If you’re planning on going into 2024 with the same medical billing accounts receivable processes that you used in 2023, you’re probably sitting on untapped opportunity. 

This is because, with changes in hospital accounts receivable standards, staffing challenges, and pressures on revenue cycle leadership, most hospitals around the country will need to take a fresh look at their processes and identify opportunities to make updates. 

But it’s critical to know what your options are. This post will give you five starting points backed up by our experiences in medical billing accounts receivable that you can use as inspiration in your planning for the upcoming year. 

Rethink the Potential of Outsourcing in a Changing Hospital AR Environment
With all the advancements in revenue cycle technology, outsourcing might be lower on your list of tactics to try, but this is a mistake. 

Even the most advanced hospital revenue cycle runs on people. With the complexity and knowledge required to navigate modern revenue cycle challenges, outsourcing can be a very smart choice. This is because it empowers you to focus internal resources on planning and future-proofing revenue cycle tasks that require high levels of human intervention. It’s likely that you have a long list of non-patient-facing revenue cycle tasks that can be outsourced to skilled partners who keep up with ongoing updates to medical billing and coding requirements. 

These partners can offer sophisticated processes and workflows that would take you years to develop internally and that are still not accessible even with the most technologically advanced medical billing accounts receivable solutions. Beyond this, you now have the world at your fingertips thanks to global delivery models and offshore revenue cycle hubs that have years of experience producing great revenue cycle results. 

Reevaluate Your Relationship with Automation and Technology
Healthcare revenue cycle technology is in an interesting period. While there have been amazing advances, many medical billing accounts receivable leaders have found that it’s best to aim for an integrated approach – one that doesn’t get caught up in the hype of technology and instead integrates tech and automation with existing strategies. 

This means, that instead of seeing tech as an either/or option, look at things like robotic process automation and AI as tools you can combine with the use of better-tested approaches like outsourcing to streamline follow-up and smooth other areas of inefficiency. This is especially true if you’ve been disappointed by the results of these tools. Ultimately, your tech is only as good as the knowledge and empathy of your internal staff and experience of your revenue cycle partners. 

Power Up Your Staff
Staff empowerment is now an ongoing responsibility – which means that even the tactics you launched in 2023 will need some updating in 2024 as the revenue cycle landscape shifts. 

As cash flows become tighter and payers continue to release new manuals and new code sets and standards like ICD-11 and OASIS-E are released, your people are being pressured to solve increasingly complex problems. This means that their expertise is invaluable, and they’ll need your support in engaging in effective problem solving. This can happen through solutions like automation, but can yield even better results through outsourcing, which allows you to not only free your staff of routine tasks, but also access external, high-level knowledge from specialized partners. 

Make sure you’re fostering a continuous learning environment that encourages professional growth and helps your staff as they work to keep up with an increasingly complex revenue cycle environment and higher demands from patient expectations. 

Evaluate Your Key KPIs
Don’t simply roll over your KPIs from 2023. Your medical billing accounts receivable goals for 2024 deserve a fresh look. In turn, this means a fresh look at your KPIs. 

For example, let’s say that you’ve learned your patients are taking on a greater portion of self-pay in 2024 since this is the first full calendar year after the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency. You’re in a state that has been kicking patients off the Medicaid rolls, so you anticipate more denials, higher levels of self-pay, and more issues in verifying insurance. 

As a result, you’re prioritizing denials management and want to keep a close eye on self-pay outcomes. This means that you should prioritize KPIs like

  • Denial write-offs as a percentage of net patient service revenue
  • Remittance denial rates
  • Uncompensated care numbers
  • Uninsured discount results 

The same would be true if you’re launching into 2024 with a new focus on data, accuracy, or clinical reporting – you will need to identify the KPIs that will best enable you to achieve your goals and prioritize reporting and influencing these numbers. 

No matter the approach to refreshing medical billing accounts receivable you take in 2024, outsourcing can be a powerful tool to complement your efforts. To learn more about how you can leverage the partnership of an experienced hospital accounts receivable vendor, contact us today.

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