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How Robotic Process Automation maximizes efficiency for better revenue cycle management

Managing a provider practice can be challenging when revenue growth is consistently the top priority. Balancing daily operations with a long-term growth strategy can be complex, so finding innovative solutions to improve the revenue cycle and practice operations is imperative.

Robotic process automation (RPA) is noninvasive software technology that uses robots to emulate human interactions with digital systems and software, which sparks a transformation in an organization’s workspace. Widespread among many industries to replace or supplement human tasks, RPA is a valuable resource in increasing revenue acceleration, optimizing operational efficiency and maximizing collections.

RPA has established itself as a valuable complement to current technology and is making an impact in healthcare revenue cycle management. According to a report by Gartner, worldwide RPA software revenue is projected to reach nearly $2B in 2021 and is expected to grow at a double-digit rate through 2024. Practices are implementing RPA into their daily operations to stay ahead of the innovation curve and improve every process in their revenue cycles.

Despite the operational and financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations are quickly integrating RPA into their operations, mainly due to the appeal of decreased dependency on staff for routine manual tasks—and, in turn, the reduction in costs caused by human error. Using RPA for billing tasks such as claims processing is extremely beneficial in the long run with huge cost-saving opportunities, as the average cost to rework a claim is $25. Implementing RPA also ensures important billing processes, such as denials management, are completed consistently and within proper filing time limits. According to industry sources, 50–65% of denials are never worked, which may be attributed to lack of time or knowledge.

Organizations that use RPA for cumbersome routine tasks empower staff members to concentrate efforts on more meaningful assignments while enabling providers to see more patients, which all help drive practice revenue. Robotic process automation also enables management to allocate staffing resources efficiently to other areas, such as claims that require extensive work or complex coding. Although cost-savings and improvements in productivity are achieved with the adoption of RPA, it is not a replacement for people. The bots deployed by RPA are only as good as the people and the organizations supporting them.

In billing processes, RPA can help streamline manual tasks such as A/R follow-up, denial management, prior authorizations, eligibility, adjustments and payment posting. By deploying RPA to carry out tedious manual tasks, organizations realize better financial and operational outcomes. They improve their bottom lines and accelerate revenue through reductions in denial rates—improving days to pay, achieving tighter reconciliation and maintaining cleaner A/R. Practice staff members and providers also benefit by being able to focus their efforts on other tasks, contributing to an improvement in employee morale and well-being. Overall, RPA positions organizations to become more profitable, flexible and responsive.

Learn more about RPA and how your organization can maximize possibilities for your revenue cycle management.

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