Even as recently as five years ago, the revenue cycle outsourcing process took on a very different form to that of today. For years, most organizations saw the revenue cycle as little more than a cost center – meaning that revenue cycle outsourcing was a decision made largely from an administrative perspective. It was seen as a way to reduce the cost-to-collect which, while important, did little to actually offer a better experience for the patients who mattered the most.
In a short amount of time, however, things have changed dramatically. As many healthcare organizations have moved away from traditional fee-for-service models and more towards value-based care, third party outsourcing providers have had to respond in kind. The end result is a completely new role for outsourcing – one that allows the revenue cycle (and the technology that drives it) to become strategically aligned with an organization’s own long-term goals.
A More Holistic Approach to Revenue Cycle Outsourcing
Over the last few years, however, things in the revenue cycle outsourcing space have changed dramatically. Instead of working with a wide range of vendors that all provided similar services (thus giving an organization the ability to essentially break a portion of the cycle off into its own separate entity), trends have instead moved towards consolidating things into more of a partner-based model. This has been due largely both to the changing needs of healthcare organizations around the country and to a shift that has taken place across the outsourcing landscape at the exact same time.
When a provider chooses to outsource medical coding to a provider like Allzone, for example, the third party vendor’s coding team is now in a better position to not replace, but collaborate with said client in a way that wasn’t possible just a few years ago.
The outsourcing provider’s coding team can be trained exactly the same way that a client would train their own in-house employees. They can be measured and assessed against the exact same performance metrics. A client no longer has to bend the way they like to do things to meet the needs of a provider — instead, the provider makes adjustments based on the way the clients like to work.
The technology has also become available in the last few years to allow organizations to take something of a hybrid approach to revenue cycle outsourcing. No longer is it an “all or nothing” affair. Areas that have adequate in-house knowledge can remain in-house. But areas where resources are lacking can be outsourced to someone who can handle things in a much more efficient and forward-thinking way for the benefit of everyone involved.
When starting a relationship from a foundation like that one, you arrive at a situation where the outsourcing provider essentially feels like just another team within a pre-existing coding group. They’re no longer a separate element of the original organization and absolutely no control over workflow and processes has been lost. The end result is a much more organic approach to medical coding outsourcing – one built not on replacing an existing workforce but instead supporting and empowering them.
But despite the fact that the approach to revenue cycle outsourcing has changed, the tangible benefits received as a result have remained strong. Partnering with a provider still helps to create a better, more simplified, more integrated workflow that optimizes and expedites the reimbursement process. It can still be an innovation creation engine, identifying opportunities for improvement all along the value chain. It has also been proven to significantly reduce an organization’s overhead and operational costs, freeing up valuable funds that can be injected back into an organization in the areas that matter most.
While revenue cycle outsourcing has and will always be about streamlining administration to a certain extent, these days it’s also about things that are far more important. It’s about being able to tap into a national level of expertise and experience. It’s about taking advantage of not just any solution, but the right solution for the right job at exactly the right time. It’s also about uncovering a deeper level of insight into an organization’s relationship with its own patients that allow the revenue cycle to become more than just another cost center. They allow it to become the true strategic business unit that it was always meant to be.
The Allzone Approach
At Allzone, we see ourselves as more than just a premier provider of medical billing, medical coding and revenue cycle management services. Above all else, we strive to be a true partner in your organization’s success in every sense of the term. Not only can the types of services that we provide allow your employees to work “smarter, not harder” and improve your bottom line, but they also generate the most important benefit of all: improved outcomes for your own clients and patients across the board.
If you’d like to find out more information about the continued evolution of revenue cycle outsourcing, or if you have any additional questions about partnering with a third party provider that you’d like to see answered, don’t delay — Contact Allzone today.