How to Address Manpower Shortage in Revenue Cycle Management?
US healthcare underwent a major disruption during the Covid-19 pandemic, which resulted in a radical reduction in manpower for several healthcare roles including front-office, coding, billing, accounts receivables, denial management, credentialing, administrative, and other clinical departments. This manpower shortage has become the number one issue that operations managers are facing at the moment.
Revenue Cycle Management is largely dependent on manpower for its efficiency and productivity. There is a need for timely follow ups, managing denials, and processing documents. Failing to fill these respective positions could bring in errors, increased denials, cash flow inefficiency, reduced productivity, and management.
These issues are aggravating since the emergence of the pandemic and have continued to grow, impacting the healthcare industry at large. The personnel shortage has made RCM overlook important aspects including quality assurance and underpayment reviews, unleashing other issues in the RCM cycle.
The declining reimbursements have made it imperative for the healthcare sector to bring in expertise for exercising the best financial outcomes. However, this need for expertise couldn’t be fulfilled due to the unavailability of effective personnel, leading to increased salaries and cost of operations.
The Healthcare sector is also facing a decreased customer retention due to frequent resignations and terminations as a result of inefficiency in work for high-volume patients incoming during the pandemic.
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Let us look at a few strategies that could help mitigate the manpower shortage issues:
A cloud-based RCM/EMR software provides an integrative platform for most practices to deal with mission-critical processes even remotely. It allocates an exclusive infrastructure to end users by allowing them to access necessary documents anytime, anywhere, without having to compromise on security.
The utilization of technology in healthcare including the application of Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Robotic Process Automation, has helped to enable RCM managers to effectively deal with staffing shortages to a promising level. It incorporates intelligent solutions that eliminate repetitive tasks, tackle deadlines, reduce manual efforts, and manage labor-intensive tasks.
In healthcare, there are a lot of labor-intensive tasks which can be optimized through effective automation. For example, introducing online portals for patient registration would take off a huge load from the front office staff, allowing them to focus on other important aspects.
Better Operational Framework
It is inevitable for operational managers to maintain and manage stringent operations effectively. For this, they must invest their time and money to bring in streamlined workflow systems that allow them to properly analyze the productivity of each employee. Improving short-term outcomes can help gain long-term financial merits.
Strategic and sustainable transformation
The success of revenue cycle management depends on the analytics of denials, that is, understanding the patterns, acknowledging the root causes, proper allocation and management of higher revenue claims, and eliminating any claims that fall into longer aging. Application of effective RCM analytics that generates industry-adopted reports and standards can bring in the necessary focus it needs.
Outsourcing is the ultimate choice for the healthcare sector to eliminate manpower shortages. It brings in trained expertise to manage accounts receivables and denials, thereby, improving the first pass ratio. Offshoring is another such choice that allows healthcare practices to benefit from cheaper cost structures for RCM roles and focus on patient care.
Outsourcing and offshoring the RCM process can increase practice productivity and with the perfect blend of technology, these options can bring about effective practice and patient management.
For healthcare organizations to sustain in the growing market, it is crucial to maintain a faster cash flow cycle. And therefore, revenue leaders must address the pain points first, such as revenue leakages, front-end inefficiencies, and such to bring about a streamlined structure for the entire RCM cycle.
Strategize tasks for employees
Outsourcing and offshoring remove a huge burden off the existing employees so that they can focus on more important aspects within the practice. The change in job prospects will empower them to make a difference in the practice’s revenue streams, enabling satisfactory developments.
Choose the right outsourcing vendor
It is as important to choose the vendor partner as it is to choose to outsource. The right partner gets well-aligned to the company standards, stabilizing the strategic operations, and moving towards substantial growth of the RCM system.
The manpower shortage is not going away for now. So it is very essential to keep up with the coping strategies and implement the required solutions. RCM leaders must be open to investing in technology, outsourcing, operational framework, RCM analytics, and any other strategy that is crucial to the successful production of the practice.
Practolytics with the help of technology from AdvancedMD delivers the best possible services that your practice might require to maintain a holistic RCM process. It is the one-stop solution for all your RCM needs including medical coding, billing, accounts receivables, and denials management.
Reach out to us at [email protected] for more information.