According to the survey, which was conducted among practices across the nation and evaluated several high-level metrics, many medical practices are “falling short” of the best practices benchmark.
The survey found that the majority of practices, 77 percent, have between one and 10 people working in their billing offices. Only 7 percent said they had 25 or more employees working in a billing function. Additionally, only 15 percent of practices rated their ability to follow-up and resolve denials as 10 or “excellent”; 31 percent rated their abilities between 1-5.
According to Benjamin Colton and David Wofford of ECG Management Consultants, ineptitude and lack of technical knowledge may be contributed to the lack of qualified professionals within the RCM field.
“Unfortunately, revenue cycle management is often a thankless role with an unclear career path and therefore does not always attract top talent,” Colton & Wofford wrote in their article 6 Essential Elements for Physician Revenue Cycle Management
. “Consequently, as physician practices are rapidly consolidated under hospital or health system ownership, the demand for people with the requisite skills is almost certain to exceed the supply and it will be common to find revenue cycle managers (and even directors) who struggle to see the way forward for their operation.”
According to the authors, the solution to this failure in RCM, which ultimately affects a hospital’s bottom line, is to outsource billing functions through a “sound, performance-driven contract that holds the vendor accountable.”
“Healthcare organizations that outsource portions of their revenue cycle operations typically do so to access advanced practice management capabilities more quickly or more economically than they could if they developed the operations on their own,” they write.
Nearterm provides interim management, executive search and project staffing for medical and healthcare organizations and hospitals nationwide. Our experienced and knowledgeable principal partners are actively involved in every RCM project we take on. Also, we are employee-owned and utilize an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), giving each of our contractors the motivation to perform in an accountable manner that some revenue cycle consulting companies cannot match.
Nearterm has been recognized by TAPC and HAAPC for outstanding contract/temporary service in the Technical/Professional category.