Posted August 10, 2017 by admin in articles
 
 

4 Tools for Lowering Administrative Costs in Healthcare

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Exclusive Article by Lindsey Patterson at EMRIndustry.com

Keeping administrative costs down in healthcare organizations has never been more important. The pressure of healthcare reform, the increased influx of patients with complex medical conditions, and the unique administrative requirements associated with governmental compliance have made administrative costs a subject of high importance for healthcare providers.

 

Like any business, they look for ideas and tools to keep costs in check by optimizing customer service, insurance claims processing, technology expenses, and marketing.

 

Customer Service Costs

With increased health care coverage came increased competition and healthcare leaders are searching to differentiate their companies and attract more customers. Maintaining a call center is a significant cost of doing business but it’s also an opportunity to improve customer service which should ultimately reduce calls and help to retain customers. Customer service centers should be staffed with properly trained employees. In an era where people expect and receive excellent customer service from many industries and online shopping, healthcare service has to meet or exceed those expectations. Having tools that enable proactive, personalized, member-centric, and customizable services are the way to go.

 

Claims and Billing Processing Costs

Healthcare experts agree that automating many of the steps required to process a medical bill or insurance claim can minimize costs compared to traditionally manual intensive processes. Adding self-serve tools and options not only reduces costs but most customers prefer it instead of waiting on the phone and then having to answer a lot of questions. Some companies providing billing and claims processing tools for the healthcare industry agree that compared to other enterprises many still rely on phone and paper-based communications and processes due to regulations, tradition, or the cost of training and new equipment needed to change from legacy systems.

 

Technology Costs

As a healthcare provider moves toward automating more and more functions and adopting new processes to serve its customers, technology will play an even larger role in reducing operations and administrative costs. Collecting, storing, and managing patient data in a digital format has become a requirement for meeting government regulations. Not being able to do it is leaving money on the table because insurance plans such as Medicare require it to enroll patients and be paid.

 

Having the latest IT infrastructure isn’t necessarily essential. It’s having the technology that supports the tools and task workflows that can be configured and able to scale to meet the physicians and patients needs. PACS Radiology systems, which provide convenient and economical storage and access to patient’s medical imagery, need to be integrated into the overall communication and data storage technology infrastructure. Instead of having to fund and support increasingly complex IT infrastructures, new tools development, and IT service organizations as part of their enterprise, healthcare providers can outsource those resources and services to third parties in order to cut costs and improve efficiencies. Healthcare organizations increasingly want to focus on their core mission and outsource their IT system management and business processing functions.

 

Marketing Costs

Sales and marketing budgets are also a part of administrative costs, sometimes a significant part of it. Companies can spend millions of dollars on marketing campaigns using television and newspaper ads. Having the right data and tools for results analysis is necessary to determine how effective or ineffective it has been. If your campaign is not getting somebody to act, for example, by completing surveys, commenting on social media, or replying to emails, then it’s a failed expense that should be trimmed.

 

Consider instead less expensive web-based marketing efforts and tools that can reach many potential customers and elevate your brand at a lower cost.

 

In summary

In recent years the healthcare industry business landscape in the United States has been transformed by continuing increasing administrative and service costs influenced by insurance benefits laws and new initiatives to cover an expanding population, particularly the goals of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As a result, healthcare organizations continue to explore ways to manage the costs of providing their services while keeping administrative costs low.



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