RPA Streamlines Revenue Cycle Operations

There are many benefits to automating processes in the healthcare revenue cycle. According to industry numbers by HFMA and MGMA, failure to accurately capture claim charges can result in a 50% loss in revenue. As healthcare financial leaders focus on recovery in a post-pandemic world, they are adding automation technology to revenue cycle processes to optimize organizational efficiencies and lower the cost to collect. Gartner anticipates that half of all provider organizations will invest in RPA technology over the next few years, driven largely by payment reduction and the need to support the patient experience.

RPA Use Cases In The Revenue Cycle

The most important aspect of automating tasks in the revenue cycle is choosing the right projects for the greatest impact and ROI. RPA adds value across all four areas of revenue cycle management: registration, coding, backend claims management, and billing – connecting disparate data silos, reducing friction, and ensuring that processes are completed on time and without errors. Use cases include:

Appointment Scheduling, Reminders, Patient Communication
One of the main challenges of the pandemic was in getting the right information to the right person, via the right system, at the right time. Whether EHR data, portal information, telehealth visits, or additional patient communication, the need to integrate data from multiple, disparate systems was a high necessity during the pandemic. It’s estimated that the average healthcare enterprise runs hundreds of custom applications, whether hosted in the cloud, integrated via APIs, EHR, PM, CRM, etc. Each application may require input from multiple legacy systems and tools. RPA is able to “bridge the gaps” between these disparate systems without disruption to the larger healthcare system. Missed appointments cost healthcare as much as $150 billion annually. When the pandemic overwhelmed healthcare staff and systems, RPA bots streamlined the process, giving people back their time and making it easier to schedule visits.

Eligibility and Benefit Verification
Prior authorizations and eligibility checks can easily lead to care delays due to a lack of standardized information and processes. By automating the prior authorization process, we can reduce the time it takes to be approved for care, while providers and hospitals experience a significant reduction in operating costs and claim denials. The volume and complexity of prior authorization requests is overwhelming already overburdened physicians and clinicians with too much paperwork to effectively perform their primary role, treating patients. As a result, it’s leading to escalating levels of physician burnout, delays in treatment, and decreasing levels of patient satisfaction. By automating the process, patients are seen faster, physicians are relieved of this manual paperwork jungle, and costs are reduced by 20-30% from a manual prior authorization process.

Reducing and Managing Claim Denials
When a provider contacts a payer to check a claim status, it takes an average of 14 minutes and costs the provider roughly $7.12. By the time a claim reaches a denied status, the provider has lost at least two weeks of valuable time. Considering that the time between claims submission and payment can be as long as four weeks, these delays become costly. At Northwestern Medicine, automating claims status checks revealed a 330% ROI within the first year, which will continue to grow into perpetuity. They were able to offset 25 full-time employees (FTEs) worth of work on an annual basis. That did not mean reducing their workforce by 25 people, that means they were able to double in size (from 1,500 to 3,000 providers), without adding one additional team member.

Regaining Financial Footing Post COVID-19 And Beyond
Digital connectivity is more important now than ever. With more employees working remotely, tools, applications, and processes are critical to supporting business continuity in a healthcare system that has been severely challenged over the last three years. By offloading tedious manual tasks to machines, physicians and healthcare providers have more time to spend with patients, not paperwork. Revenue cycle processes can involve data in as many as 18 different portals and websites. Automation solves productivity drains in the revenue cycle by checking for errors, completing manual tasks, addressing quality control gaps, and reducing the cost to collect. By simplifying the process and allowing “bots” to take over these manual tasks, people have more time to build and maintain relationships.

Planning For The Future With Boston Workstation

Boston WorkStation has been improving healthcare processes for over 30 years. Hundreds of BWS automations run every day in hospitals, health systems, provider organizations, and technology partner solutions. We are #1 in RPA product value, support, & ROI. We built and retained a loyal customer base by treating our customers well, and giving them a reason to do business with us again (and again). We keep our promises, and remain true to the level of service our clients have come to expect from us. We’ve worked with all EHR vendors and applications, and provide automation services onsite or in the AWS cloud.

Why Leadership Matters in 2022

Leadership is at the core of every business. Great leaders make technology feel more human, giving both clients and employees what they need to be successful. In fact, speed, convenience, helpful employees, and friendly service matters to most consumers. The best way to bridge the isolation and disconnect of the healthcare digital age is simply by building genuine relationships with the people around you.

Invest in a Great Customer Experience

86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience, according to research from PWC. Case in point, Boston Software Systems has been the global leader in healthcare-specific Robotic Process Automation (RPA) for over 30 years. Some people may not have heard of the company four years ago, because they do not accept VC dollars, they don’t have thousands of disconnected employees, and they’ve grown organically over 30 years by providing top-notch customer experience, and unparalleled support. That’s why Boston Software Systems scores higher than any other RPA vendor in customer experience ratings. By creating a corporate culture of service, Boston Software Systems has established a loyal client base with customers who all feel as if they are heard, valued, and supported.

