Aug
28
2013

Transforming the healthcare revenue cycle: 3 benefits of employing a data-driven approach

There’s a knock on the door, and it’s “big data.”

The promise of Big Data is redefining patient care, becoming the norm in clinical settings as it drives clinical pathways and care decisions. But it’s now time to broaden healthcare’s perception of Big Data to show how healthcare organizations can open the door to other possibilities where it can have a dramatic impact on financial performance.

The key opportunity centers on making sedentary data within your organization’s four walls actionable, especially when combined with other valuable data such as credit information, to improve financial performance, patient safety and patient satisfaction. Although there are many benefits to leveraging data in this way, there are three that rise to the top.

  1. Who knew the revenue cycle and patient access would be a first line of defense for patient care? A significant, yet often underappreciated benefit of a data-driven revenue cycle is improved patient safety. Identity theft and fraud are decreased by properly identifying the patient at the outset of the healthcare experience. This proactive approach can also ensure healthcare organizations treat the correct patient and avoid the risks associated with misidentification.
  2. It’s all about upfront payment whenever possible. The back end of the revenue cycle is shifting to the front — while nothing new, it’s an increasing reality dependent on important data points. Verifying benefits, eligibility and propensity to pay before the patient arrives or in real time at registration not only improves patient-provider interactions, it also allows the registrar, and other patient access professionals, to better understand the patient’s unique financial situation and engage in appropriate and tailored financial counseling discussions. While some processes remain on the back end, it’s really about having a clear understanding of the patient’s financial picture upfront.
  3. Collecting with compassion, and for the bottom line. Finally, collections become less about randomly tracking down payments and more about compassionate customer service and targeted process improvement by scoring and segmenting patient accounts. Data and analytics improve collections efficiency and profitability by streamlining processes and proactively assessing and responding to each patient’s unique situation, whether providing a customized payment plan or identifying charity care for a patient in need. And, robust data points on collections agency performance provide insight into which agencies are delivering the most return on which accounts, as well as where agency consolidation or internal support will yield stronger collections results.

Big data has transformed clinical care. Now, it’s time to apply the same data-driven approach to mitigate financial risk and enhance the bottom line.

Isn’t it time to answer that knock on your revenue cycle door?


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