October 27, 2020

Ten Ways COVID-19 Will Transform the Revenue Cycle – Part Two

This is part two of an extended blog post on ways the current pandemic is impacting the healthcare financial industry. We are sharing ten predictions from RevSpring, which were first presented at a recent webinar hosted by Becker’s. You can read part one of this blog here.

Prediction #6: Holding vendors accountable will be paramount.

Webinar participants were asked, “Do you have the tools you need to tackle current patient financial challenges?” and most said “no” or only “partially.”

We’re not surprised. A recent survey found that 63 percent of revenue cycle leaders do not believe they have the technology in place to resolve the health care revenue cycle issues they have today. What does this mean for providers?

It’s time to start asking for documented case studies that include metrics around benefits derived—and even to ask for guaranteed results to make sure vendors are delivering on our promises.

Bottom line: Vendors that can guarantee results will begin to be more prominent now and in the post-COVID environment.

Prediction #7: Artificial Intelligence (AI) that operationalizes the business side of healthcare will begin to drive a virtual revolution.

When asked, “How does the concept of AI for patient engagement make you feel?” a vast majority of attendees answered “intrigued” or “eager.” A smaller (but very honest) number of respondents said it made them feel “terrified” and some volunteered that they were already using AI and getting positive results.

We believe COVID will drive the need for more intelligent automation in healthcare. Many already have seen the benefits of AI on the clinical side and in other industries. McKinsey & Company analysts have stated that smart analytics can drive a 10 percent reduction in overall cost. In order to achieve one-to-one engagement (OmniChannel communication), you must have analytics-based automated solutions.

Bottom line: AI-based technologies will gain adoption as a predictable way to accelerate optimization of revenue cycle goals, such as reducing costs and eliminating waste.

Prediction #8: Integrating data from multiple vendors will grow in importance.

Nearly all webinar attendees agreed that system silos exist, which is making it difficult to streamline operations. As automated workflows become the norm, providers must push for integration within multi-vendor environments. This is a worthwhile activity since integrating digital assets increases digital engagement by a factor of 20.

A McKinsey & Company report concurred, advising that “. . . providers need to move from COVID solutions to a secure, sustainable and integrated virtual health platform.”

Bottom line: As automated workflows become the norm, multiple vendors must integrate data seamlessly in the ecosystem that is modern healthcare—and vendors need to find ways to make this easier.

Prediction #9: Adopting new buying criteria.

When asked “What are the biggest changes you have implemented or intend to implement when looking for a new vendor?” webinar attendees chose the following answers: “provide proactive performance evaluations or vendor scorecards” and the “ability to perform while vendors are remote.”

Investments in virtual health systems and automated revenue cycle workflows will increase as pressure to reduce costs and provide high quality of care continues building. Creating buy-in for these investments will be found in watching and learning from the experience of leading health systems nationwide.

Bottom line: Vendors are being held to a new, higher standard and this will continue well after the current crisis is over.

Prediction #10: Solutions will consolidate.

Attendees concurred and said their top wish for vendors in the patient engagement environment was to “have fewer of them.” In a RevSpring survey, 32 percent of healthcare financial leaders said they believe that consolidating technology vendors will improve the patient financial experience.

Why the movement to breadth and depth of platforms?

Top reasons include making it easier for you to manage and provide a cohesive customer experience, which means a better patient experience. Consolidation also is likely to drive cost optimization and give you a clearer view of your results.

Bottom line: While not easy to achieve, end-to-end solutions have been a long-time industry vision. As data consolidation and providing consistent seamless patient experience continues to grow in importance, so too will the push to consolidate solutions.

That wraps up RevSpring’s ten predictions about how COVID-19 is transforming healthcare revenue cycle management for the good. To view a video of the full presentation, click here