Imagine you’re a revenue cycle leader working for a large health system, and one day, your boss comes to you and tells you that you need to find $2 billion dollars in savings from operating costs.
What would you do? Where would you look to cut first? How would you decide what or who stayed and what or who to remove?
This startling scenario is a stark reality for many major health systems in the US as they emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. Some, like Trinity Health, announced cutbacks and furloughs early on in the pandemic. 1
Others, like OhioHealth, are making big changes today. For that 12 hospital, 200+ ambulatory site health system, the savings are coming from terminating 637 jobs; its largest layoff ever. The jobs are mostly within IT and RCM, and this is part of a plan to contract out some services the system now provides in house. OhioHealth said the IT work will be handled by the professional services company Accenture, and AGS Health will handle the revenue cycle business. Over the next three to five months, the system plans to eliminate information technology and revenue cycle management positions. 2
Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center in New York is reducing approximately 5% of its workforce as it focuses on making changes to improve revenue cycle operations. The hospital said that it is planning to outsource revenue cycle management and lay off revenue cycle staff. 2
St. Charles Health System in Oregon is in the process of cutting 181 positions. The layoffs affect mainly nonclinical workers, including many leadership positions. In mid-July, the health system laid off two executives. 2
And Sutter Health has contracted to have an outside vendor be the health system’s exclusive revenue cycle management provider for the next 10 years, a deal which is estimated to save Sutter Health $400 million over that time span. As part of the agreement, about 1,150 Sutter revenue cycle employees will be offered comparable positions with the vendor. 3
These layoffs and changes to staffing for RCM departments were also highlighted in a recent report. The study found that 82% of respondents said their RCM/billing department is experiencing a severe or moderate labor shortage. And 77% percent said between 25 – 75% of their RCM/billing department roles are currently vacant. 4
Of the respondents, 46% said increasing costs or shrinking margins are their biggest concerns when it comes to the financial health of their organization. And 56% said they are adopting automation technologies to address RCM/billing department labor shortages. 4
These are turbulent times in healthcare, particularly within revenue cycle departments everywhere. Gratefully, there are tools and resources available to help ease the pressures caused by rising costs and labor shortages.
In our work with hospitals and clinics, we’ve found that when an organization begins using our software their AR churns faster, their insurance denials decrease, their bad debt lowers, and their accounts sent to collections are drastically reduced. All while decreasing their operational work load on billing, patient access, and other RCM staff.
If you’re looking for help to address the challenges your RCM/billing department is facing, reach out to us and schedule a free exploratory call today. We have digital solutions that are revolutionizing revenue cycles, enhancing registration and up-front bill pay, modernizing patient communication and bill payments, and making the financial aspects of healthcare easier for patients and RCM teams all over the country.
To your success, from all of us at Wixcorp