It All Starts at the Top

Company culture is defined more by actions than words. It takes time and thought to build a strong company culture. From the C-Suite down, each person has a role to play in defining consistent behaviors, communication skills, and ongoing training and support. Culture and leadership are inextricably linked. Employees who have been employed by the same company for many years have considerable knowledge of the company’s culture and its products and services. Employees who believe in the work they’re doing and feel that their work is recognized and appreciated, find a sense of purpose in work, and show up every day for more than merely a paycheck. At Boston Software Systems, many of the core team have been employed for over a decade, half for over two. This speaks volumes about the company culture, the leadership model, and company values.

Be Agile and Flexible

Success is determined by those who can swiftly adapt, shift, monitor, and adjust. At no time did this become more relevant than during the COVID pandemic. Many companies shifted to remote work opportunities. At Boston Software Systems, all of our employees are remote. We function as a team of passionate, purposeful people, each equipped to meet the demands of a supportive, high-functioning team. We’ve learned that keeping meetings short and on point helps avoid meeting fatigue. We’ve optimized client onboarding, training, and support. We’ve recognized the critical role of connectivity and have invested in our people and our processes, so that we can meet the demands of a post-pandemic landscape. Our commitment to provide purpose, offer empathy, and show authenticity is paramount to retaining team morale and supporting an exemplary company culture.

Never Stop Learning

Life is the teacher that gives you an opportunity to learn new things every day. By listening to the voice of the customer, companies can improve retention rates, training modules, support queues, and customer loyalty. Active listening creates a bond between the sender and the receiver, and encourages self-development that leads to continued success. Life will never stop teaching. But, it’s by tuning in to the barriers, obstacles, and challenges, that we become better equipped to face the future. By being authentic and making changes based on inclusivity, awareness, and recognition, companies set the tone for an engaged, productive, success-driven team.

Why Boston Software Systems?

We have grown organically to become the global leader of healthcare-specific RPA solutions, by keeping our promises, stating our truths, and creating the best customer experience in healthcare. Our flagship product, Boston WorkStation, is consistently ranked 100% in providing product value, a money’s worth return on investment, and unparalleled customer support. We are a “people first” organization that embraces passion and purpose and values the voice of every employee. Every employee embodies the shared mission that has been the basis for our success for over thirty years. Give us a call. We look forward to sharing the attributes that set us apart from the rest, and look forward to adding you to our list of valued healthcare automation customers.

Citizen Development is Not for Everyone

The phrase “Citizen development” is everywhere. Propelled by the proliferation of simple visual tools, it is advertised that basically anyone can create customer applications that previously required development skills and a deeper understanding of technology.

Who Are Citizen Developers?

According to Gartner, “A citizen developer is an employee who creates application capabilities for consumption by themselves or others.” In other words, they are non-IT experts, with little to no coding experience, who build applications with visual tools. They use no-code and low-code application development tools to build and implement new applications. The premise, to design, build, and implement solutions faster, resonates well and is easily understood. You’ll hear that this provides a great way to foster a culture of innovation. Yet it’s not without issues.

Citizen Development Pitfalls

Citizen development addresses the gap in tech expertise that exists today. Low-code or no-code platforms make it easier for non-IT individuals to build and implement enterprise applications. Low-code platforms enable this movement but won’t be enough to drive results. Our creative and knowledgeable VP of Technical Services, Thom C. Blackwell states, “No code = easy is akin to “choke down a horse and strain on a gnat” logic. Writing code isn’t what makes automating a complex workflow hard, complex workflow is what makes it hard.” Just because you own a hammer, it doesn’t mean you can build a house. Citizen developer tools create allure by stating that you don’t have to code like a developer. The challenge is that you still have to think like one.

How Can IT Rebrand Citizen Development?

Be honest about the term citizen development. It is not a panacea, and it’s certainly not magic, nor can everyone be successful with it. In fact, without the right organizational culture, the right people and the right support, it may not work at all. The idea of citizen development has value. But in most situations, a hybrid model of citizen-assisted development is what is being used. Citizen-assisted development assigns the right responsibility to the right people at the right time, and keeps them working together for future success and sustainability. IT can clarify projects and applications that can lend themselves well to this new generation of citizen developers, but it will be imperative to set boundaries and ensure gray areas aren’t crossed.

