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Retooling revenue cycles in a risk- and value-based age

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It’s no secret that as hospitals and health systems are rearranging their revenue cycles into strategic business assets as these institutions learn how to live with risk- and value-based contracts.

Bruce Haupt, CEO of patient financing company ClearBalance, spoke with Becker’s Hospital Review about how and why hospital executives need to change how they think about revenue-cycle operations to reach value-based goals.

Among his points, as paraphrased by Becker’s:

1. “Invest in human resources. As consumers shoulder great financial responsibility for their care, hospitals and health systems are interfacing more than ever with patients to collect. This has transformed the professional criteria for successful registration and billing department employees. …Revenue cycle leaders need to consider new applicants with a high-level of financial and insurance expertise who are capable of engaging patients in productive conversations about their benefits.”

2. “Custom, individualized patient payment options. Informed by their experience in commercial retail, patients expect both convenience and customization in their healthcare experience. As hospital reimbursement is increasingly tied to patient satisfaction, executives need to revisit alternative payment and financing options available to their patients….”

3. “Hospitals need to focus on new metrics. ‘Everyone talks about their cost-to-collect, but those aren’t the kind of metrics that are going to count moving forward,’ Mr. Haupt said. Cost-to-collect measures the revenue cycle’s economic value to the hospital by only measuring costs and ignore quality. Instead, hospitals looking to turn the department into a strategic business unit should focus on the economic benefits of investment…..New IT systems, high-level staff and advanced payment tools can produce greater collections and drive positive patient experience down the line.”

4.  “Marketing the revenue cycle department. Hospitals’ marketing and advertising strategies have become increasingly important as regional competitors fight for market share. Consumer-centric, user-friendly financial processes can drive hospitals’ appeal within their market, says Mr. Haupt. Alternative financing options like interest-free loan programs can earn patients’ trust by showing the hospital as a vested partner to the community….”


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