Article written by Stephanie Onofri
Healthcare facilities today are struggling to balance provision of the best possible patient care and the pressure of meeting financial objectives through a slew of budget cuts and increasing regulatory compliance demands. At the heart of the struggles are Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable processes that simply haven’t been optimized to “catch-up” with the increase in demand for healthcare.
The question is: how do providers re-allocate resources and speed up various health records and invoice processing times to ensure that patients are receiving the optimum attention, response, and face-time that they deserve? The trend has shown that patients are receiving less individualized time and attention, with multiple physicians visiting a patient’s room over a period of time and only long enough to follow standard procedure. Sure, the time-constraints medical providers face are intimidating, but the rushed response to patient care is a double-whammy when coupled with the insidiously slow billing and insurance processing time with which most of us are acquainted.
According to a recent statistic by PayStream Advisors, the three major challenges that Healthcare AP departments face are:
- Correcting matching errors and dealing with exceptions
- Manual data entry, and
- Routing invoices for approvals
Unless AP and AR processes are optimized somehow, facilities risk losing credibility in the face of the general public. The cutting edge industry solutions is called Business Process Optimization, and since the concept of Invoice automation can seem a bit daunting to those just learning about it, here is a simply breakdown of what it would look like:
First, a BPO provider would evaluate the amount of back-file documents that need to be scanned and converted, and these would be taken care of first. The files are either picked up at the healthcare provider’s location, or sent via an individualized PO Box directly to the Conversion center.
BPO professionals scan and perform data entry for all documents provided, entering all line items. It is important to note here that when you choose a BPO provider you have to make sure that the conversion facility is compliant, and endowed with SOC2 TYPE II security and appropriate physical and audit controls.
Documents are then converted to the electronic format to integrate with healthcare provider’s existing AP system, such as EPIC or MetaTech
After all old document scanning has been performed, the BPO professionals provide scanning of daily Invoices received by the Healthcare provider, which are completely processes within 24 hours of receipt.
Other options such as 3-way Invoice matching can also be provided, where PO and Invoice line items are matched either manually or automatically, depending on the Healthcare provider’s tailored BPO solution.
Is your Healthcare facility up to par with other Industry leaders? Contact us to learn more about how BPO can optimize your Accounts Payable Receivable processes and help you give patients the time and care that they deserve! Or download our whitepaper below – “The CIO Challenge: Creating the Information-Driven Enterprise.”