Choose the Best Low Code Platform with the Best Support

Choose the best no-code/low-code platform based on its features and functionality, use cases, and how well your organization will adopt it. That’s why we debuted Boston WorkStation 20. BWS20 makes it faster and easier than ever for users to significantly increase the speed and scale of their automation projects. It’s compatible with your existing automations without the need to convert code. But, we do not talk about citizen developers, like some vendors, because this moniker is a bit misleading. Creating automations from content objects, recordings, and graphics is possible, yet not everyone is suited to take this on. That’s why we offer to onboard your projects with you, to create faster implementations, and greater success. We support clients every step of the way in teaching them about the automations, and helping you ensure everything is correct and sustainable. That’s why we have 5-star reviews. We don’t leave everything up to the end user. A lot of folks are using the term “citizen developer” today. In reality, a hybrid model of citizen-assisted development takes the best ideas behind citizen development and professional development and melds them into something that is far more likely to succeed in the long term.

Why Boston WorkStation?

Because we state our truths and keep our promises. 100% of our customers stated that Boston WorkStation provides a “money’s worth ROI,” “works as promoted,” and delivers “five star support.” We are excited to talk about these improvements and even more excited for you to try them. Do you want to learn more about how Boston WorkStation 20 can add value to your organization? Give us a call. We’ll schedule a 30-minute convo to explain what has set us apart for the last 30 years, and provide everything you need for a successful RPA journey.

Connecting the Gaps in the Healthcare System Helps Everyone

The past three years have called attention to massive disorganization in our healthcare system. In an age when nearly everyone is connected digitally in one way or another, the healthcare industry is painfully lagging behind. From EHR implementation to supporting the operational architecture of systems and services, our goal at Boston Software Systems is to connect data, improve efficiencies, and drive operational excellence through a more integrated healthcare experience. By automating repetitive, tedious tasks, we can support clinicians, patients, and administrators, removing the human toll of inefficiency.

Revenue Cycle Efficiencies

Did you know that revenue cycle departments can access as many as 18 different portals when managing claims? Working across multiple, disparate systems (with fewer staff) can leave revenue cycle teams overwhelmed, leading to burnout, inaccuracies, and delays in bottom line revenue. Automation solves productivity drains in the revenue cycle by checking for errors, completing manual tasks, addressing quality control gaps, and reducing the cost to collect. Revenue cycle departments become much more strategic when focusing on strengths, instead of data burden. Costly, labor intensive, error-prone tasks like these are exactly where automation shines, transforming the business of healthcare and taking waste out of the system:

  • Benefit and eligibility checks
  • Prior authorization management
  • Claims management / denial management
  • Vendor contract management / contractual analysis
  • Collections / payment processing / write-offs / adjustments

Human Resource Efficiencies

COVID-19 pushed hospitals beyond the breaking point, as many operated close to capacity while being understaffed. And things are not getting better. Between 35% and 54% of the U.S. nursing and physician workforce reports suffering burnout. Hospitals are experiencing a record vacancy rate of up to 17%, which is 7.1 points higher than in 2021. There is a constant churn and burn to fill vacancies. By adding automation to the Human Resource department, the administrative burden is quickly reduced. Here’s a partial list of manual administrative tasks that can be made more efficient with automation:

  • Candidate screening and associated tasking
  • Change management tasks
  • Provider credentialing and onboarding
  • Payroll management & attendance tracking
  • Compliance testing and security reporting
  • Travel and expense processing

Telehealth Connectivity

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) established a $200M COVID-19 Telehealth Program to help healthcare providers provide connected care services to patients in response to the pandemic. Long overdue, this allowed patients to access video and audio visits from the privacy of their home or location. In many situations, the lack of connected systems caused more work for healthcare providers. The simple act of registering a patient can require 40+ data entry steps. On the laboratory side, orders need to include consistent, complete information that meets defined standards, otherwise providers are busy patching holes in the ordering process. These processes were made easier with automation. By adding automation, providers were able to see more patients faster, and complete onboarding tasks without spending hours of overtime, or hiring additional FTEs.

Population Health Goals

Much of the data that we use to improve patient outcomes in areas like population health, mental health, and chronic disease management, is locked in disparate systems that don’t inherently work well together. Healthcare organizations are frustrated with the lack of integration in their population health applications because they still require a lot of manual work. Automation is a digital ally to bridge the gaps, and provide a more complete picture of patient health. By inserting automation tools at any point in the process, we can improve the quality and consistency of data, provide greater insights, and work on bettering the health of all patients. With more complete and actionable records, organizations can easily identify areas for improvement, making health equity a priority vs. an afterthought.

Why Boston Software Systems?

Boston Software Systems is the global leader in healthcare-specific RPA solutions. For over 30 years, Boston WorkStation has been creating efficiencies in hundreds of healthcare organizations, technology partner offerings, and provider offices. Boston WorkStation is implemented on-premise, in a hybrid way or in the AWS cloud. Our project teams understand healthcare workflows and exactly how to implement an RPA project for maximum impact and a fast ROI. Our U.S. based customer support is unmatched by any other vendor. Reduce manual data entry tasks. Connect the gaps in healthcare, and remove the human toll of inefficiency, with Boston WorkStation.

