healthcare Revenue Cycle Workflow Automation in Practice
The end goal of workflow automation is to maximize a healthcare facility’s revenue cycle and ensure claims are paid quickly. This is a win-win. The organization receives payment in a timely manner, while patients experience a smooth, error-free trip to the doctor (the last place they want to deal with other people’s mistakes).
To achieve these two goals—an optimized revenue cycle and quickly paid claims—it is essential to obtain accurate information from the very beginning: when a patient account is created.
In a recent case study, Databound Healthcare Solutions discovered that employees at a hospital in New York were required to perform tedious tasks and enter repetitive information. Monotonous work can easily lead to user fatigue and unintentional errors. As a result, the hospital team saw the need to streamline these processes and implement workflows and systems to improve accuracy and ensure the best use of personnel time.
Since the workflow is a cycle, each step flows into the next. If the initial information is entered incorrectly, or information is missing, minor errors can lead to major problems in later stages of the cycle. Workflow automation exists to eliminate these errors. Healthcare revenue cycle workflow automation systems perform the following work:
- Focus on front-end tasks to move claims along.
- Migrate patient files and create non-patient files.
- Proactively verify and correct patient information.
- Automatically add coded comments.
- Confirm insurance information prior to a patient’s visit.
- Update outdated or missing policies before an appointment.
Managing this workflow is central to the financial health of your organization. You know better than anyone: you must maintain profitability. Healthcare revenue cycle workflow automation makes profitability attainable.
The Impact of Automating the Healthcare Revenue Cycle Workflow
Healthcare facilities can reduce administrative denials by proactively obtaining and verifying patient information. This begins with patient scheduling and registration. By investing in revenue cycle software that automates insurance verification, facilities can minimize claim denials. For example, services like reCover, focus on proactively verifying and discovering patient demographic and insurance information prior to a patient’s visit.
By verifying and correcting a patient’s name, address, or insurance information, teams can update old or missing information before any issues arise. Through this effort, healthcare facilities can reduce administrative denials and accelerate their workflow (since employees no longer need to chase after money). In the New York hospital case, workflow automation handles work that would require about 10,000 additional employee hours every year.
Why Workflow Automation Should Matter to You
As a decision-maker at a healthcare organization, you are committed to increasing revenue and lowering the costs of your facility. Automation makes this easier. When healthcare facilities invest in workflow automation software, organizations benefit in two major ways: minimizing expenses and optimizing the workflow.
You can automate mundane tasks and shift the employee focus to more complex responsibilities. In 2016, Databound services helped healthcare organizations automate nearly 750,000 hours of work for our clients. Workflow automation saves healthcare facilities time and money.
By investing in a system to proactively cross-check patient information, facilities can minimize human error, optimize the organization’s revenue cycle workflow, minimize expenses, and spend more time on revenue-generating, value-add work. Automation is not only a smart investment, but a healthy practice. It’s all about wellness, after all.
Databound Healthcare Solutions automates and streamlines hospital revenue management tasks and business processes to give our customers more efficient operations and increased revenue. Visit our website to learn more.