Streamlined revenue cycle management (RCM) is key to an ambulatory surgery center’s long-term financial success.
The revenue cycle is multifaceted, involving every aspect of coding, billing, claims submissions, and collections. “Because healthcare providers need to expend significant resources to manage the revenue cycle internally, many are choosing to outsource RCM in order to increase efficiency and reduce expenses,” said Regent RCM Director of Revenue Cycle Management Erin Petrie. The RCM market in North America is expected to experience a growth rate of 12% by 2021, according to a MicroMarket Monitor report.
Outsourcing RCM is projected to expand as ASC leaders recognize its benefits:
- Enhancing quality of care while reducing costs
- Increasing transparency and accountability
- Improving cash flow and stabilizing the overall revenue cycle
Ambulatory surgery centers that opt to outsource RCM gain several competitive advantages:
- Specialized Expertise
The revenue cycle management landscape is not static; it is changing at a rapid pace. For healthcare providers to keep up with the latest updates to Medicare, Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act, and other guidelines, they must employ RCM specialists on their administrative staff to get optimal results.
Outsourcing RCM is a far more effective and affordable option for many ASCs. A company that specializes in revenue cycle management offers ASCs expertise in developing, executing, and refining billing and collection strategies. “These RCM experts know how to handle the most complicated challenges and plan for any imminent changes,” said Petrie.
- Smart Staffing
For ASCs to manage the revenue cycle internally, they must employ an experienced billing and coding staff with built-in redundancies. This costly investment is a necessity for in-house RCM; cutting corners and hiring inexperienced employees can cost ASCs hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.
Outsourced RCM providers are ideally positioned to attract experienced staff with deep knowledge of the revenue cycle. They are RCM specialists, so they know how to recruit and hire the best employees in the industry, often maintaining a pipeline of qualified applicants waiting for a spot to open up. They also offer competitive salaries and benefits, and situate their offices in desirable locations.
- Best-in-Class Technology
ASCs often do not have the appropriate tools or resources to manage the revenue cycle in-house. ASC leaders are juggling tight budgets and favoring patient care over improved billing resources, and it’s simply not practical to invest in the most up-to-date RCM software and tools.
By outsourcing RCM, centers can take advantage of economies of scale and gain access to best-in-class technology. The team at Regent RCM uses three powerful technologies to track and automate the revenue cycle process:
- A Management Information Systems (MIS) platform that helps maximize profitability, lower A/R days, and achieve faster reimbursement
- Clearinghouse software that makes workflows more efficient, improving patient experiences and reducing outstanding balances
- A reporting and analytics dashboard that creates real-time customized reports and offers deep insights into an ASC’s operations
Learn more about optimizing your ASCs revenue cycle through outsourcing by conducting a Self-Audit.