Automation and the Future of Work: Tackling Healthcare Staffing Challenges

Staffing shortages hit the healthcare industry particularly hard during the pandemic. As we continue to move forward and through additional workforce shortages, hospitals have been forced to halt or scale back critical services. The Great Resignation resulted in many hiring travel nurses, but the financial cost, especially for rural hospitals, was just not sustainable. As a result, many have halted services like labor and delivery, behavioral and addiction medicine, and inpatient, surgical, and emergency services. In fact, the American Hospital Association (AHA) has projected there will be a shortage of 3.2 million healthcare workers by 2026.

Feeling the Strain of Being Understaffed

COVID-19 pushed hospitals beyond the breaking point, as many operated close to capacity while being understaffed. And things are not getting better. The new variant, B.A.5, continues to challenge healthcare systems in every state with increased admissions and severe understaffing. Hospital employment is still down almost 75,000 jobs compared to pre-pandemic levels. This understaffing implicates areas like patient safety, administrative “workarounds,” illness, and a constant turnover of employees. In chronically understaffed healthcare facilities, too much work for too few people leads to round-the-clock shifts, overwhelming workloads, and burnout. Hospitals were facing staffing shortages before the B.A.5 variant, but with COVID-19 rapidly spreading across the country again, folks are becoming reinfected at alarming rates, pushing those who stayed to work even harder.

How a Digital Workforce Can Help

So far this year, more than four million people leave their jobs each month in the U.S. The first area in which a digital workforce can help is in the hiring and onboarding process. High-volume, repetitive administrative tasks are where “bots” shine, completing change management protocols, setting up passwords, sending emails, processing payroll, credentialing, and reporting. All of these require a significant amount of time and manual labor. Allowing time-laden administrative tasks to be completed by a “bot” frees up people to work on higher-value tasks that require human skills, like listening, empathy, and communication. RPA is the perfect digital ally for busy HR departments, completing tasks like:

  • Candidate screening and short listing
  • Offer letters and associated tasking
  • Travel and expense processing
  • Change management and onboarding tasks
  • Payroll management
  • Attendance tracking
  • Compliance reporting

Is a Robot My New Co-Worker?

A robot for every person may conjure up an image of your favorite Star Wars droid, but in reality we are referencing a software robot. The key to workforce success is creating an environment where humans and robots can work together in harmony. It’s not about serving a cup of coffee or turning the lights on, but rather completing mind-numbing tasks that digital bots gobble up like Pac-Man, allowing people to get more done, offloading the tedious, manual tasks to machines. Give people back their time to do meaningful work, and allow robots to take care of the minutiae that bogs down every department. Benefits include:

  • Improved accuracy and compliance
  • 24/7/365 workforce
  • Data migrations from EHR, portal, or application
  • Manual data entry and forms processing
  • Processing claims, payroll
  • Supply chain orders and invoices

Elevate the Human Experience

The nature of work is changing. We witnessed the biggest change from the pandemic: remote work. For decades, those of us who worked from a home office realized that remote work allowed productivity to skyrocket, when cubicle visits and capacity issues disappeared. Concerns over diminished team building and a dilution of culture were quickly eliminated in favor of safety, efficiency, and the ability to get things accomplished despite the havoc of a global pandemic. Workplace choices such as totally remote, flex days, and flex hours, facilitate employee satisfaction and purpose. COVID-19 placed unprecedented demands and challenges on an already strained workforce. Digital transformation is a building block of patient-focused care, helping providers streamline operations, build loyalty, and offer a better user experience. A digital workforce is designed to support and augment the capabilities of human staff.

Why Boston Software Systems

No RPA company has a better track record in healthcare. For over 30 years, Boston WorkStation has been creating efficiencies in hundreds of healthcare organizations, technology offerings, and provider offices. Not only is it helping with staff shortages by “taking up the slack” of missing employees, automation provides an affordable solution to maintaining business continuity and operational excellence post-COVID-19. Find out why Boston WorkStation receives 100% ratings in product value, money’s worth return on investment, and “no nickel and diming” from our loyal customers. Spend 30 minutes to discover what projects will yield the best results, and can be implemented in < 30 days. Work smarter, with Boston WorkStation.

What is Digital Trust in Healthcare?

Digital trust is the confidence users have in the ability of people, technology, and processes to create a secure digital world. Companies who have demonstrated that they can provide a safe, secure, and reliable data experience, have a high level of digital trust. As digital transformations multiply, they form increasingly complex risks in healthcare organizations. Secure processes must be in place to manage and maintain all these new connections. ECRI named cybersecurity attacks as the top health technology hazard to patient safety for 2022. What exactly is digital trust and how can we reduce putting patients and healthcare organizations at risk?

