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By: Brittany Coleman, Esq.

Praxis Healthcare Solutions, Staff Attorney

According to a new report from The Advisory Board Company, the average cost for a hospital to collect on claims has increased by 70 basis points of net patient revenue. The Advisory Board Company also found that the average 350-bed hospital has missed out on up to $22 million in revenue because it does not focus on improving revenue cycle performance. Increased collection expenses combined with potential cuts to Medicare and Medicaid hospital reimbursements if Congress and President Trump successfully repeal the Affordable Care Act, make it imperative for a hospital to maximize its revenue cycle.

An effective way to maximize your hospital’s revenue cycle is to focus on improving a patient’s experience and overall satisfaction with your hospital’s billing and financial processes.

  1. Have your financial representatives get to know the patient when he or she is scheduling his or her procedure.
  2. Focus on giving the patient a clear and concise billing statement. We all appreciate it when we know what our upfront costs will be for goods or services like groceries, car repairs, and cell phone bills. Your hospital should provide this same information to a patient regarding his or her anticipated out-of-pocket costs. Outlining patient responsibility for deductibles, coinsurance, co-payments, and non-covered costs in a clear and concise billing statement can help a patient better understand his or her financial responsibility for services he or she will receive from your hospital.
  3. Give patients payment options to fit his or her ability to pay and convenient methods to schedule and make payments on hospital services.
  4. Provide an option for a patient to consolidate expected out-of-pocket costs for other providers like radiologists, anesthesiologists, and admitting physicians onto one bill to help the patient manage and pay those costs.

Following these steps helps your hospital build a positive and durable relationship based on transparency, which can lead to increased revenue collections on patient out-of-pocket costs that make up the majority of bad debt for a hospital.

Sources:

Ellison, A. & Gamble, M. (2017, July 07). How hospitals can improve revenue cycle performance: 4 key thoughts. Retrieved from Becker’s Hospital Review: http://www.beckershospitalreview.com/finance/how-hospitals-can-improve-revenue-cycle-performance-4-key-thoughts.html

Hagland, M. (2017, July 05). Advisory Board Company Leader: Time to Rethink Revenue Cycle in the New Healthcare . Retrieved from Healthcare Informatics: https://www.healthcare-informatics.com/article/revenue-cycle-management/advisory-board-company-leader-time-rethink-revenue-cycle-new

Masterson, L. (2017, June 28). Hospitals lose $22M on average because of revenue cycle issues, report finds. Retrieved from Healthcare Dive: http://www.healthcaredive.com/news/hospitals-lose-22m-on-average-because-of-revenue-cycle-issues-report-find/446083/

Minemyer, P. (2017, July 5). 4 revenue cycle management challenges for hospitals. Retrieved from Fierce Healthcare: http://www.fiercehealthcare.com/finance/4-revenue-cycle-management-challenges