Happy Patients, Maximum Revenue? No Longer Mutually Exclusive: Part 3 of 3

October 13, 2014

 

A three-part discussion covering the leading trends in revenue cycle management for radiologists.

In this installment of our revenue cycle management (RCM) discussion, we would like to discuss three recommendations for applying technology to maximize revenue and patient satisfaction. As we discussed previously, it’s our opinion that technology is only as good as the people using it. Technology’s role in improving an RCM team is to enhance efficiency, accuracy and patient engagement.

Our three recommendations include:

Invest in user-friendly solutions. Our philosophy is simple: if it is easy to use, your team is more likely to use it. This is the first step to achieving the intended benefits of technology. For example, find web-based billing solutions that allow employees to deal with one interface and simplify engagement. Capitalize on automation capabilities to reduce human error in areas such as coding, insurance eligibility, denial management and self-pay collections. Make sure the technology is scalable and, most importantly, easy to integrate with existing systems so that it grows with the organization.

Adopt electronic workflow management. Be on the lookout for technology that measures not only the quantity of tasks to be completed, but also the quality of work product produced. You need to be able to easily find out how much work is in the backlog, who is assigned to do it and if the work is accurate. Make sure auditing tools are included for management to quickly identify mistakes. If necessary, proper retraining can be applied. If projects are completed promptly and accurately, the patient’s experience is not tainted after services have been rendered.

Transform data into information. While it is important to deploy technology that collects many data points, generic reporting is not worth much to a practice without interpretation. At minimum, a few key metrics warrant special attention include coding accuracy, payer processing time, denial rates and time spent in accounts receivable (AR). Once data is analyzed for trends, practices can use that information to predict barriers to payment and other problems in advance. The time and resources saved can be used to avoid crises, such as surges in patient complaints over billing mistakes or cash flow problems for the organization.

The proper integration of an expert staff and technology can deliver significant results. If practices adopt user-friendly technology, streamline workflow and turn data into actionable information, the cost-savings, greater staff efficiency and improvement in patient satisfaction will be sure to follow.