The pressure on hospital revenue cycle departments to maximize reimbursements while minimizing costs to collect means the status quo will rarely do. How do you plan to improve your revenue cycle processes this year? If you’re still looking for ideas to implement in 2020, consider some of the ones shared at the recent HFMA roundtable, Pursuing Revenue Cycle Innovation.

Integrate your EHR and billing system: It’s a brand-new decade, but the reality is many hospitals still don’t have an integrated EHRand billing system. They’re missing out, according to Deborah Robinson, vice president of revenue cycle for Rochester Regional Health. “There is a lot of capability there,” she told HFMA. “We continuously aim to take advantage of everything the system has to offer….”

Look to automation to help streamline processes: Sue Gillies, vice president of revenue cycle for Crystal Run Health in Middletown, New York, said her organization used to manually write off small balances and other “uncollectables” on aged A/R, a tedious process that often required paying overtime. Now, that’s all done with automated processes that run daily, weekly and monthly. The result has been a decrease in overtime and a redeployment of staff to higher-level tasks, such as data analysis, process improvement and customer service.

Improve your analytics: The integrated EHR and billing system at Rochester Regional Health comes with a robust dashboard that provides a snapshot of key performance indicators, such as receivable totals, days-in-A/R and adjustments. All of these are searchable by plan and even down to the patient level. The dashboard also offers benchmarking tools, allowing the organization to rate itself against peer hospitals that use the same tool. “Quite honestly, we rate well against these external measures, so we push ourselves to do even better, establishing internal benchmarks that push us further,” said Kimberly Bliss, director of hospital billing.

Need help implementing or identifying process improvements in your revenue cycle operation? GAFFEY Healthcare has the tools and expertise to help make optimization a reality for you in 2020. We’d love to talk to you about your revenue cycle needs and how we can improve them together. Contact Laurie Pomerantz, vice president of business development, at