Is Switching RCM Vendors Worth the Investment?
Change can be intimidating, especially when your entire healthcare organization’s financial wellbeing is on the line. When faced with a tough decision, it’s easy to look at the downsides of change and settle for the comfortable status quo.
Healthcare executives are too often willing to overlook the shortcomings of their revenue cycle management vendors when they are faced with the realities of budgeting, persuading decision makers, training staff on new systems, and losing productivity.
However, the disadvantages of staying with an underperforming vendor can cost your organization so much more. If you’ve noticed any of these trends in your revenue cycle, it may be time to consider a new vendor:
- Claims denial rates are creeping higher
- Time-to-cash is too long
- Bad debt is growing
- Dated or malfunctioning software
- Undelivered promises and fixes
- Incompetent or unreachable customer support
- Outdated compliance certifications that leave your organization vulnerable
The longer you put off the inevitable, the more expensive and cumbersome the transition might be.
Exciting Opportunities Await With a New RCM Vendor
Switching revenue cycle or patient engagement vendors doesn’t have to be a negative experience. The right vendor will make sure the transition is smooth. Plus, there are advantages and opportunities that a new vendor can offer.
New or Enhanced Technologies
Make sure your vendor change isn’t a lateral one. Switching to a new revenue cycle management provider should open doors to new, exciting technologies that your organization didn’t have access to before.
Look for a vendor that applies innovative technologies to the revenue cycle, including patient communication and billing. Things like AI, BI, mobile, and security enhancements can and should be an integrated component of an effective revenue cycle strategy.
A Fresh Perspective
Revenue cycle progress can stall or even slide when employees or outside vendors get too comfortable. A new vendor will provide a fresh set of strategic eyes and can objectively look at your processes, successes, and shortcomings and bring ideas for improvement to key areas.
If you’ve noticed stagnant numbers or don’t see as much progress as you would expect, it may be time to question your current strategies, technologies, and partners.
Keep What’s Working, Improve What’s Not
A quality vendor won’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Instead, strategic consultants will assess your strong points and your weaknesses to implement a prioritized improvement plan.
A strategic vendor can also help you identify your strengths and apply them to other areas of the business for continued success.
A Partner to Grow With
Look for a revenue cycle management vendor that can truly grow with your organization. Ask for case studies on health systems similar to yours, those larger than yours, and those that have successfully grown while keeping the vendor on board.
If you plan to grow your organization, your needs will change. And if your organization has already grown substantially, you’ve probably encountered growing pains with your previous vendor partners.
Find a flexible vendor that can accommodate your anticipated growth — one that has success with enterprise customers and can add solutions as you need them. Don’t select a vendor that meets your needs today. Select a vendor that can meet your needs today and your anticipated needs in the future. This mindset will help you avoid outgrowing a vendor and having to switch again.
Negotiate Better Terms
Are you unhappy with your current agreement? Starting a new relationship is a chance for you to develop contract language that will help your organization avoid risk and ensure quality services are delivered as specified.
Typical contracts have a 30- to 90-day termination clause, so vet and select a new vendor well before that timeframe to ensure you’re ready for the transition. Watch out for “auto-renew” clauses that can suck you into another year of service if you aren’t diligent.
Ultimately, you want to trust your vendor as a strategic partner and advisor. Lean on them for their revenue cycle expertise and take advantage of all the insights and improvement suggestions they have based on their years in business.
It’s important to find a vendor that has employees you can connect with, knowledgeable support staff, and extensive experience working with organizations similar to yours.
Is It Time for a Change?
It’s at least worth a look. To find out how much your revenue cycle gaps are costing you, contact us to request a conversation
This article was originally published on RevSpring and is republished here with permission.