As hospitals and health systems have responded to COVID-19, on-site RCM workforces have moved to work-from-home arrangements just like more than half of Meduit’s workforce has done in this moment as a result of the pandemic.
Many of the hospital executives we have talked with since mid-April are not 100% committed to how their administrative staff structures will look, whether brought back full-time, work-from-home and/or tapping specialized external resources.
Hospital executives need to be thinking through what resources they need to marshal to maximize their cash returns in order to inoculate themselves as much as possible from future pressures on what might have been an overly concentrated workforce pre-COVID-19. Orchestrating, integrating and leveraging the few qualified RCM resources at a hospital’s command will be key in this emerging new normal.
They need to be doing so not just to address cost-cutting needs and mitigate risks associated with staffing structures caused by revenue losses (e.g. scheduled healthcare services being canceled) due to the pandemic, but investing wisely so that a dollar invested generates multiple dollars in revenue. When seeking to gain control over deteriorating revenues, hospitals should tap the stability and scalability of an effective external RCM partner with a contingency fee structure to generate revenues they wouldn’t have realized on their own to begin with.
We believe the hospital RCM organization of the immediate future will contain those three key component parts of in-office staff, work-from-home staff and specialized RCM resources that allow a hospital to scale up or down with the external resources with flexibility to mitigate unexpected crises.
Steps to Take Now
- Learn Effective Workforce Solutions: Since you likely have pressed reset on your RCM organization, determine the right number of FTEs needed, based on the other assessments outlined below.
- Work-From-Home Program Flexibility: If your hospital engaged in work-from-home arrangements, assess the effectiveness and sustainability if you were to institute a formal and permanent program moving forward. There is strong evidence that it could work well -- see Top 5 Benefits of Remote Work for Companies. https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurelfarrer/2020/02/12/top-5-benefits-of-remote-work-for-companies/#3d3a158116c8. Accessed 04.22.20.
- Immediate COVID RCM Expertise: Understand your ability to decode the numerous nuances of how COVID claims are going to hit your accounts receivable, from individual payor differences to the various support programs from the federal government to your individual patient situations.
- Artificial Intelligence Solutions: Evaluate AI tools that can make your RCM operation infinitely more effective, and understand that real AI is not a plugin but requires a learning runway for machine learning that ramps up quickly and accelerates cash and administrative efficiencies.