Although the most senior-level revenue cycle roles are the most difficult to fill, even entry- and mid-level roles present expensive, time-consuming challenges.
It takes an average of 207 days and costs $5,699 to fill vacant senior-level revenue cycle roles, according to a new survey.
AI company AKASA surveyed 514 chief financial officers and revenue cycle leaders at hospitals and health systems across the United States through the Healthcare Financial Management Association's (HFMA) Pulse Survey program.
Although the most senior-level revenue cycle roles—those that require 10 or more years of experience—are the most difficult to fill, even entry- and mid-level roles present expensive, time-consuming challenges.
The survey found that vacant entry-level revenue cycle jobs cost an average of $2,167 for recruitment and take about 84 days to fill. These are the jobs that are the most basic, calling for zero to five years of experience.
Vacant mid-level revenue cycle roles (ones that require 6-10 years of experience) cost an average of $3,581 for recruitment and take 153 days to fill.
The survey also notes that the complete cost to recruit is likely even higher for all these jobs, since revenue cycle leaders might not factor in recruitment costs from other departments, such as marketing and human resources, or other training and onboarding costs.
The "Great Resignation" is hitting all industries, and many revenue cycle leaders are thinking about the future of their departments by implementing succession planning, training programs, and competitive salaries.
For instance, Cassi Birnbaum, senior enterprise director of HIM, coding, and CDI at PeaceHealth in Vancouver, Washington, says, "succession planning needs to begin the day that you enter an organization and … your position."
"It's incumbent upon us as senior leaders to really develop a deep talent pool," she says.
At UC San Diego Health, customer service is the highest-paid revenue cycle position because it's the "face of the patient financial experience," says Terri Meier, director of system patient revenue cycle.
With a higher salary comes "a higher expectation." In addition to receiving formal, ongoing, day-to-day education, these employees also undergo annual competency testing.
Education is also important to Sarah Ginnetti, associate vice president of revenue cycle at UConn Health. Not quite a year into her role there, she's been working to stand up an institutional membership through HFMA.
Doing so will "help educate our staff about all of the nuts and bolts of revenue cycle that sometimes we expect people to just learn through osmosis," she says.
“Succession planning needs to begin the day that you enter an organization and … your position.”
Cassi Birnbaum, senior enterprise director of HIM, coding, and CDI, PeaceHealth
Alexandra Wilson Pecci is an editor for HealthLeaders.