To control costs and improve results, many medical groups are evaluating a new generation of outsourced revenue cycle management (RCM) solutions. But wading through RCM solution options can be confusing.

One obvious measure is the price of the solution. It’s important to evaluate the total cost of ownership to help make the right decision for your practice. Considerations should include the answers to these questions:

1. Will the solution save staff time by automating time-consuming tasks with easy-to-learn software?

2. Will the solution’s analytics give you insights to help you proactively manage the revenue cycle, provider productivity and benchmark performance?

3. If you decide to make a change in the future, is the solution portable? Or will you need to start a new solution from scratch?

4. Will your staff continue to perform certain tasks internally, or will your partner? For example, will you outsource tasks such as self-pay collections, patientstatements, appointment reminders and collection letters?

5. Are there transactional fees associated with certain tasks, such as eligibility verification, electronic claim submission, reminder calls and other similar functions?

6. Will the vendor provide phone support during all of your office hours?

7. Does the vendor handle patient calls about billing questions, or is your staff required to manage all patient-facing issues?

8. In addition to standard, static reports, does the solution offer more comprehensive, dynamic analytics?

9. Does the solution enable you to easily distribute information to various constituents in your practice?

10. Does the solution allow you to benchmark your performance against your peers?

11. Does the vendor provide a dedicated account manager, who is accessible and able to answer and resolve issues quickly?

12. Will the vendor bring new ideas to help improve productivity and keep you up-to-date on solution developments?

Knowing the answers to these questions can help you choose the right RCM outsourcing solution for your practice, which will help streamline workflow, raise clean claim percentages and speed payments. Best of all, a good RCM outsourcing solution enables you to spend less time on billing and more time providing quality patient care.

Have you recently implemented an outsourced RCM solution? What were your top considerations? Help your colleagues by leaving a comment below.

Editor’s Note: This post is derived from Ed Wrzesinski’s recent article in Physician’s Practice.  Find out more about Allscripts new approach to revenue cycle management here.

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About the author

Edward (Ed) Wrzesinski, Jr., CMPE, is Director of Revenue Cycle Management Services for Allscripts. Prior to joining Allscripts, Wrzesinski spent 18 years in executive leadership roles with healthcare provider organizations including as Executive Director of Frederick Primary Care Associates, a 44-provider family practice group with nine locations operating in Frederick County, Maryland. Before that, Wrzesinski managed the Maryland staff practice for Green Spring Health Services, an 80-provider behavioral health practice. Wrzesinski also maintained an independent consulting practice, working with medical groups of various sizes on a variety of assignments. Wrzesinski is an honors graduate of The George Washington University, with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. He has also completed numerous specialized training programs and is a graduate of the Center for Creative Leadership’s National Leadership Institute. Wrzesinski has been a Certified Medical Practice Executive and a member of the American College of Medical Practice Executives since 2001. He is active in a number of civic and service activities including the Rotary Club, the Boy Scouts of America, Little League, and the Jaycees.

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