With rising costs, US hospitals have overlooked how to gain over $20 million in revenue capture
With the aim to improve the performance of health organisations, the Advisory Board Company has looked at how hospitals can provide increased value and ensure sufficient cost savings.
A recent analysis has shown how this focus on revenue cycle performance within an average sized 350 bed hospital has dropped significantly across a number of key areas within US healthcare, whilst costs to achieve quality, patient-centered care have risen significantly.
Delving into the costs associated with revenue cycle management, the company has analysed how hospitals could gain up to $22 million in revenue.
James Green, National Partner, Consulting at Advisory Board said, "From top-performing revenue cycle organisations to the bottom quartile, critical benchmarks have been either stagnant or steadily sliding since 2011 and need a strategic overhaul."
"Even if payments from government payers—Medicare, Medicaid and insurance exchanges—remain constant in 2017, four other forces present strategic challenges to defending margins. These are:
- Increased patient consumerism driven by higher financial obligations
- Aggressive commercial denials and more complex payer contracts
- Physician engagement on documentation given demands on the acute care and medical group enterprises
- Poorly executed integrations that waste potential economies of scale."
However, with the health industry currently under transformation globally, alongside President Trump’s plan to disrupt the health system by replacing the Affordable Care Act, hospitals are under considerable strain to deliver.
The study has shown that median performing organisations have stagnated on net days in accounts receivable, with the overall average cost to collect worsened by 70 basis points of net patient revenue from 2011 to 2015 This therefore amounts to millions of dollars of lost revenue.
Jim Lazarus, National Partner, Technology at Advisory Board added: "By taking a more strategic approach toward legislated payment reform—institutions could make that quartile jump for each of those four metrics and improve by up to 6.4 percent of margin."
The Advisory Board also highlights four forces which are challenging current processes:
- Commercial Payers are scrutinising an increased number of claims: commercial contracts no longer provide the growing margins that used to offset lower Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement for many hospitals. Hospitals are losing, on average, five percentage points of their margin to underpayments, denials, and suboptimal contract negotiations, creating an ongoing impact in performance.
- Patient obligations are neutralising benefits of coverage gains: While insurance coverage has increased, so has bad debt, with no sign of slowing down, putting increased responsibility on patients and increased risk and inflexibility.
To build more enduring relationships with patients and improve collections, the study shows that hospitals and health systems need to improve the patient financial experience. This is with a foundation built on clear search capabilities for price estimates, better access for scheduling and payment, a positive care encounter, and each point of financial contact contributing to the construction of a long-standing relationship.
LG launches purpose-built smart TV for hospitals
LG Business Solutions USA has announced two new hospital TVs that are designed to improve patient management and engagement while adhering to critical safety standards for healthcare facilities.
One of the TVs is LG's biggest ever screen for a hospital - the 65-inch 4K Ultra HD model. It has LG’s NanoCell display technology, enabling it to display vivid pictures, and provides built-in support for hospital pillow speakers and embedded broadband LAN capability, so hospitals can deliver video on demand without requiring a separate set-top box in the patient room.
It also includes configuration software with an intuitive interface for setting up the TV to work in a hospital setting, plus a software-enabled access point feature that turns the TV into a Wi-Fi hotspot.
The second TV screen is the 15-inch Personal Healthcare Smart Touch TV with a multi-touch screen. It is designed to be installed on an adjustable arm for use in shared spaces or smaller patient rooms and will support LG's new, modular LG AM-AC21EA video camera, and HD video communication.
Both include support for video conferencing, and are UL Certified for use in healthcare facilities, a global safety standard. They also feature LG’s integrated Pro:Centric hospital management solutions, allowing hospitals and LG’s patient engagement development partners to personalise a patient's room, providing entertainment, hospital information, services, patient education, and more.
Additionally its communication platform makes it possible to conduct video calls between patients and clinicians or family.
“Our newest LG hospital TVs reflect ongoing feedback from the industry and include capabilities integrated to meet the unique needs of a critical market” said Tom Mottlau, Director of Healthcare Solutions, LG Electronics USA.
“Our healthcare patient engagement development partners requested an upgradable version of webOS for our Pro:Centric smart TV platform so they could more easily introduce new features for their hospital customers. For the latest versions of webOS, LG worked closely with our partners to make their request a reality and to deliver a hospital TV platform that can evolve over time.”