Recovering Revenue During COVID-19

May 15, 2020

Three strategies to help bolster your bottom line during the pandemic.

The early eruption of the coronavirus prompted the federal government to urge a widespread halt of elective procedures in hopes of slowing the viral spread. For radiologists, this caused a massive decline in routine exams, which can result in a 40 percent-to-60 percent loss in revenue. Evolving health policies and industry environments keep revenue cycle leaders constantly seeking new strategies for improving the financial health of their practice. Now, radiology practices must maximize their ability to recover revenue and look into sufficient solutions during this down time of business.

Cutting costs and improving efficiencies within a practice is easier said than done. However, leaders need to be able to adapt to changing times in the industry, especially the current state we are in. Implementing the following strategies can help practices maneuver this business nadir and set them up for lasting revenue cycle management excellence throughout the rest of COVID-19 and long after it is neutralized.

Enhance Your Revenue Cycle

Achieving revenue cycle efficiency is an immense challenge under normal circumstances with the rapidly moving parts in this industry. Now, more than ever, it’s important for practices to enhance their revenue cycles to avoid further complications in this current business decline during the pandemic.

Whether billing is done in-house or outsourced by a third-party, it is important to utilize readily available technology to internally “scrub” claims for the accuracy and completeness required for clean filing. Technology allows for a rules-based review of billing files that is not dependent on a person and triple checks for accuracy before submission. Technology can also help identify opportunities for process improvement to reduce future errors from occurring.

Identify gaps in your current billing service

As the revenue cycle management (RCM) process becomes increasingly complex, it is possible that gaps in your practice’s process can result in significant revenue loss or delays. Successful billing operations often address common gaps, such as incomplete information, missing prior authorization or lack of documentation. There are numerous other gaps, however, that can often go unnoticed. If left unchecked, these gaps can lead to significant subsequent issues and a negative financial impact.

The most successful RCM processes automatically focus on gaps in billing by addressing reasons that are not the fault of the billing function, but rather of the payor. These types of processes are technologically driven and not people-dependent or intensive in numbers. Throughout the pandemic, many in-house and third-party billing solutions have had to scramble to figure out how to decentralize the operation to homes, straining people's dominant operations as gaps are found. Proper billing services – such as those provided by Collaborative Imaging – focus on these gaps which can prevent any interruption in remote workflow.

Prepare for a business spike with automated workflow solutions

Enhancing and preparing your RCM processes is extremely valuable during COVID-19 when revenue is diminished, but it will prove to be even more valuable when the pandemic begins to slow and practices encounter an increased demand for services. It is best to prepare for this expected business increase now with automated workflow solutions.

Instead of having to work through claims one by one, practices can implement these advanced solutions which allows them to access information the revenue cycle needs with just a few clicks of a mouse. These automated processes monitor and manage the end-to-end billing solutions regardless of vendor, billing system or solution. Through this, they ensure clean and complete information is obtained on the front-end with real-time, data-driven revenue cycle analytics. The end result? Clean claims that generate faster payment and a high possibility of capturing reimbursement opportunities that might have been previously overlooked.

The healthcare industry – and its technology – is constantly changing and will no longer be the same after COVID-19. It is imperative in this pandemic period that practices review all RCM policies and processes to maximize revenue, which can help manage the remainder of the pandemic and help them be better prepared for the future that will follow.