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3 Areas to Address to Improve Revenue Cycle Performance

Analysis  |  By Jasmyne Ray  
   June 10, 2024

Refining operational processes was one way organizations saw improvements in their revenue cycle.

Financial stability is front of mind for most of the healthcare sector, with revenue cycle management noted as a priority by 59% of leaders, according to a recent report by Sage Growth Partners.

The firm surveyed 115 C-suite executives, revenue cycle executives, and executives from other finance, IT, and operations roles. Of these respondents, 43% said their organization’s revenue cycle has improved since 2019, citing the following for their success: operational process improvements, technology advancement, and investing in workforce.

Here are three HealthLeaders stories featuring organizations that have utilized these strategies and also seen results.

Operational process improvements

When Ravi Patel, former vice president of digital health for Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital, first joined the hospital staff, only 27% of patients were utilizing the patient portal. Seeing the potential to improve patient engagement and satisfaction, he launched the Every Patient, Every Time initiative, where staff offer patient portal access and assistance during each interaction.

“What we found was just purely telling them about it…was enough to get them activated,” Patel previously told HealthLeaders. “So we started to see a steep increase with performance management.”

In addition to boosting patient portal utilization up to 83%, the hospital also saw shorter waiting and call handling times.

Technology advancement

At Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, vice president and CFO Ariana Urquia saw that efficiencies in prior authorization, claims, and coding processes were costing the hospital money. To streamline workflows, the hospital partnered with a revenue cycle management company to implement solutions in its billing and collection processes.

“We use tools to help prioritize which patient accounts we should be looking at,” Urquia previously told HealthLeaders. “Based on the documentation that exists in the medical record at a point in time and other parameters to say, ‘Hey, you may want to take a look at this account.’”

Investing in workforce

Revenue cycle executives’ interest in AI and automated solutions hasn’t slowed down, with many organizations pacing their digital growth and looking to their staff for suggestions and insight.

During HealthLeaders’ Revenue Cycle Exchange in February, Cassi Birnbaum, administrative director of hospital and professional coding for Stanford Health Care, highlighted the efforts of revenue cycle team members during the system’s recent technological expansion.

Despite the misconception that RCM solutions will replace staff, staff are positioned to gain the most from digital expansion. For example, by implementing solutions to complete more redundant administrative tasks, staff are able to complete more complex tasks. 

Jasmyne Ray is the revenue cycle editor at HealthLeaders. 


59% of leaders surveyed identified revenue cycle management as a priority.

Investing in technology to automated redundant tasks enabled staff to focus on other, more complex tasks.

Leveraging and investing in staff, alongside digital investments, also proved beneficial.

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