What You Should Know:

– 78 percent of health systems are currently using or are in the process of implementing automation in their revenue cycle operations, according to recent survey results from AKASA, a South San Francisco-based revenue cycle management automation company. The key findings signal automation in healthcare is no longer an emerging trend but is mission-critical for driving efficiency and cost-effectiveness in revenue cycle operations.   

– According to the survey, health systems (versus hospitals) are statistically more likely to be currently using or implementing automation tools in their revenue cycle operations. Survey results also show that as the size of the organization increases so does their use of automation tools with the largest healthcare providers, those with $1B – $10B net patient revenues, most actively using or implementing these tools.

COVID-19 Impact on Revenue Cycle

COVID-19 has placed many healthcare organizations under intense cash-flow pressure and created volatile claim volumes and workloads for revenue cycle teams. These dynamics are driving more revenue cycle leaders to look to automation to provide flexibility and resiliency in their operations while minimizing their organization’s cost to collect. The survey also found that 37% of organizations currently not using automation plan to do so this year or sometime in 2022.

Increase Focus of Digital Transformation in Healthcare

Commissioned by AKASA, the survey fielded responses from nearly 400 chief financial officers and revenue cycle leaders at hospitals and health systems across the United States through the Healthcare Financial Management Association’s (HFMA) Pulse Survey program between May 27, 2021 and June 28, 2021.

Results demonstrate that the increasing focus on digital transformation efforts in healthcare has driven the adoption of automation to help manage claims, billing and reimbursement processes. The majority of health systems and hospitals, (more than 66 percent) say they are now using or implementing  automation in their revenue cycle operations.

“The findings underscore that automation serves as a backbone for healthcare financial leaders looking to streamline complex staff workflows,” said Malinka Walaliyadde, co-founder and CEO of AKASA. “The opportunity going forward for provider organizations is to expand their ambitions and scope for automation. Instead of identifying dozens of small, discrete use-cases and never getting past the first few due to high setup and maintenance costs, leaders should consider solutions that can be deployed rapidly with minimal disruption. The goal is foundational, end-to-end automation for entire functions, driving giant leaps in efficiency.”