As health systems move towards value-based-care, the focus grows on implementing new technologies and innovative solutions. This shift has the power to improve the satisfaction, experience, and engagement of patients while also creating a positive impact on their bottom line. As the new year begins, there is added pressure to operate more strategically and efficiently. In order to achieve success, healthcare executives look to the following resolutions in 2018:
1. Reduce costs—Implement a denials prevention program
It is critical for health systems to evaluate their operations and look for ways to reduce costs as much as possible. In 2017, an analysis by Change Healthcare showed that out of approximately $3 trillion in medical claims submitted by US hospitals, about $262 billion were denied. Hospitals put forth every effort to appeal these claims. Although about 63% of them were recoverable, the number of administrative costs involved amounted up to $8.6 billion—roughly $118 per claim.
In 2018, hospitals will look to be more proactive about preventing denials, and quicker to recover payments. Luckily for hospitals, there are resources available to digitally document financial communications and centrally index them into each patient’s record.
Technology, like Trace by Vyne Medical, a business intelligence tool that provides data to quickly and easily allow root cause analysis, helps support a denials program with the ability to automate processes and document authorizations prior to care. Trace analyzes voice communications to guide staff in front-end processes to 1) improve communications and practices, preventing denials before they occur and 2) provide back-end processes with undisputable documentation. This way, when a denial occurs, hospitals can quickly remedy the situation providing evidence of approvals to payers, or, in some cases, preventing denials before they occur by submitting the original authorization along with the claim. Trace also shares discoveries with staff to quickly prevent similar claims from being denied in the future.
In addition to reducing costs and recovering payments, patients will also benefit from better experiences not having to deal with misunderstandings of their medical bills. This will attribute to improved patient satisfaction scores.
2. Effectively improve patient experience and satisfaction
Another way for health systems to reduce costs and increase revenue is through higher patient experience scores. This directly impacts hospital reimbursements and reduces their penalties. Health Systems consistently evaluate every step of the patient experience to ensure staff is delivering care that meets or exceed standards set to achieve positive results. From registration to discharge, there are many areas where technology can help hospitals improve the patient experience.
One possible area hospitals could look to is their staff-patient and payer-provider communications. By recording, documenting, and indexing all communication interactions, hospitals can track, monitor and score verbal communications, both phone, and face-to-face, as well as email and fax. This allows leadership to share best practices, create communication predictability, and address areas in need of improvement.
Additionally, this technology can help prevent errors from occurring, which can avoid upsetting patients when they receive a bill with an unexpected value due. As importantly, it saves time and resources wasted by the hospital to remedy a negative situation. The results lead to more satisfied patients and efficient hospital staff.
3. Improve efficiency through productivity and financial management
Technology in every industry has played a major role in operational efficiency. Some ways it has done this through automating tasks and reducing steps needed to complete them.
In healthcare, with costs continuing to rise, there is a lot of pressure on executives to provide their workforce with proper resources and standardized processes. These tools allow staff to do more with less time [without overlap] to maximize their days, reduce costs and improve patient care. Trace by Vyne Medical makes it simple for teams because they’re not having to chase information from person to person, or system to system. Trace puts everything at your fingertips, and you can move quickly (and properly) to help create the best possible patient care.
4. Implement a work-from-home program for qualifying employees
Another way health systems are reducing costs and increasing productivity is by implementing, or expanding, work-from-home programs for select staff. It’s become increasingly common in the finance department for teams to transfer to remote home offices.
Health systems with work-from-home programs are seeing immediate results in employee satisfaction and retention increased productivity, and reduced costs from commuting and real estate. Through this initiative, hospitals are able to grow their teams without having to expand and space once occupied by these teams can now be converted into patient care rooms. You can learn more about work-from-home programs and how Trace has been helping health systems benefit from these efforts here.
Trace by Vyne Medical has been supporting leaders at over 450 hospitals in these efforts and will look to help more health systems with these resolutions in 2018. For more information on how Trace can help your health system accomplish these resolutions or others, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.