Did you know? Between Dec 2019-2021, the median change in hospital operation margins (without CARES) dropped by 14.7%, while labor expenses per adjusted discharge increased by 26.8%. (Jan 2022 National Hospital Flash Report)
It’s difficult to retain staff since “The Great Resignation”. People are not looking for long-term careers anymore — they are exploring short-term opportunities. This ongoing staff shortage is extremely prominent in healthcare organizations, which has strained both clinical and revenue cycle processes. An article by Becker’s Hospital Review states that several departments in healthcare are facing short staffing challenges including back-office revenue cycle management specialists, medical coders and A/ R experts. This has led to a massive backlog in the accounts receivable (A/R), and missed claims timelines, impacting the potential revenue growth rate.
What’s detrimental for healthcare practices to thrive?
“I am shocked at how many facilities are still severely understaffed with the most basic revenue cycle roles. Payment posters, coders, auth teams, etc. It’s affecting the whole revenue cycle, which has been detrimental for practices to thrive and provide excellent patient care,” says Mr Guidroz, Senior VP, Jindal Healthcare. He further adds, “Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) is largely dependent on manpower — there is a need for timely follow-ups, claims prioritization, managing denials, and processing important documents.”
Will retaining effective staff help? While building an effective in-house team goes a long way in addressing RCM challenges, in our experience, analyzing billing data and electronic health records (EHR) at each step is equally important. From the time a patient schedules the service to charge capture to being paid for the services rendered, providers need to be empowered to analyze and capture data at every touchpoint to gather intelligence on improving their financial health.
Overcoming short-staffing and improving revenue:
Hiring RCM professionals— be it medical coders, A/ R specialists, or pre auth experts, requires a specific type of understanding and isn’t easy; thus, the growing demand-supply gap in the market. Here you can leverage the expertise of an existing RCM solutions provider well-versed with important regulations in healthcare, payor guidelines and proven experience in helping practices improve their accounts receivables and maximize claim reimbursements. Learn how you can improve your practice’s financial performance.
With healthcare costs and demand continuing to rise, practices need excellent financial staff, which isn’t easy to find. One way that you can overcome this bottleneck and improve your cash flow is to partner with a qualified partner. It helps you save operational and hiring costs, maximize efficiency, submit timely clean claims and improve reimbursement rates.