Digital Trust is Important

Digital Trust is an important aspect of the expanding global economy. We are becoming more reliant on the connectivity between systems, data, and technology, and in order to protect users from cyber attacks and issues that we have not encountered yet, systems and services must be secure and responsibly used. Digital trust includes data security, performance accountability, adherence to standards, transparency of decision-making algorithms, and ongoing governance for digital products and services. The challenges we encounter are the variances in personal privacy protection by culture or location, and even system and company. As we automate decision-making algorithms, trust weaknesses regarding bias, unethical use of personal data, and the lack of safeguards for identity protection must be addressed.

Compliance Testing

We are onboarding new technologies at the speed of light, in a variety of ways. Data collection, processing, and analytics are happening everywhere, while compliance testing is sporadic and on a case-by-case basis. By automating risk assessment tools, and ensuring that a standard set of protocols is carried out each and every time we integrate data from disparate sources, we ensure ethical frameworks and policies during all aspects of a product’s development, deployment, and ongoing use. As we establish transparency for automated decision-making algorithms, we must ensure there are standards for measurable performance. Like any form of trust, digital trust is based on relationships with people. If your data is distributed in the hands of the people who know the data best, with protocols in place for data protection, you don’t get massive database leaks, because the data is separate from other sources.

Size Up Your Risks

2021 shaped up to be one of the worst on record for cybersecurity issues. Coincidentally, the first half of 2022 was one of the busiest on record for M&A activity, according to Willis Towers Watson. Data is the asset that is most attacked by hackers. In M&A deals, potentially conflicting assets can create holes in the best laid cybersecurity plans. There’s a lack of visibility into new systems and applications, security, and compliance, which can cause issues. It’s important to ensure that data is accurate, verified, and secure, with the right governance protocols built into the combined solution. By automating threat modeling, we have a more efficient approach to digital trust, and one that limits manual data entry (the primary driver of threats). RPA can help with data governance, ensuring the right data for the right person is protected with the right protocols.

RPA Supports Digital Trust

Deploying RPA as a digital ally alters the role of human employees. Once repetitive tasks are reduced or eliminated, employees are able to focus on the creative, analytical, and critical thinking that robots cannot achieve. Adding RPA processes to healthcare tasks can better manage identity and authentication models, privileges, reused passwords, and credentials, adding a security layer that bolsters digital trust, without the human toll of checks and balances. Rather than deploying RPA in separate data silos to complete individual tasks, Business Process Management, also known as BPM, helps to coordinate work between robots, people, and systems, delivering enterprise-wide solutions, and reducing risk. Security, privacy, and compliance are foundational aspects of Boston WorkStation, with security protocols built into our development lifecycle.

Why Boston Software Systems?

We have been automating secure governance protocols in healthcare for over 30 years. We can implement completely on-premise, in a hybrid way or in the AWS cloud. Our project teams understand healthcare workflows and exactly how to implement an RPA project for maximum impact and a fast ROI. We cut down on the industry chatter and implement projects fast and reliably. Our customers love our experience, time-to-value, and 5-star reviews. Give us a call. With most of our projects kicked off in < 30 days, security, governance, and enhanced efficiency is right around the corner!

Top of Mind Issues Affecting Healthcare CIOs

Healthcare CIOs have spent the last several years coming up with new solutions at warp speed while also dealing with staffing shortages, cybersecurity, new work environments, and ongoing financial struggles. There’s no doubt that teams are experiencing burnout from the demands of employees, leadership, stakeholders, and the speed of digital transformation efforts. COVID-19 is far from over, so CIOs are still struggling to maintain efficiency and productivity while attempting to build resilience in preparation for future disruptions.

Gartner guides technology decisions with peer-driven insights. In a recent real-time poll, Gartner revealed the following data points from 100 CIOs:

  • 61% of CIOs are prioritizing a hybrid/flexible work infrastructure.
  • 52% of CIOs are prioritizing cybersecurity.
  • 46% of CIOs say digital transformation is a priority.
  • 57% of CIOs are implementing AI/ML tools.
  • 51% of CIOs are implementing BI tools.

What are the top-of-mind issues affecting most healthcare CIOs?

