How To Manage The Hospital Revenue Cycle Efficiently

Dec 05, 2016
Tagged with: How To Manage The Hospital Revenue Cycle Efficiently

Running a successful hospital involves proper management of the different processes within the organization. Proper management is needed to effectively ensure that all core functions proceed accordingly while still maintaining a stable financial state. Whether you are dealing with a small organization or a national network, efficiently managing the revenue cycle is one of the most important factors in having a successful healthcare facility. A steady revenue generation and reduced income leakage are some of the key aspects that keep any organization in good financial health. A hospital is a business, and as such, the basic principles of successful ventures apply.

Healthcare centers are not immune to economic shocks that sometimes affect conventional companies. Keeping your hospital in a good fiscal position involves the proper processing of claims, effecting necessary payments and enhancing revenue generation. That is what revenue cycle management entails. It’s the collection of service revenue from patients and other consumers, the tracking, and recording of such payments as well as the proper management of the revenue generated. An effective system is very necessary because it ensures a continuous flow of revenue while reducing the loss of income. It makes it much easier to follow up on claims, address complaints from patients regarding issues to do with billing and initiate measures to prevent future occurrences. There are different ways in which a hospital can efficiently manage its revenue cycle and maintain a good financial health.

An integrated system:

Revenue collection systems can sometimes be very isolated. Thus, it becomes difficult to track the income due to the absence of a central point to capture payment data. Integrated systems,  both software, and hardware play a very instrumental role in reducing the loss of revenue. It can be very costly to establish such a system, but for effective revenue cycle management, resources need to be set aside to get it done. It is a small price to pay if you look at the bigger picture. It can be used to open patients’ accounts with the hospital, record collections and billings and at the same time, store health records electronically.

Staff training and participation:

A workforce that is well-trained and equipped with proper skills is paramount if you expect your business to thrive. Employees are the resources that implement the policies of the organization. Hence, the employees need good training so much can be accomplished. When employees learned about the importance of revenue collection and the need to follow the standard protocol when handling patients’ billings, claims, and payments. They can also be very helpful in identifying problem areas, putting forward possible solutions, and how to improve the existing systems. Staff members felt more valued and attached to the organization when included in the opportunity to take part in the formulation of policies and strategies. Their feedback is equally critical in developing a system that works for them and the patients.

Data analysis and Bench-marking:

Data analysis is necessary if you want to determine trends and find ways of improving revenue collection. It allows you to establish areas that require attention and probably, redesigning for better results. You really can’t make good management decisions if you are unable to use the collected data to come up with explanations for the company’s performance. The collected information allows you to check various hospital processes and how they affect the generation and collection of revenue. An integrated system makes it possible to compare data gathered from different areas such as clinical, workforce, financial and patient satisfaction and feedback. Such a system can optimize and consolidate the data for analysis. For Bench-marking, there are different programs which can assist in comparing your performance against some of the best in the industry. They can be used to access relevant data for bench-marking and checking the industry standards for excellent revenue cycle management.

Contract monitoring and reviews:

Contracts are usually meant to last for specified time frames, and when they are not well monitored and reviewed, they can expire and cut the flow of revenue. Monitor and review of all payer contracts, so that when the current ones run out, the new ones can come into force without further delays. Reviews will also help in terminating non-beneficial agreements to only focus on what is good for business. Are your claims settled fully and in good time? Does the insurance company decline too many claims from you or patients? Which are some of the service providers that make business difficult for you? These are some of the fundamental questions that you need to ask when reviewing some of the existing agreements between your organization and service providers. Prompt and clear communication is a good way of making sure that everything runs smoothly. Negotiating better rates is effective in increasing revenue generation. Having a better rate is done after carrying out contract analysis and reviewing the contracting process.

Avail convenient payment avenues:

Technology is evolving so fast, and with it, customer demands. The current business environment thrives on efficiency and convenience, and there is no better way to achieve that other than by using technology. Create different and convenient payment avenues for your patients so that they find it easy to make payments on time. Creating online payment portals and enabling mobile telephone payments are just some of the few ways to achieve this. Creating easy payment portals is good for your business. When payments are completed sufficient revenue is generated to sustain the smooth running of the hospital. It’s difficult to operate a business with a lot of cash tied up due to late payments. It’s also human nature to appreciate easy and convenient processes, and therefore such payment avenues effectively meet their demands and preferences.

Efficiently managing the revenue cycle is the key to having a robust and highly functional hospital. Having the right systems in place, as well as bringing all the stakeholders on board will contribute to an increase in revenue generation and collection. The above measures will ensure that the health facility maintains a good financial position and effectively undertakes its operations.

 

 

 

 

Author Bio:
Sathya Kumar is the Founder & CEO at Techindia Infoway Pvt Ltd., Chennai. Techindia is Asia’s largest provider of healthcare management solutions for exceptional remote healthcare diagnostics and patient monitoring, with a proven track of high performance for highly regulated healthcare industries and the patients globally. You can also follow us on LinkedIn.

Author: Shiva India