Using technology to merge supply chain management and revenue cycle departments may help advance cost-to-charge transparency and increase accuracy in terms of managing reimbursement costs. “In most provider organizations[,] supply chain management (SCM) and revenue cycle operations function in silos, occasionally responding to anecdotal evidence to make improvements in the processes linking the two areas,” confirms HSRC-ASU. “Hospitals and health care systems that become proficient in managing the revenue environment achieve strategic advantage by reaching their financial goals and assuring a stream of revenues to support their clinical efforts,” the researchers explain.
According to HealthITAnalytics, supply chain management should be considered as a marathon endeavor, not a short-lived sprint. Successful supply chain involves connecting costs with analytics to enact substantial long term change. Additionally, hospital executives claim non-EHR health IT acquisitions strengthen the supply chain, states HealthITAnalytics.
Consistency is an essential key to ensuring accurate coding and pricing efforts. “Linking the traditional aspects of supply chain management (e.g., strategic sourcing, logistics, and inventory management) to margin management decreases the probability of lost charges occurring,” the researchers state. “Prices should be strategically set to optimize maximum allowable reimbursement. Charge capture processes should be incorporated in pricing strategies in each of the targeted areas,” they add.
HSRC-ACU confirms seven reasons to combine revenue cycle management and supply chain management:
- Increased and more accurate reimbursements
- Strengthened contract negotiations and enhanced contract compliance
- Improved transparency
- Streamlined cross-check utilization of supplies and ease of monitoring supply revenue
- Capturing cost-to-charge data visibility will be smoother
- Billing will be more accurate
- Labor will be wisely utilized and not wasted
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