How to Recruit and Retain the Right Talent

The Great Resignation changed the labor market significantly, and finding the right candidates then convincing them to join your organization grows more challenging every day. The primary purpose of a CIO’s leadership team is to serve the overall IT functions of the organization. To find the right talent, CIOs have had to make the leap from technology leaders to business continuity drivers. The actions they take largely determine whether healthcare organizations can meet their future aspirations. The biggest challenges today include communication issues (especially with remote work), and shortfalls with tech tools. By acting strategically, CIOs can prioritize technology skill-sets and focus on hiring the best talent to support ongoing initiatives. By automating or partnering with experienced vendors, they are able to quickly ramp up in areas that are not covered in-house, or make better financial sense to white label. CIOs must focus on building trust in technology, company culture (people), and the future of work during this uncertain time.

How to Flex in Times of Flux

Successful healthcare organizations require digital dexterity. We witnessed this at the peak of the pandemic, as hospitals and provider offices were scurrying to offer telehealth options, mental health triage, and safety protocols to reduce infection rates. While in this fight or flight mode, most rushed the (long overdue) onboarding of technologies that could increase productivity while reducing burnout. These automated technologies provided the flexibility to work from home, support employee safety, and continue business as usual. Northwestern Medicine stated, “We had three days to shift people, desks, computers, and ancillary equipment to homes, kitchen tables, and remote work environments, and in many of these situations, people had never worked from home before. During this time of complete upheaval, we did not lose one day of claims submissions, due to automation.” CIOs learned how to flex in times of flux, by integrating automation projects to focus on the needs of a hybrid workforce, and better manage big data across multiple, disparate environments.

How to Balance Operational Excellence with Innovation

The need for operational excellence to work hand-in-hand with innovation has never been higher. The three operational goals to consider are: operations, finance, and people. Digital transformation efforts must include improvements that will result in greater efficiency, improved productivity, and a fast return on investments. Going through a digital transformation allows organizations to include sustainability initiatives. The two go hand-in-hand because once you make data easier to access, decision-makers, providers, patients, and stakeholders can improve outcomes across the board. CIOs realize that automation has the potential to revolutionize healthcare while addressing challenges in the supply chain, revenue cycle, materials management, interoperability barriers, and cybersecurity.

Why Boston Software Systems?

At Boston Software Systems, we have been successfully aligning technology processes with people for over 30 years. We built and retained a loyal customer base by treating our customers well, and giving them a reason to do business with us again (and again). Our customer experience scores are high because we keep our promises, and remain true to the level of service our clients have come to expect from us. We’ve worked with all EHR vendors and applications, and provide automation services onsite or in the AWS cloud.

5 Reasons to Use RPA in the Healthcare Revenue Cycle

The impact of COVID-19 is still being felt in healthcare. Coupled with the Great Resignation, hospitals and healthcare organizations are stretched thinner than ever. The American Hospital Association (AHA) stated in a recent analysis that there will be a shortage of up to 3.2 million healthcare workers by 2026. Technologies like Robotic Process Automation (RPA) allow healthcare workers to “do more with less.” In this blog post, we will explore the top 5 benefits of adding RPA to the revenue cycle.

1. Managing Tasks with Fewer People

Workforce shortages have reached a crisis in this country. Resources are a challenge, especially with fewer team members. Governors have addressed dire healthcare shortages in over 20 states. Having the right technology in place allows your teams to work smarter. By adding automation to the revenue cycle, manual data entry tasks can be offloaded to machines. People are free to deal with tasks that require human skills like empathy and creative communication. With 100% accuracy, no additional staffing, and no days off, this “digital workforce” removes the burden from people, allowing them to work smarter, at the “top of their license,” instead of wasting time on duplicative, tedious tasking.

2. Claims Status Checks

When a provider contacts a payer to check a claim status, it takes an average of 14 minutes and costs the provider roughly $7.12. By the time a claim reaches a denied status, the provider has lost at least two weeks. Considering that the time between claims submission and payment can be as long as four weeks, these delays are costly. At Northwestern Medicine, automating claims status checks revealed a 330% ROI within the first year, and this will continue to grow into perpetuity. They were able to offset 25 full-time employees (FTEs) worth of work on an annual basis. That did not mean reducing their workforce by 25 people, that means they were able to double in size (from 1,500 to 3,000 providers), without adding one additional team member, all due to automating claims status checks.

3. Reducing Claim Denials

The complexity of revenue cycle management tasks makes it difficult for providers and healthcare organizations to identify the root causes of claim denials before submission. Unfortunately, a denied claim costs roughly $118 to rework. It’s a costly, time-consuming administrative burden that is made easier with RPA automation. RPA identifies any gaps in the claims and corrects mistakes before they even hit the submission queue. Providers gain better control over denials to prevent chronic revenue losses. The RPA “digital employee” becomes a valuable resource to the claims management team, clocking in and working like an FTE, reducing the number of denials, which makes the entire process easier for human workers.

