Hospitals Employ More Billing Specialists Than They Have Beds

Andrew Hull

Healthcare spending in the United States is rising at a break-neck pace, with America accounting for 40% of total health spending worldwide. The kicker: about 8% of excess medical spending comes from administrative costs. 

Healthcare providers constantly innovate to provide the best quality of care for their patients. It’s time for healthcare administrators to do the same to cut costs. 

Where do administrative costs come from? 

Administrative expenses in healthcare refer to all of the behind-the-scenes processes that allow the industry to function. These include billing, insurance-related processes, staff management, and scheduling.  

These costs, especially when it comes to billing and insurance-related processes, are uniquely burdensome in healthcare because of their complexity. Medical bills are sequenced through a number of different phases as part of the revenue cycle, beginning with pre-appointment insurance authorization, to claim submission and insurance payment after the patient receives care, and ending with any additional payment needed from the patient. 

To untangle the mess healthcare companies currently rely on many specialists, a key contributor to excess administrative costs. In fact, hospitals tend to employ more billing specialists than they have beds. 

Other administrative costs include the bookkeeping and transfer of medical records, care-monitoring, and oversight of fraud and abuse. 

How a hybrid system can help 

Movement toward automating the complex billing and coding of medical bills has only recently taken place. Still, hiring of medical coders and billing specialists isn’t expected to slow over the next decade

As healthcare companies begin to innovate to reduce the burden of administrative costs, two primary concerns should be on their minds: efficiency and accuracy. 

To improve efficiency and make a dent in administrative costs related to medical billing and coding, automation needs to be ramped up significantly. A recent survey of 580 healthcare leaders found that the industry overwhelmingly needs more automation tools to reduce costs specifically in managing the revenue cycle. 

Industry leaders believe there to be as much as $200 billion in administrative waste in the revenue cycle management process industry-wide. By leveraging automation, healthcare companies could significantly reduce waste and improve the bottom line, as well as unlock resources to devote to improving quality of care and patient outcomes. 

Improved efficiency is meaningless if accuracy falters, however. Take medical coding, for example, an integral component of the healthcare revenue cycle. 

Medical coders translate diagnoses, medical procedures, lab results and other health-related services into numerical codes that are used throughout the billing cycle for a patient. These specialists are held to a standard of 95% accuracy, if not more in some systems. 

Invisible can augment existing healthcare teams to improve efficiency – or drive down costs by automating coding systems and outsourcing to our flexible, HIPAA-compliant team.

In order to drive up efficiency and ensure accuracy in that process, you can’t rely on either humans or machines exclusively. You need a powerful hybrid system of both.

Read how Invisible QAs thousands of automated outputs, fast

Investing in innovation 

Investment in innovation doesn’t have to mean higher costs. Quality investments in the right things are a cost saver. 

In fact, one study suggests that the healthcare industry could save $16.3 billion by automating administrative work including claims processing and patient verification. For healthcare companies and patients innovation is a win/win: cost savings for providers can turn into better quality care for patients. 

How do I get started with Invisible? 

If you’re looking for the perfect blend of a flexible workforce and automation expertise, Invisible is ready to help.  Check out our case study explorer where you can find real examples of when Invisible leveled up a company. 

Get started by creating a free account, and someone on our dedicated accounts team will get in touch with you. 

Work smart, move fast, and focus on what matters most - with Invisible.

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