Revenue Cycle Labor Shortage and Outsourcing Solutions April 3, 2023

solutions to the healthcare shortage

In healthcare industries, the labor shortage is a significant problem. A recent study predicts that there will be a shortage of more than one million nurses in the U.S. over the next decade. The contributing factors to this issue are:

  • The aging population.
  • The increasing demand for healthcare services.
  • The need for qualified medical professionals.

For this reason, outsourcing has become a solution to this healthcare shortage. 

Taking a step back, let’s first understand how this issue impacts healthcare practices.

How do labor shortages impact healthcare organizations?

Labor shortages can severely impact healthcare organizations. Most healthcare finance leaders even report shortages in revenue cycle workforces – about 20 percent report 30 or more vacancies. It worsens the situation for hospitals, whose operations were already compromised by the COVID-19 pandemic. In recent years, declining reimbursements have necessitated revenue cycle management staffing, which requires a deep understanding of reimbursement and healthcare processes.

These are the areas where staffing shortages affect healthcare organizations:

Labor Shortages Impact the Revenue Cycle Teams of Medical Practices

Are you feeling the strain of the labor shortage in healthcare? It’s creating too much headache for the revenue cycle teams at medical practices. According to estimates, medical practice staff are 49% burnt out and facing staffing shortages. That’s why practices face longer wait times for patients, lower staff morale, and slow revenue due to delays in processing claims. 

Medical practices are also spending more on hiring and training new staff, making it harder to fill open positions. Overall, this results in a reduction in revenue and a decrease in revenue cycle efficiency.

Labor Shortages Affect the Delivery of Patient Care

Labor shortages’ impact on patient care delivery is very real. According to the American Hospital Association, over half of all hospitals in the United States are experiencing a staffing shortage. For this reason, patients must wait longer to get the proper care.

Meanwhile, patients with chronic illnesses may not receive the appropriate level of care due to a lack of staff availability. In some cases, it may lead to more errors in diagnosis and treatment that can harm patient health.

Labor Shortages Can Cause Medical Billers to Overwork

It may take a lot of work to meet the billing demands if you have few medical billers. There may not be enough time for billing staff to ensure that all claims have been paid, which can result in missed payments. Due to too much workload, medical billers might be unable to collect payments on time. A survey shows that this issue can lead to losses of up to $25 billion for healthcare providers across the United States.

5 Best Strategies to Address the Labor Shortage in the Revenue Cycle 

Many healthcare practices need help with a labor shortage in the revenue cycle. The following are five strategies that will help you address this problem.

1. Outsourcing Billing 

You can do more with less effort and fewer staff members by outsourcing the healthcare revenue cycle. With it, you can focus more on the core clinical tasks. Healthcare outsourcing is now a revenue cycle management strategy used by over 70% of medical practices. 

Third-party vendors can also assist with specific tasks on the revenue cycle, such as audit response or self-pay management. Depending on your needs, you can assign the entire job or just a portion of it. 

As shown in the table below, outsourcing has both pros and cons:

It’s easy and quick to set up.It has a high cost. (depends on the vendor)
It reduces some of the overhead of management.It is hard to monitor the vendor’s processes.
It is unnecessary to have extra space or to train intensely.It is essential to find the right outsourcing company.

Outsourcing in healthcare helps you eliminate labor shortages and bring in trained expertise to manage accounts receivables and denials. Not only that, but you’ll also be able to reduce costs and focus on patient care. With the perfect mix of technology, this process is the ideal solution for the healthcare shortage.

2. Automating Processes

Do you want to boost your healthcare practice’s revenue cycle management (RCM) process? Using Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Robotic Process Automation has enabled RCM managers to combat staffing shortages effectively. These intelligent solutions make repetitive tasks easier to handle, reduce manual effort, and manage labor-intensive tasks easier. 

Automating labor-intensive tasks in healthcare can optimize productivity. For example, your front office staff can be freed up to focus on other tasks by installing online patient registration portals. You’re taking great steps to make the most of technology in healthcare!

3. Strategize Tasks for Employees

According to recent statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, labor shortages in the revenue cycle are increasing. Stratifying employee tasks is an effective solution to the healthcare shortage. By organizing your task assignment, your employees can make the most of the resources and finish their work on time. This method can reduce the strain on existing staff and maximize revenue cycle efficiency. 

4. Rural Hospitals and Ambulatory Surgical Centers (ASCs)Can Turn To Staffing Firms and Remote Workers.

ASC leaders say that the biggest obstacle to care is skyrocketing costs due to supply and labor shortages with rising costs in healthcare and labor shortage is one of the main reason It’s time to turn to staff firms and remote workers to combat this. In order to regain control of your revenue cycle, staffing firms can provide the workforce you need. 

Meanwhile, a study found that remote workers decrease employers’ psychological stress. Their flexibility can help you meet the demands of your revenue cycle management strategies. In case of a labor shortage, they can provide short-term contracts to work temporarily. What’s great is that it helps you manage your staffing budget more effectively. 

Working with these healthcare organizations ensures you have the right people to maximize your revenue cycle staffing and cash flow.

5. Better Operational Framework

Operational managers play a crucial role in keeping your healthcare operations running smoothly. For this to happen, you need to invest time and money in workflow systems that facilitate employee performance assessments. The benefits of short-term improvements can be seen in the long run.

Tap Into Our Expertise

Even if you don’t like it, labor shortages will likely persist for some time. Thus, now is the time to apply these practical solutions to accelerate your revenue cycle and improve your financial health!