4. Prior Authorization Management

The prior authorization process gives health insurance companies a chance to review how necessary certain medications or procedures may be in treating a patient’s condition. It is an important process, but very labor -intensive, costly, and time-consuming for insurance payers to triage the enormous number of incoming requests. Review processes typically require significant human assets to examine incoming materials and often involve multiple iterations with physicians. Delays and errors in the prior authorization process have a huge impact on both patients and providers, reducing the timeliness and quality of patient care. These delays often lead to costly appeals and grievances. RPA significantly minimizes eligibility processing time by as much as 83%.

5. Payment and Collection Activities

By automating payment processing, productivity is improved and the manual, time-consuming process of posting insurance payments is streamlined, resulting in reduced operating costs and increased time management. This includes other activities like automated invoice capture, coding, and vendor contract approvals as well. Boston WorkStation has been keeping hospitals on track with payment and collections automations since 1985. On a daily basis, Boston WorkStation queries databases, looks for transactions, and then posts them through multiple EHR modules on the proper account. By automating multiple touch points within the revenue cycle, errors are reduced or prevented, collections avoided, and payments expedited.

Why Boston Software Systems?

We’ve been automating healthcare tasks for 30+ years, adding value to the organizations we serve and empowering people to get more accomplished using less resources. Boston WorkStation receives a 100% rating in two critical areas: “working as promoted” and providing a “money’s worth return on investment.” When the path isn’t clear, you’ll want a team you can count on to lead the way. Give us 30 minutes. We’ll answer every question you have about adding automation to the revenue cycle, and have a Scope of Work (SOW) ready for you within 7 days.

What Determines Vendor Success in Healthcare?

Every salesperson in the Health IT industry can put together a good PowerPoint deck. They can talk a good talk, and many times close the deal based on ads, marketing budgets, or VC dollars. But, what factors determine a vendor’s long-term success?

Culture

We’ve all heard the phrase, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” This means that no matter how strong your strategic plan is, your success is always held back by members of your team if they don’t share the same culture. Company culture is one of the main ingredients of a vendor’s long-term success. The culture at your organization sets expectations for how well people work together and function as a team. Having a great company culture means living by a set of robust values and goals each day and encouraging every team member to follow the same paradigm. Company culture has a direct impact on the most important KPIs in HR departments, such as employee attraction and retention. At Boston Software Systems, most of our employees have been employed for over a decade, half of them for nearly two decades. We are a “people first” organization that embraces passion and purpose and values the voice of every employee. Our shared mission to state our truths, keep our promises, and support our customers has been the basis for our continued success over thirty plus years.

Trust

What you say may get your foot in the door, and slick marketing materials may “ink” the contract. But, stating false promises, and not being able to deliver on them, sets both the vendor and the customer up for failure. Set clear expectations and follow through on these expectations so that actions and results are transparent. Many vendors over-promise during a demo, or in marketing materials. This may look good at the moment, but it doesn’t work for the long-term. It’s the vendors who collaborate in action planning and performance improvement who create loyal customers. Those who only “say what they do,” but fail to deliver on the actions, just create a bad reputation in the industry that may never be able to be reversed. Now more than ever, companies want to do business with people they trust. No trust equals no loyalty. Because once trust is lost, whether by inaction or through a failure to deliver, it can rarely be repaired.

Support

A good product may get a customer engaged, but after-sales support is what keeps them loyal. Providing new customers with the educational resources they need through training, support, and education determines the success of every project. Make sure first-time buyers remain loyal to your brand by thinking outside the box of sales. It’s what happens after the ink is dry that ensures brand loyalty. Far too often, businesses pay more attention to prospective customers than to existing ones, and they drop the ball when it comes to support. Our customer support scores receive 5-stars, because we offer all US-based support, fast response times, and expert problem-solving skills. We send customer feedback forms out immediately after support calls, to ensure the problem was thoroughly addressed and completed. Being proactive in support helps you find the pain points in the customer journey, and address them before they become potholes, negatively affecting your customer retention scores.

Leave Nothing to Chance

Acquiring new customers is exciting, but your commitment should be in providing a great customer experience. Converting customers into loyal fans requires dedication to task, repeat business processes, and leaving nothing to chance. It’s one thing to sell a service or a product, but without the data or the people to back up the promises, deep relationships cannot be sustained. After-sales support can include onboarding advice, letting new customers know you’re there to answer their questions, setting up a dedicated support line for new customers for the first 120 days, or doing something as elementary as just reaching out to see if customers are happy. A report by Gartner found that customers who received a high-quality customer service interaction were 82% more likely to re-purchase or renew when offered the chance to switch to a competitor.

Why Boston Software Systems?

