As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded, hospital and health system leaders had to reassess their approach to revenue cycle operations, such as billing and collections, as well as the overall patient financial experience. Now they are planning their revenue cycle strategies for 2021.
With a backdrop of a continuing pandemic, new looming CMS price transparency regulations, and economic changes that are making healthcare affordability even more important for patients, hospitals and health systems will have to be more mindful than ever when crafting revenue cycle strategies.
Our panel of three revenue cycle leaders shared their initiatives and priorities as they prepare their revenue cycles to meet the upcoming challenges of 2021, following one of the most pivotal years in healthcare history.
Here is an excerpt of their conversation:
Heather Schneider (Chief Financial Officer, Penn Highlands Health System): We need to focus on our core strengths. For Penn Highlands, we know rural healthcare. We try to keep our folks close to home by getting them the care they need.
The other thing that is important, especially for revenue cycle leaders, is don't lose sight of the fact you have to have your cash flowing. That is pivotal for everybody. As the pandemic continues, we have to continue to have money coming through our doors. Everything we do in the revenue cycle is important to keep clinical operations running.
Chris Bergman (Chief Financial Officer, Dayton Children's Hospital): You have to understand your consumers. One of the mistakes we made when I first got to Dayton Children's was trying to take a lot of adult business practices and put them in the pediatric world. They did not work. We had to retool and rethink those practices. I needed to focus on what was good for my consumers, and I had to understand my consumer base. I still have to.
We have a lot of millennial parents. They don't answer phones...They want to do everything digitally. Quite honestly, as hospitals we're just not prepared for that, right? So we're not prepared to take payments and texts, and a lot of those things. We had to shift our focus to turn on a lot of those products as we've gone down this path.
Greg Arnold (Vice President of Revenue Cycle, Edward-Elmhurst Health): When we look at our care models, we also look at how they support the physician, too. We need to make sure care models support the physician while improving consumer access.
Then lastly, with all these changes in terms of COVID-19 and how we do things, I think we've got to make sure we develop and implement the right payment models with our managed care providers. It's a new era in terms of how we get paid, so I think we have to keep that in mind, too.
View the full webinar, originally presented on Becker's Hospital Review:
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