Collaboration has long been important to revenue integrity, but we’re entering an era where a lackadaisical approach to revenue cycle collaboration can break an organization.
This means that revenue cycle leaders will have to go beyond “breaking down silos” within an organization, and look even outside the organization for opportunities to collaborate, share data, and find options for growth.
We’re moving into the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic and revenue cycle professionals haven’t been untouched. Remote work has pushed us to rethink the revenue cycle and how we share information. At the same time, elements like social determinants of health (SDOH) are placing demands on coders and billers to better reflect the relatives of patient care. This means that the revenue cycle is being pulled deeper into both new and existing collaborations with community health groups, IT vendors, and revenue cycle outsourcing companies.
Successful leaders will look for opportunities for collaboration and communication not just among departments, but also to learn and grow from external stakeholders that have an increasing impact on revenue cycle functions. Because of this, I believe that revenue cycle leadership should start asking and answering three critical questions:
- How are we assessing costs and resources?
Communication is critical to revenue retention, meaning that more than ever, leaders will need to have a pinpoint accurate understanding of costs, staff time, resource use and communication methods. This will require insight into electronic and paper communications, processing costs, FTE costs, and shipping demands and costs.
- How are we handling PHI?
More collaboration means more exchange of PHI, and as we’ve seen from the remote work revenue cycle conversation, it also means vulnerability. Breaches have increased in the years since the pandemic began, so revenue cycle and hospital billing leaders will need to keep a tight grip on the increasing complexities of health information management.
- What does our collaboration map look like?
You’re working with multiple departments, outside vendors, community agencies, and other providers. Take the time to map this out, especially if your organization has undergone recent shifts in remote work or brought on new partnerships that impact hospital revenue cycle management.
Ultimately, this exercise in collaboration is one of discovering opportunities. While much of this might be challenging, I deeply believe that every healthcare provider is stepping into a future where they’re discovering new possibilities for their revenue cycle and their people.
Hemant Apte, Chief Executive Officer in
Hemant Apte, Founder & Chief Executive Officer of 3Gen Consulting, is a seasoned executive leader with deep domain expertise in US healthcare management practices. He founded 3Gen Consulting in 2006 and has been instrumental in offering thought leadership to his clients and providing services and solutions that are unique in the market.