Hospital, health systems, outpatient clinics and physician groups of all sizes are cracking beneath the weight of the current staffing crisis, trying to navigate shrinking patient volume and plummeting revenue. Nurses, doctors, and advanced-level practitioners are retiring and resigning in record numbers; the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says more than 275,000 nurses are needed from 2020 to 2030.
To make matters worse, support staff is resigning and retiring as well, leaving costly gaps in critical revenue generating functions like patient access, prior authorizations, scheduling, coding and billing.
Here’s how staffing shortages are costing organizations revenue, beyond the obvious shrinking of available beds and closed units. (It can be fixed – more on that later.)
Deep Cuts Increase Human Error, Decrease Revenue
When skilled staff is asked to take on multiple jobs, including ones they are not qualified, or marginally qualified, to do, it reduces their productivity and increases human error. Charges are not captured, and revenue is lost.
For example: A nurse is asked to document supplies and bedside procedures on her unit and submit them for charges. In all likelihood the nurse is already stretched to the limit with maximum patient assignments. There isn’t enough bandwidth to care for patients, document in the EMR, and become a charge expert all at the same time. As a result, reimbursements opportunities are reduced.
Multi-tasking Loses Dollars
The old adage, “The hurrier I go the behinder I get”, applies here. Everyone in healthcare is trying to do more with less. People at all levels are doing multiple jobs and few are stopping to ask, “Is this the most cost-effective way to get this done?”
In fact, this is exactly the time to ask that question. It’s also time to streamline existing processes to improve productivity and reduce human error. When revenue cycle technology is leveraged, it relieves pressure on staff, creates automatic capture of charges, improves handling of denials, and captures more revenue.
Leverage Skilled Staff From RCM Vendor Partners
We know that retirements and resignations are stripping employee rolls, and there is a dearth of people applying to work inside healthcare, but that knowledge doesn’t solve the problem. Healthcare providers need staff yesterday and they are limping along while trying everything possible to get people in the door.
There is another strong, revenue-laden option; when a revenue cycle vendor provides staff, (and not at the price tag of travelers) either by literally bringing them to your facility or providing them offsite, you have a viable option and a pressure relief valve. Vendors could provide:
1: Skilled staff to do the prior authorizations, charge capture, and billing
2: The same skilled staff to find and capture lost revenue
It’s Time To Consider Technology
It’s been a while since the pandemic reeked its havoc, yet healthcare organizations continue to reel from its impact. Our clients have been leveraging technology like automation and artificial intelligence to overcome such challenges and obtain desired outcomes to streamline existing workflows to reduce the need to recruit more staff and mitigate human error.
It’s important to know that it is possible to expand staff, streamline processes with technology, and vastly improve charge and revenue capture – and quickly. If your organization is looking to partner with a revenue cycle vendor, feel free to reach out to us to see how our tech-enabled solutions could help your organization.