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Preparing for the Health System of the Future: Three Strategies You Should Know

Star_trekWhether you’re a kid from the 1970s watching The Jetsons, a high schooler from the mid-1980s listening to Prince’s “1999,” or a Comic-Con attendee from any decade discussing the merits of StarTrek, pop culture paints a vivid picture of the future. When you think of the many songs and TV shows dedicated to the topic of the future, you don’t commonly see examples of healthcare providers. In my opinion, that’s not because healthcare doesn’t provide enough fodder for a futuristic storyline; rather, the opposite is true. We move at such a rapid-fire pace in the healthcare world, it’s easy to look back a year or two and feel like it’s been 10 or 20.

Health systems are currently experiencing this type of rapid evolution as they adapt to health reform. They’ve acquired physician practices to enable more connected, coordinated and preventive care within the health system. Adding a host of new ambulatory providers, however, can create new challenges.

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In particular, revenue cycle optimization is a critical component of the physician practice acquisition process. Physician practice revenue cycles have several key differences from hospital revenue cycles; therefore, health system leadership must weigh options carefully. Health systems can elect to leverage one of the following strategies, or some combination of the three:

1) Centralize – combine RCM processes across all hospitals and physician practices into a single revenue cycle with a central billing office
2) Decentralize – implement similar technology across all locations but keep billing separate across entities
3) Customize – allow each entity to keep separate processes, technologies and best practices

Learn about these three strategies and how you can determine which is best for your organization – download the Optimizing RCM for the Health System of the Future white paper today.

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