Joseph Health has acquired Seattle-based Lumedic, a revenue cycle management company based on blockchain technology, with the aim of streamlining data sharing and improving claims processing. The Renton, Washington-based health system announced at the 2019 Healthcare Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Annual Conference & Exhibition that it plans to leverage the blockchain platform to reduce inefficiencies in revenue cycle management. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Traditional health system and hospital revenue cycle processes frequently rely on physical correspondence and fax machines for sending medical records, legacy systems for data storage, and employees who spend hours calling insurers on the status of claims. In addition to the cumbersome workflow, healthcare billing and claims is still largely a manual process, which introduces the potential for errors.
That's something all healthcare organizations must do, and do well, especially during a period of changing financial models and expectations. Revenue cycle management systems are bread and butter when it comes to what healthcare organizations need in health IT. But the next generation features and functions of revenue cycle management systems may be anything but ordinary, according to experts. For one thing, expect next-generation revenue cycle management systems to boast quite advanced analytics, said Kellye Sherbet, president of RCM services at Aprima Medical Software, which markets EHR, practice management and revenue cycle management systems for medical group practices. "Healthcare organizations require sophisticated analytics to perform a deep dive into their information and look at the margins for ancillary services provided," Sherbet said.
The healthcare revenue cycle has become even more complex in recent years for several reasons, including increased patient financial responsibility, more complicated payer contracts and greater regulatory demands. As a result, providers across the nation have been forced to change their approaches to revenue cycle management. Despite attempts to modernize the revenue cycle to meet these new demands through strategies like adding bolt-on technologies or hiring new talent, many healthcare organizations still struggle with outdated processes in the revenue cycle which creates expense, waste, risk and inefficiencies, according to Carrie Moneymaker, MBA, vice president of solution design at Zotec Partners. "It doesn't matter what organization … the revenue cycle is outdated in some way, shape or form," Ms. Moneymaker said during a presentation at Becker's Hospital Review's 5th Annual Health IT Revenue Cycle Conference in Chicago Oct. 11. "You don't want these processes to be outdated as it costs money, it is risky, it breeds chaos, and it doesn't make your patients happy. Building patient loyalty is critical in this consumer driven digital age. Now is the time to evaluate your revenue cycle."