US Hospitals continue to struggle against unrelenting financial headwinds. As we round the corner on 2022, cumulative profit margins have sunk to an abysmal -0.33%, according to a recent report from KaufmanHall.
Expenses remain a significant, industry-wide challenge. The high cost of labor, compounded by inflation, continues to eat away at revenue and worsen already critical workforce shortages.
Unsurprisingly, rural, community and critical access facilities bear the brunt of these challenges. With smaller operating budgets and fewer resources, these hospitals consistently see less money coming through the door than their larger counterparts.
In this climate, expensive performance monitoring capabilities are easily dismissed as a luxury. However, the ability to find and root out missing revenue with reliable analytics may be the edge that these community providers need to stay in the game.
The operating budgets at smaller facilities are often too lean for one-size-fits-all, cost-cutting measures.
Even small hospitals have numerous departments, each with unique challenges, and determining where to start can be difficult.
But even so, the core revenue cycle stages remain consistent throughout the industry, and an initial, birds-eye analysis should reveal any opportunities for optimization. For example, tracking basic metrics like discharge-not-final-billed encounters, denial rate, and AR aging help paint a clearer picture of financial health.
Secondary considerations include any departments generating revenue and those most affected by throughput and capacity issues (e.g., surgical services, emergency, cath lab).
Whenever we evaluate performance, in any context, established standards are necessary to set goals and avoid unnecessary conflict. Analytics and performance reporting solutions are no different.
And while established standards are crucial, it’s equally important to know when and where to remain flexible. Working with a trusted healthcare IT partner can ensure hospitals have the tools they need to adapt to whatever the market throws their way.
The second key component of evaluating performance is having something to compare it to. Standards must be rooted in measurable, external criteria.
By establishing baseline metrics based on industry targets, hospitals can gauge how well they measure up against the competition.
This can be achieved by working with a third party that provides facility-to-facility comparisons among healthcare provider groups, as well as the capability to share information and success stories without compromising sensitive data.
Metrics don’t help anyone if they aren’t straightforward and easy to access.
Today, that level of convenience is synonymous with mobile applications. Working with a partner that can provide an application that supports a mobile UX ensures metrics can be accessed in a format that ensures maximum usability.
Although access is vital, building a reliance on metric-based practices is just as important as convenience. Smart interface design, built on decades of IT innovation, provides a user-friendly experience without the costly and time-consuming training that smaller hospitals simply can’t afford.
Readily accessible information that is easy to digest helps providers get back to what they do best—providing exceptional care.
To learn more about how MEDHOST can help establish actionable metrics and analytics, please reach out to us at email@example.com or call 1.800.383.6278