As the dust settles on the changes brought about by healthcare reform, the need for a ‘culture shift’ regarding how hospitals approach their patients will become much clearer. At present, many hospitals focus on providing appropriate care while compensation is sorted out later. Unfortunately, this type of system presents certain challenges, which current revenue cycle management processes are ill-equipped to handle.
A recent report from the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), titled Rethinking Revenue Cycle Management, identifies four of these challenges, namely: rapid growth in consumer payments, reduced payer reimbursement rates, an ever-changing regulatory environment, and shifting consumer expectations. If hospital executives want to survive as healthcare evolves and becomes more patient-oriented, they will have to shift their focus on revenue cycle management and rethink their front-end management systems.
A proactive approach must be taken to collecting payment upfront. This helps ensure that patients understand how to get what they are eligible for and educate them on how to control their out-of-pocket costs.