Becker’s Reflections: Breaking Free of the Revenue Cycle Cycle

Patrick Gardner
Fri 17 Oct 2022
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I just returned from #BeckersHealthcare Health IT + Digital Health + RCM conference and it was indeed a great experience. As a new member of the Innovaccer team, it was great to take part in the connected experience we created for attendees and connect with so many of our customers to talk about revenue cycle and other healthcare IT topics.

After dozens of discussions at our booth and taking part in many awesome sessions, here are the main topics and issues I took away from this excellent event. What’s most interesting to me is how what I heard didn’t line up to what I expected all the buzz to be about.

I anticipated hearing how data and advanced insights were having a big impact on reducing denials. I thought I’d hear less about data challenges and more about how AI was ushering in a new wave of virtual “digital consultants” that aim to shore up labor gaps in obtaining and retaining quality revenue cycle expertise. And I thought I’d hear more about how technology was wrapping itself around tired manual processes and the pain of Excel spreadsheets.

But I was wrong.

Revenue cycle management is changing, but what was clear to me as I made my way around the event is that revenue cycle has been deprioritized—even completely overlooked—for the sake of clinical technology and EMR deployments. I attended every session that related to "the future of the revenue cycle," thinking there’d be a silver bullet that leverages technology to solve the critical and overlooked problems of our industry. But I didn’t find one.

Instead, every session felt like "Groundhog Day," showcasing that the industry is still wrestling with, and trying to solve, the same old issues from 10 or so years ago. These include:

  1. Data fragmentation continues to prevent the financial 360 view that would enable providers to manage revenue in an optimally effective way—especially when providers are assuming risk.
  2. Labor gaps not only remain a challenge, but the problem has intensified since COVID —particularly in the front-end revenue cycle, where wage bands now compete with Amazon, Wal-Mart, Target, or even McDonalds who are paying upwards of $20-$25/hour.
  3. Technology solutions remain elusive. The industry is still searching for the cohesive technology approach and solutions that can solve their data fragmentation problem, while also helping to close labor gaps through analytics and automation. And we’re still wrestling with the oldest problem, which is how to proactively, positively, and effectively engage the patient as a payer, who continues to be responsible for a significant amount of the financial obligation today, while maintaining or even strengthening their loyalty.

As anyone who has spent the majority of their career in the revenue cycle space, I’m well aware of these issues. Putting an end to them is why I joined Innovaccer. We’re bringing the power of data and analytics technology to bear in the revenue cycle, in ways that have only been imagined before.

It doesn’t have to be Groundhog Day in the revenue cycle any longer. And RCM can and should be an integral (and by that I mean fully integrated) part of clinical technology and EMR deployments. In fact, that is the path to escaping the Groundhog Day loop.

There’s much more about that to share. I invite you to see what we’re doing with revenue cycle interoperability, data, analytics, and automation to help make RCM more connected, effective, and a better experience for both the teams, the patient, and payment.

I hope to see you at the next show. Until then, please feel free to reach out to me. I’d love to show you what we have to offer and what we’re working on.


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Tags: Revenue Cycle
Patrick Gardner
Becker’s Reflections: Breaking Free of the Revenue Cycle Cycle

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