Upgrading claims technology was the top strategy for reducing denials in 2022, according to Experian Health’s State of Claims 2022 report. The report lists the most common strategies for minimizing the risk and impact of denials, based on a survey of 200 health professionals. With more than half of providers already embracing automation, there’s broad recognition that data-driven software and streamlined workflows are key to getting more claims approved the first time and minimizing avoidable revenue loss. And as new AI-based technologies gain traction as a route to faster and richer data analytics, there are growing opportunities for providers to leverage automated claims management solutions and improve healthcare claims processing.
In June 2022, Experian Health surveyed 200 revenue cycle decision-makers to understand the current state of claims management. Watch the video to see the results:
Here are 4 ways to improve healthcare claims processing, based on current practice and perceptions of claims management, and the solutions that can help providers reduce denials in 2023.
1. Upgrade claims technology
More than half of survey respondents (52%) updated or replaced existing claims process technology in 2022. Healthcare executives were optimistic about using more advanced automation to improve claims processing workflows, with more than 91% saying they would “probably” or “definitely” invest in automation over the next six months.
The benefits of automating healthcare claims management are well-documented. Less friction and fewer errors lead to faster and more accurate submissions, so claims are more likely to be reimbursed. Tasks can be assigned to the right specialist to make more efficient use of staff time and alleviate pressure on busy teams. Artificial intelligence (AI) takes this up a notch with additional predictive capabilities and the ability to “learn” from historical claims data.
- Action: Prioritize automation of data-heavy, repetitive claims management processes and leverage AI to prevent denials
- Recommended tool: ClaimSource® helps providers manage the entire claims cycle by creating custom work queues so staff can prioritize the most valuable tasks and speed up reimbursement. Experian Health’s new AI Advantage™ solution integrates with ClaimSource to predict and prevent denials. Pre-submission, AI Advantage™ – Predictive Denials identifies claims that are at risk of being denied, so corrections can be made before claims are sent to payers. AI Advantage™ – Denial Triage comes into play post-submission, reviewing patterns in denials to prioritize those with the greatest likelihood of reimbursement. Together, these tools give staff the insights to reduce workload and minimize denials.
Experian Health is pleased to announce that we’ve ranked #1 in Claims Management and Clearinghouse, for our ClaimSource® claims management system, according to the 2023 Best in KLAS: Software and Professional Services report.
2. Automate patient portal claims reviews
For 44% of respondents, automating patient portal claims reviews were seen as an effective way to get claims right the first time. Patients can check for errors and inconsistencies in their own accounts, to prevent avoidable mistakes from ending up on claims submissions. Patients can also use portals to track the progress of claims, so they don’t need to speak to an agent. It’s more convenient for patients and reduces the call burden on staff.
- Action: Review digital patient access strategies to improve patient engagement
- Recommended tool: Safe and secure patient portals can facilitate better communication between patients and providers, smoothing out many common bumps in the claims management process. If it’s easier for patients to submit accurate and timely insurance, medical and contact information, it’ll be easier for providers to submit prompt, accurate claims.
3. Provide accurate estimates
In 2022, 40% of respondents said they’d focused on providing accurate cost estimates to patients as a way of reducing claim denials. Patient estimates may not be the most obvious route to improving the denial rate, but they set the stage for successful claims management. If a provider can pull together all the necessary variables to produce accurate estimates, then they have all the pieces in place to submit clean claims. Other byproducts of reliable, upfront estimates can be seen throughout the revenue cycle: patients are more likely to pay their bills sooner and have better patient experiences.
- Action: Invest in pre-service patient estimates technology
- Recommended tool: Patient Payment Estimates allows providers to pull together complex data on each patient’s specific medical, coverage and financial circumstances into an accurate estimate of what the payer will cover and what the patient will have to pay. These accurate, upfront estimates not only improve the patient experience and make it easier for patients to understand and pay their bills, but also ensure the pieces are in place to support smoother claims management.
4. Digitize registration
Finally, 39% of providers said they’d embraced digital patient registration in 2022 to tackle the problem of denials. As with patient estimates, this approach works by ensuring patient details are as accurate as possible from the start. Improving accuracy on the front-end prevents errors, delays and rework further on in the claims processing workflow.
Digital and self-service registration also reduces the burden on staff. Many of the reasons providers gave for denials related to concerns around managing limited resources for everything from payer policy changes to patient admissions. Digital patient registration allows patients to complete patient access before they come in, so staff are freed up to focus on other tasks.
- Action: Implement an automated self-service patient registration solution
- Recommended tool: Registration Accelerator reduces reliance on time-consuming manual data-entry processes, which often result in denied or delayed reimbursements. Not only does it alleviate staff pressures and reduce labor costs, it also improves data quality. This solution integrates with existing health information systems, electronic medical records and eCARE NEXT®, which streamlines data entry. This will be key as providers look to reduce labor costs, increase efficiency and accelerate payments.
Effective claims management requires speed, accuracy and flexibility. Find out how Experian Health’s automated claims management solutions can help providers improve healthcare claims processing and reduce denials.