A good majority of the struggling hospitals are pinning their hopes for a bright future on clinical analytics infrastructure and population health management, but not until they make significant investments in healthcare IT solutions for the year 2015. Diagnostic and surgical patient services, electronic health records implementations and patient engagement tools will be consuming the attention of more than 84% of the financially broke organizations until 2016 as these hospitals try to recover from overextended budgets, bad investments and a terrible need for better revenue cycle tools. More than 2,300 hospital CIOs, CFOs, technical staffs and business office managers responded to a series of studies that were centered on RCM (Revenue Cycle Management) between the months of June and October 2014.
About forty percent of the CFOs identified that their hospitals are struggling to maintain solvency, due to the poorly planned investments in electronic health records, patient portals and medical billing solutions. Failed implementation of EHRs has cost some of the hospitals tens of millions in unexpected expenses. This has pushed off the other health IT projects until the healthcare organizations can find their feet again.
Eighty-six percent of the struggling CFOs recognize that adopting the next generation RCM and other financial analytics technologies is the key to get stability. About three-quarters of the respondents believe that they are forced to take a difficult decision about the medical billing solutions without the necessary financing to bring the finest solution. Eighty-seven percent of the small hospitals believe that the absence of a concrete RCM strategy will lead to declining reimbursements, inefficient billing and unrecovered collections. This will in turn reduce the capacity to be profitable throughout the year of 2015.
The healthcare firms with healthier books are not allowing complex regulatory environments of 2015, which prevent them from pushing ahead with the RCM tools, patient compliance programs, population health management, and accountable care. Ninety-nine percent of those hospitals that identify themselves as financially well-off are planning to outsource, implement, or buy new RCM software by the third quarter of the year 2015.
Most hospitals have no choice but to look for next-generation RCM solutions in order to keep their organizations solvent. Increased self-pay volumes, lack of pricing transparency, no patient financial responsibility/estimation technology, and other reimbursement challenges are driving many marginally performing healthcare organizations to the brink.