Healthcare financial leaders were asked if and when they calculate return on investment (ROI) on revenue cycle management (RCM) automation.
While the use of automation in RCM continues to grow, how its ROI is measured varies heavily depending on the provider, according to a survey from Healthcare Financial Management Association commissioned by revenue cycle firm AKASA.
The survey, which fielded responses from 556 chief financial officers and revenue cycle leaders at hospitals and health systems across the nation between July 8 and August 2, reveals a lack of set standards when it comes to quantifying RCM automation.
Nearly a third of respondents (32.7%) said they calculate ROI on RCM automation in-house, while 7.1% stated ROI is calculated by their RCM automation vendor. More than half (51.9%) answered that instead of calculating ROI, they focus on other key performance indicators, such as accounts receivable days. Finally, a small but not insignificant amount of providers (8%) said they don't measure for ROI at all.
There were also differences among the respondents in how often ROI on RCM automation is measured. More than a third (34.7%) said they measure ROI monthly, followed by quarterly (26.4%), annually (14%), and semi-annually (6.6%). The option of "other – write in", chosen by 18.2% of providers, indicated that ROI measurement will be determined once automation is fully implemented or on an as-needed basis.
"This survey really highlights that healthcare financial leaders are struggling with who or where to turn on ROI measurement," said Amy Raymond, VP of revenue cycle operation at AKASA. "There's a significant gap in the market for guidance and frameworks on how to get ROI right.
"As health systems mature in their automation journey, the current understanding of ROI falls short as a sole measure of success. Part of this is that not all metrics are easy to measure upon implementation — specifically those that examine the impact on the workforce or patient financial experience. There is a clear need for a new form of assessment — one that holistically looks at Total Value."
As ROI becomes more of a focus, revenue cycle leaders are turning their attention to trends and opportunities to develop best practices and evaluate their level of involvement in an array of functions.
Jay Asser is an associate editor for HealthLeaders.
A survey of more than 550 financial leaders from hospitals and health systems highlights an absence of best practices for measuring RCM automation ROI.
Nearly a third (32.7%) said they calculate ROI in-house, while 7.1% stated ROI is calculated by their RCM automation vendor.
More than a third (34.7%) said they measure ROI monthly, followed by quarterly (26.4%), annually (14%), and semi-annually (6.6%).