Hospital revenue cycle automation is surging, with 74% of healthcare facilities integrating automation, primarily AI-driven, to streamline operations. A survey of 450+ CFOs and revenue cycle leaders revealed this trend. Despite benefits like cost reduction and increased efficiency, challenges hinder widespread adoption. Nonetheless, 46% leverage AI, and 43% use RPA, signaling a shift in priorities. Even non-users prioritize adopting automation within two years. Concerns include interoperability issues and job displacement fears. However, healthcare leaders emphasize automation’s crucial role in revenue generation and operational efficiency, crucially aided by advanced technologies.
In recent years, hospitals and health systems have increasingly turned to revenue cycle automation to improve efficiency and streamline operations. The adoption rate, standing at 74% according to a comprehensive survey, underscores this shift. With AI and RPA as predominant tools, the landscape is evolving rapidly. However, the journey towards full integration faces hurdles like interoperability challenges and job displacement concerns. Nevertheless, the healthcare industry recognizes the indispensable nature of automation in bolstering revenue and optimizing processes.
Approximately 74% of hospitals and health systems are actively integrating revenue cycle automation into their operations, showcasing a growing trend toward streamlining processes and enhancing efficiency, often utilizing artificial intelligence (AI).
A recent study conducted through the Healthcare Financial Management Association’s (HFMA) Pulse Survey program surveyed over 450 CFOs and revenue cycle leaders at US hospitals and health systems. It revealed that nearly three-quarters (74%) of these organizations have implemented some level of revenue cycle automation. However, 24% of respondents confessed to never having used any form of revenue cycle automation, while 2% stated they had ceased using it.
The uptake of revenue cycle automation has been steadily increasing. A prior survey by AKASA indicated that 78% of financial leaders in healthcare were either utilizing or in the process of implementing automation for revenue cycle operations. Within that survey, only about 8% had never used any form of automation for the revenue cycle, 1% had stopped using it, and 12% were unsure.
The healthcare revenue cycle, characterized by numerous repetitive manual tasks, presents a fertile ground for automation. Despite its potential benefits in terms of efficiency and cost reduction, implementing automation can be challenging due to its impact on revenue and productivity.
Nevertheless, hospitals and health systems are prioritizing revenue cycle automation, investing in more sophisticated technologies to optimize operations. The survey highlighted that 46% of financial leaders are leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) or machine learning (ML), while another 43% are utilizing robotic process automation (RPA) – making RPA and AI the primary forms of automation in revenue cycle operations.
Even those currently not using automation express interest in adopting it shortly. Eighty percent of respondents who do not currently employ automation in the revenue cycle identified it as a priority within the next two years, with a majority targeting implementation by 2024.
Despite the potential advantages, barriers to adopting AI and other technologies in the revenue cycle persist. Concerns such as interoperability issues with existing systems and the fear of job displacement due to technology adoption hinder widespread implementation.
Nevertheless, healthcare leaders are recognizing the pivotal role of automation in revenue generation, enhancing patient financial experiences, and bolstering operational efficiency. As organizations grapple with increased claim volumes and staffing shortages, automation is being seen as a critical tool to bridge these gaps.
Amy Raymond, Senior Vice President of Revenue Cycle Operations and Deployments at AKASA, emphasized the shift from automation being an option to an imperative in revenue cycle operations. Raymond highlighted the transformative potential of advanced technologies like AI and Large Language Models (LLMs) in addressing challenges such as prior authorization and denial resolution, ultimately yielding increased revenue, reduced costs, and enabling teams to focus on value-driven work.
The healthcare landscape has witnessed a transformative shift towards revenue cycle automation, evidenced by the 74% adoption rate among hospitals and health systems. Despite challenges inhibiting widespread integration, the emphasis on AI and RPA marks a notable departure in healthcare priorities. Even non-users acknowledge the urgency, planning adoption within the next two years. Concerns regarding interoperability and job displacement persist, but healthcare leaders highlight automation’s pivotal role in revenue enhancement and operational efficiency. With advanced technologies like AI and LLMs, the industry is poised for substantial improvements in revenue cycle optimization.