Healthcare RCM

4 top healthcare RCM challenges and what to do about them

Staffing shortages. Patient expectations. Cost concerns. Economic instability. 

Stethoscope with a heart beside it
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels

Today’s healthcare revenue cycle management issues can feel overwhelming. 

The good news is there are solutions, including using the right software to support your team. Here are the problems and what to look for to help solve them:

1. Labor shortages

Labor shortages are hitting every industry, and for healthcare finance teams, that means hiring and retaining talent for revenue cycle patient service positions is difficult.

According to Deloitte, the “vast majority of health system leaders (85%) said staffing challenges would have a major impact on their strategy for 2023”.

As healthcare finance teams make do with fewer staff and human resources costs continue to rise, finding ways to help employees work smarter is vital.

What to look for in a solution

The right technology will help your revenue cycle team do more with fewer people, without overworking your valued employees

Finding solutions to save revenue cycle management representatives stress and effort, such as AI-powered notes to reduce call wrap-up time, is a smart way to keep moving forward through whatever happens in the labor market.

2. Meeting patient expectations

Ecommerce has led patients to expect frictionless financial transactions. If their relationships with healthcare companies do not meet that expectation, they’ll:

  • Leave negative reviews
  • Avoid payment
  • Switch to competitors in the future

That means ensuring revenue cycle representatives are well-trained and coached to provide professional and effective interactions that meet patients’ desires for a seamless process.

But with managers stretched as thin as staff, finding a way to streamline training and guidance is a must.

What to look for in a solution

While constant one-on-one coaching is not sustainable, technology can relieve some of the pressure. Best-in-class solutions, including software designed specifically for consumer finance conversations such as medical billing and servicing, guide representatives through every interaction.

By using AI to analyze the call, the right technology will offer real-time guidance to representatives in order to improve payment rates and build positive relationships.

3. Patient financial experience

Patients regularly cite the cost of healthcare in the US as a major concern. 

In addition, credit usage levels are at pre-pandemic heights, interest rates are rising, and savings are threadbare.

Patients’ perception of healthcare as overpriced can affect their willingness to pay promptly, and genuine financial concerns due to shifts in the economy and recession fears can affect their ability to pay.

What to look for in a solution

Good revenue cycle teams understand there are real people with real concerns behind account numbers and outstanding balances.

The right technology supports your team in efforts to collect outstanding balances and deal empathetically with patients by:

4. Decreasing revenue and rising costs

In 2022, a record number of Americans - 38%, according to Gallup - reported they or a family member delayed medical treatment due to costs. 

Deloitte indicates reduced revenue coupled with shrinking margins from continued fallout of pandemic revenue shortfalls and rising supply and labor costs requires out-of-the-box thinking about reducing costs while ensuring accounts receivables stay high.

What to look for in a solution

Economic shortfalls increase the risk of increased defaults and late payments, requiring human intervention.

Technology that improves patient accounts receivables representatives’ work without raising payroll is a creative solution to financial pressure. 

Moving forward

There’s a lot that’s out of your team’s control. But by bringing the right technology partners on board, you can manage and improve processes with serious and sustainable ROI.

At Prodigal, our goal is to improve consumer finance communication, including for healthcare rev cycle teams.

Our technology is built to:

Ready to get started? Connect with an expert now to learn more.