Boston WorkStation has been successfully improving healthcare processes for over 30 years. Boston WorkStation surpassed competitor rankings in the “Best in KLAS 2022” report, with a final total score of 93.8. 100% of customers interviewed gave Boston WorkStation a solid 100% rating in product value, delivering a money’s worth return on investment, and driving tangible outcomes. Boston WorkStation outperformed industry giant, UiPath, and hundreds of other vendors in most categories. We are experts on streamlining workflows, reducing costs, and improving usability for hospitals, health systems, provider organizations, and technology partners. We’d love to share our successes with you and add you to our growing list of loyal customers. With 95% of our projects completed in < 45 days, savings in time and money are right around the corner.

Why RPA is (Still) a Game Changer in the Post-COVID Era

COVID-19 challenged healthcare systems around the globe with massive disruption, quickly escalating the need for social distancing, virtual patient appointments, and added efficiencies. Critical areas of focus like telemedicine, lab testing, and revenue cycle management required efficient processes to be implemented at warp speed. CIOs quickly realized that more efficient capabilities were the key to not merely surviving, but thriving in a post-COVID world. In this week’s blog, we explore the growth and the benefits of Robotic Process Automation (RPA).

The Growth of RPA Over the Last Two Years

According to a study by Gartner in May 2020, the need to optimize overall costs and scarce resources during the COVID pandemic accelerated the adoption of RPA. In 2020, CIOs were merely ‘contemplating’ the addition of an RPA project to the “digital stack,” with only 5% of healthcare providers investing in the technology. After the arrival of the pandemic, greater efficiencies were realized, and as a result, over 50% planned to invest in the next three years. In 2020, the market value was $1.29 billion, which doubled in 2021, with a value of $2.65 billion, most of this fueled by the need for greater efficiencies of scale across the healthcare ecosystem. The market is poised to continue this growth at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27.7% until 2030, when the RPA market value is projected to reach $23.9 billion. What are the main drivers for this growth?

RPA Effortlessly Connects Disparate Systems

One of the main challenges of the pandemic was in getting the right information to the right person at the right time. Whether EHR data, portal information, telehealth visits, or revenue cycle billing, the need to integrate data from multiple, disparate systems was a high necessity during the pandemic. It’s estimated that the average healthcare enterprise runs hundreds of custom applications, whether hosted in the cloud, integrated via APIs, EHR, PM, CRM, etc. Each application may require input from multiple legacy systems and tools. RPA is able to “bridge the gaps” between these disparate systems without disruption to the larger healthcare system. Obtaining meaningful insights from system data was the #1 issue during the pandemic to identify patient groups, roll out the vaccine distribution program, qualify for federal dollars, and continue to serve patients over paperwork. RPA simplified this process for hospitals and health systems, making it easier to do business during the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. RPA streamlines data migrations tasks including:

  • Reduce Manual Processes – Save Employee Time On Data Entry
  • Increase Productivity – Staff Focus On Higher Value Activities
  • Improve Processes And Eliminate Duplications And Errors
  • Faster Processing – Our Digital Software Robots Work 24/7/365
  • Compliance And Full Audit Trail

RPA Simplifies the HR Onboarding Process

Another issue that we experienced as a result of the pandemic, was the “Great Resignation.” This hit healthcare hard, and caused undue stress in the Human Resources (HR) department. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the last 12 months have resulted in 77 million hires and approximately 70 million separations. HR departments struggle to deliver strategic value when administrative staff are bogged down executing manual, repetitive data entry tasks. How does RPA help? RPA is the perfect digital ally for busy HR departments, completing tasks including:

  • New Hire Onboarding
  • Payroll Management
  • Physician Credentialing
  • Change Management / Compliance Protocols
  • Compensation Changes
  • Exit Management Tasks

Why are RPA Projects Continuing to Rise in 2022?

As the world faces a new wave, with the variant numbers continuing to rise, healthcare resilience becomes a major concern. RPA automation reduces manual interventions, thereby reducing disease transmission risks and empowering human staff to work from anywhere, rather than working alongside others who may be sick. Not only is it helping with staff shortages by “taking up the slack” of missing employees, automation provides an affordable solution to maintaining business continuity and operational excellence post-COVID-19. The most important decision is in the right vendor selection.

Why Boston WorkStation?

Two words: customer experience. Our customers love Boston WorkStation because of the flexibility of our deployment. We can deploy our services hosted in the cloud, completely on premise, or even in a hybrid way. We can assist before a data migration “go live,” or at any point during, or post-migration, giving clinicians and staff their time back to take care of patients, not juggle paperwork. And all of our teams understand healthcare workflows and exactly how to implement an RPA project for maximum impact and a fast ROI. We cut down on the industry chatter and implement projects fast and reliably. We’ve done this organically for 30 years, with no reliance on VC dollars. Our customers love our experience, time-to-value, and 5-star reviews. Give us a call. With most of our projects kicked off in < 30 days, savings and greater efficiencies are right around the corner!