At 5 Star Billing Services Inc, we offer the highest level of performance for high-quality medical billing and coding. Investing in innovation will free up cash and stave off inflation. Your practice can also save money by outsourcing with the help of our billing services.

Schedule a call with our experts today!

Benefits of Outsourcing Medical Billing Management for 2023 December 22, 2022

medical outsourcing

The billing and coding staff drive the healthcare system behind the scenes. It’s also their job to ensure that all medical codes are up-to-date, so patients are fully reimbursed.

Likewise, medical billing is challenging for firms and medical practitioners without skilled personnel. Therefore, doctors, professionals, and healthcare providers prefer to outsource medical billing to third-party service providers.

So why choose to outsource medical billing? Besides saving time and money, healthcare outsourcing services are advantageous in many ways. For your medical practice, carefully consider all the benefits of outsourcing in healthcare. 

This article will discuss the benefits of outsourcing medical billing management for 2023 and why it is often a better option.

5 Major Benefits of Outsourcing Medical Billing

1. It Provides Efficient Cost Management

Regarding infrastructure modifications and overhead payroll expenses, and medical outsourcing is more cost-effective than hiring more staff in-house to handle the billing processes. An in-house billing system allows you to tightly control upfront expenses, including labor, hardware, software, training, and ongoing expenses for maintaining the system. Updates and changes to billing software can also be complex and expensive.

By outsourcing the process, you can invest in value additions for your clinic, which reduces operating expenses. It is possible to make use of the backend office space for treatment rooms and diagnostic areas, which can increase your practice’s profitability. 

2. It Increases Your Revenue

According to the news, the global medical billing outsourcing market will be worth US$ 25.7 Billion by 2028, growing by 12.2% over this period (2021-2028). Outsourcing in healthcare improves the profitability of many organizations. For example, RCM outsourcing is responsible for 5.3 percent of revenue increases among hospitals with more than 200 beds. In the same regard, nearly 80% of those with less than 200 beds attribute 6.2 percent of their revenue increases to medical billing outsourcing.

Another benefit of outsourcing in healthcare is that it increases income for physicians. Medical practices lose a significant amount of money annually due to denied claims. Using outsourced clinical services from medical billing companies prevents revenue leakage and facilitates the flow of payments. Take note that your bottom line and the success of your practice depend on a constant cash flow.

Furthermore, healthcare organizations must select a billing company with care to ensure quality, compliance, and performance are not at risk. 

3. It Reduces Billing and Coding Errors

Professional environments are not immune to mistakes. Despite this, you cannot blame your employees for the increasing billing, coding errors, and fraudulent activity your practice could experience if they are not adequately informed.

That’s why it’s easy to reduce errors with medical billing outsourcing companies. With their experience and training centered around medical billing codes, professional medical billers can submit your claims accurately and on time. Medical billing outsourcing companies continuously stay up to date on code changes and fraud prevention

They are responsible for ensuring that the billers they hire are trained and equipped to submit medical claims. As a result, they can minimize the number of denied and rejected claims due to billing errors and provide feedback to help maximize reimbursements in the future.

4. It Offers Flexibility

Traditionally, medical billing outsourcing has been known for its flexible pricing and delivery models, and most vendors customize their solutions for each company. Therefore, smaller practices can choose transactional RCM services instead of paying a percentage of collections to cover the cost of the work performed. For example, providers may require a fixed monthly fee per account, claim, CPT code, or location.

Additionally, you can outsource various billing functions to different providers, leaving your internal staff to handle other billing functions. Using a flexible delivery model, you can utilize the billing specialist’s knowledge without giving up complete control. Of course, due to ever-changing needs, your practice can re-bundle services from only one service provided together with your own staff later on.

5. It Offers Security & Guaranteed Compliance

Healthcare compliance and data security knowledge are essential. Medical billing staff must stay up to date with new rules and protocols constantly, which makes compliance even harder. As standards change, it is crucial to have a dedicated expert who stays up to date with new developments. Another primary concern is the patient’s health privacy. It may be risky to keep records in-house. In some cases, office computers and servers crash, erasing all data.

An established medical billing company can provide security during and after the billing process. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) regulations require them to invest in security measures. By keeping up with all changes, their services remain competitive.

Reasons to Outsource Medical Billing

If your medical practice often has revenue cycle leaks, outsourcing may be the most appropriate solution for you. With medical outsourcing, you can see steady and noticeable growth in your practice’s revenue. Below are the reasons to leave your medical billing to the experts: 

  • There is a shortage of skilled medical and non-medical personnel to meet the growing demand
  • A lack of staffing or the inability to add a full-time specialist
  • Regardless of the size of a business, budget constraints influence capital investment decisions and operation costs
  • Compliance requirements that are constantly changing and complex
  • Healthcare is increasingly competitive, not only between providers but also with peripheral businesses;
  • Concerns relating to non-medical issues include cyber-attacks on digital health records and other patient information.

The Digital Journal reports that revenue from medical billing outsourcing will increase by 16 percent from 2022-2032.

Tap Into Our Expertise

Outsourcing your medical billing depends on your needs. The capacity and finances of your practice are important factors to consider. To experience the benefits of outsourcing, you should look for a medical billing company with a team of expert medical billers. 

At 5 Star Billing Services Inc, we offer the highest level of performance for high-quality medical billing and coding. Save your money by outsourcing to a professional billing service.

Schedule a call with our experts today!

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