Patient Access: Put your Five Iron Down for One Second…

Providers turn to patient access for increased efficiencies. 

I recently watched an episode of the TV show “Grey’s Anatomy” where the hospital executives were spending their spare time hitting golf balls off the roof of the hospital. The idea of healthcare providers having time to pick up a five iron and practice their swings was enough to make me laugh out loud. With all of the energy around meaningful use, ICD-10, HIE, accountable care, Medicare reimbursements, and other changes and trends within healthcare, it is likely that you are busier than ever.

We all know there is no magical meaningful use snake oil (though if you believe there is, please call me on my cell), but KLAS continues to research and analyze provider strategies that have brought healthcare organizations the greatest efficiencies and successes. We know how overwhelmed and understaffed you are, how pressured you are to squeeze out efficiency in every way imaginable, and then how you need to expand your imagination and squeeze out even more efficiency.

Our recently published patient access study will hopefully bring some insight into this quest for efficiency. KLAS has found that many providers are encountering diminishing returns in their efforts to maximize on efficiencies at the revenue cycle back end, and these providers are now shifting their focus to the front end in search of cost savings and operational improvements. One study respondent said, “Up-front accuracy, of course, is top of my mind because it has so much to do with what happens on the back end, like with denials and things like that. I have talked to many of my peers and found that a lot of hospitals don’t have a solid denials management system. With ICD-10 coming up, that piece is something we have to have.”

Some providers are looking for a single vendor, such as a CIO who said, “What we are looking for is one platform that is integrated. We are looking for a solution to serve both the front end and the back end of the revenue cycle.” However, others who have made significant investments into their core vendors are looking to those vendors first and planning to then adding missing pieces with best-of-breed vendors.

With an increased focus on the front end of the revenue cycle, how much will patient access ultimately help providers improve efficiencies? Which vendors will be able to deliver the holistic, workflow-driven approach that providers are looking for? Ideally, patient access will be able to improve efficiencies to the point where healthcare executives will have the time to hit the links occasionally. Now wouldn’t that be nice …

Do you want to share your experiences with patient access? Let your voice be heard, and be counted. Fill out a KLAS evaluation.

 

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