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6 Strategies to Support Revenue Recovery Efforts in 2024

UPDATED:
December 14, 2023
Revenue recovery meeting

As the year comes to a close, strategy teams across the country are taking their cue to plan and prepare for 2024. While you can’t prepare for everything the year may throw at you (remember Medicaid unwinding?), you can take action now to streamline existing processes and workflows for better results in the coming year.

While your team is undergoing strategy development, make time to discuss new ways to tame uncompensated care, self-pay accounts and revenue leaks. As these costs grow, so does the need for efficient and innovative revenue recovery strategies to manage them. 

Initial questions to answer

To kick off the strategy process, it helps to frame your thinking. Consider the following questions:

  • What was the cost of uncompensated care for your hospital or health system in 2021? 2022? Has this cost risen in 2023?
  • What systems (if any) are currently in place to manage this cost?
  • What is working about these systems? What’s not working?

If you’ve been working with a third-party vendor, consider the following as well:

  • How long has it been since you validated the performance of your existing vendors/workflows responsible for self-pay/uncompensated care recoveries?
  • Are you satisfied with your recoveries in the self-pay/uncompensated care area? 
  • Are you confident that you are getting the most out of your existing workflows or vendors?

Proactive approaches to revenue recovery

If your current approach to revenue recovery and self-pay/uncompensated care costs is lacking, 2024 is your year to focus on proactivity and prevention. Start with these tips:

  1. Know what you’re up against

    Often, in the emergency department, a significant percentage of patients will present as uninsured despite having insurance. When all is said and done, industry statistics show between 1% and 5% of these accounts will be written off as bad debt despite having eligible coverage.

    Why? Because finding active coverage isn’t easy! If a patient doesn’t disclose their coverage, it’s difficult to find the correct payer. It’s also becoming more common for patients to spread their treatment(s) across multiple facilities, which can result in data errors and complicate the reimbursement process.

    Share these statistics with relevant team members and ensure everyone knows the cost of lost revenue and the number of accounts that are likely to be written off despite having coverage. Tailoring these numbers to your hospital will help your team understand what’s at stake.

  2. Conduct exhaustive coverage checks

    On the flip side, patients who present as insured may have undisclosed additional coverage. Insured patients can be impacted by open enrollment changes and retroactive Medicaid coverage or qualify for Medicaid eligibility and other sources of secondary (and even tertiary) coverage.

    Most providers tend to stop looking after the patient’s initial source of insurance is verified. But it’s in the best interest of the hospital’s revenue recovery efforts to conduct an exhaustive search for additional coverage. 

  3. Address eligibility right away in patient interactions

    The longer the hospital waits to collect relevant patient data, the harder it is to find the correct payer to bill. Asking for this information in the midst of treatment can be stressful for patients and care teams, so it’s best to gather it as early in the process as possible.

    Hospitals that offer online portals allow the patient to provide the information themselves before they even enter the hospital’s doors. Communicating the availability of the portal through email, text and hospital signage empowers the patient to provide relevant data with the incentive of getting their medical bills covered.

    If a patient has never entered the hospital before, the portal is less likely to be effective. Work cross-departmentally with hospital registration teams as a backup. Make sure processes and paperwork are in place to gather patient insurance and billing data as soon as possible. 

  4. Rethink denials management

    An estimated 90% of denials are preventable, with many occurring due to simple clerical errors. This means some legitimate claims end up denied by the payer and become uncompensated care.

    Instead of accepting these denials at face value, re-evaluate how you handle them. Conduct an exhaustive search to make sure every available payer is identified for a claim and streamline your internal response process.

  5. Automate tasks with appropriate technology

    Some hospitals use outdated, paper-based systems or third-party vendors to manage claims. To avoid allocating high levels of human resources to improving processes like denials management and coverage discovery, automate these tasks instead.

    Using revenue recovery solutions can help relieve the burden of resolving uncompensated care cases and help patients avoid self-pay scenarios. Technology can also eliminate human error while reducing the time investment required by your team.

  6. Investigate new ideas

    The strategic planning process for the coming year is a great catalyst to implement strategies to improve your financial health. There is no time like the present to investigate new partners and technology solutions to make it happen. 

Office Ally’s objective is to identify additional reimbursement opportunities for your organization. If you’re considering auditing your current process for 2024 and/or confirming existing vendor efficiency, consider our Insurance Discovery tool, a comprehensive and exhaustive review of governmental and commercial payers to expand your revenue recovery.

Plan for 2024 with a free Insurance Discovery assessment

Take the first step to tackling self-pay and uncompensated care costs in 2024 and uncover additional revenue potential with Office Ally’s free Insurance Discovery assessment. 

Our team of specialists can show specifically how we can help you quickly see an improvement in your bottom line. We keep it simple. If Insurance Discovery isn’t able to  recover any revenue, there are zero costs or fees associated with the assessment. 

Get ahead on 2024 planning - contact Office Ally to move forward on your free Insurance Discovery assessment.