As electronic health records (EHRs) were implemented nationwide, healthcare provider organizations simultaneously attempted, and continue, to integrate health information systems across their enterprises so they could effectively and efficiently exchange data between providers and analyze performance.
While integrated health information systems are essential for delivering high-quality care across organizations and communities, so too are integrated financial systems. As evidenced by this recent article in Healthcare Finance News, organizations are beginning to realize the efficiency and financial oversight benefits of integrating their revenue cycle operations.
The article highlights several organizations, including the Mayo Clinic whose main campus in Rochester, Minnesota, has integrated with its sites in Florida and Arizona, but is adding its facilities in southern Minnesota and western Wisconsin to the network in 2016. According to the article, this integration means Mayo doesn’t need a supervisor, manager or director for every entity in its network, but rather the system will eventually operate a single revenue cycle organization.
Improved performance and forecasting
As in the Mayo example, integration eliminates bureaucracy and information silos for the revenue cycle staff who need that information to ensure the maximum-allowed contracted reimbursements and patient payments are billed and collected in as little time as possible. Organizations such as Mayo with integrated revenue cycle operations can also more easily and accurately measure financial performance enterprise-wide, while creating financial forecasts using the most up-to-data available.
In the coming years, more healthcare provider organizations will accept value-based payment contracts where they face greater financial risk for their expenditures. Having efficient revenue cycle operations and being able to assess enterprise-wide financial performance in seconds means organizations can be nimble in preventing losses by more rapidly addressing revenue shortfalls. In this shifting payment landscape, integrated health and financial information systems will work in conjunction to ensure quality care is delivered, coded, billed and reimbursed more accurately and rapidly than in years past.