Five Revenue Cycle Management Trends That Are Shaping the Future of Healthcare

As digitization impacts many aspects of the healthcare sector, revenue cycle management is no exception. New practices need to be incorporated to streamline operations, increase efficiency and optimize overall financial performance. As the preference for telehealth services has grown, cloud implementation has come to the forefront and traditional manual processes have been replaced by automated ones.

Here are the five major trends that will shape the future of healthcare revenue cycle management:

Telehealth and virtual patient engagement

Thanks to global lockdowns induced by the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare establishments have witnessed a dramatic reduction in in-patient visits fueled by a need to avoid cross-contamination. This has in turn increased the implementation of telehealth services. According to a report published by McKinsey & Company in 2021, revenue cycle management statistics show that the utilization of telehealth services increased 38 times from the pre-COVID-19 baseline.

Rather than waiting in line to schedule appointments and visiting physicians in person, patients preferred virtual consultation services. As virtual care and telehealth services evolve, healthcare organizations also need to change their models to align themselves to the future of healthcare revenue cycle management.

Surge in cloud implementation

One of the key revenue cycle management trends 2022 is the benefits of cost, security and efficiency that have led healthcare organizations to adopt cloud-based systems. These systems have enabled transparency. They carry out effective collaboration and communication activities without compromising security measures or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) protocol.

Cloud platforms also allow rapid and accurate claims processing. Revenue cycle management companies identified the need to strengthen cloud capabilities and adopted an acquisition strategy. Cloud implementation is expected to grow with healthcare technology companies launching new products and surfaces as a result of emerging revenue cycle management industry trends

Implementation of automation to continue

Automation increases accuracy, efficiency and streamlines processes. According to the survey conducted by healthcare technology provider Akasa in 2020, nearly 66% of the healthcare systems in the U.S. use some form of automation in revenue cycle management.

The future of revenue cycle management lies in automation which has become a must-have commodity for healthcare organizations. This is purely thanks to an increase in the complexity of rules and regulations, implementation of telehealth services and claim denials. The implementation of automation is expected to rise in the coming years to overcome these challenges.

Need for strict cybersecurity measures to increase

The healthcare sector has become a massive target for cybercriminals. Revenue cycle management has not been an exception. In 2021, Med-Data, a leading healthcare revenue cycle management vendor reported a data breach to the HHS’ Office for Civil Rights. In this report, the vendor stated that the personal and health data of nearly 136,000 patients from five healthcare organizations had been exposed.

Strong cybersecurity measures need to be implemented given the complex nature of cyberattacks. Adopting AI tools, security analytics, and encryption software is vital. According to a report published by IBM in 2021, healthcare organizations that adopted these approaches could save $1.25–$1.49 million compared to organizations that don’t.

New regulations on surprise billing

Surprise billing represents unexpected medical expenses incurred for emergency care and treatment by out-of-network providers. According to the Harris Poll of the American Heart Association survey, more than two-thirds of U.S. adults face financial burdens after receiving surprise bills. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and other regulatory bodies launched new regulations in 2021, changing the way patients are billed for emergency care to decrease the financial burden. Healthcare organizations with revenue cycle management systems should be prepared to incorporate more changes.

To equip themselves for the future of healthcare revenue cycle management, healthcare organizations in the US must stay ahead of the curve by implementing the latest technologies to complement a skilled workforce. If you’re curious to learn more about streaming or better managing your revenue cycle, HelioNext is here to help. Get in touch with us today!