By Todd Sloane
With so many mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures undertaken in recent years, providers do not have an easy way to establish a single process for payment automation and posting. Gaps in nuanced understanding and training also exist between multiple patient accounting systems and cultures.
Through KeyBank’s interactions with clients over the years, they’ve observed once a decision has been made to retain a patient accounting system, the process begins for sunsetting the legacy systems. This process could take place as often as an acquisition, perhaps up to a few times a year. To ensure a smooth transition, providers should make sure to take the time to review their internal processes in-depth. Following the entire process of a patient coming in, staff processing the payment through the system, what reports are used, how data is managed and how many touch points a case involves can serve as an audit of the revenue cycle to ensure maximum efficiency and visibility.
As a result of having so many legacy systems, some revenue cycle teams must apply as many as 40 processes just to complete a patient payment. The more legacy groups, the more manual the process is—and the more error-prone.
Providers can no longer “throw bodies” at their processes to increase speed, accuracy or both. They must take a proactive approach by building automation around the remittance collection process.