30% of Hospitals and Health Systems Using Revenue Cycle Automation Require Two or More Vendors to Manage The Process

Highlights Need for Solutions That Are Purpose Built for Healthcare Revenue Cycle Management

January 26, 2020  — South San Francisco, Calif. — Alpha Health, the first Unified Automation™ company for revenue cycle management in healthcare, released results of a national survey designed to assess adoption of automation in revenue cycle operations at health systems and hospitals across the U.S. According to the survey, approximately <30 percent of health systems and hospitals are unable to manage their revenue cycle automation efforts without at least two vendors. Another 30 percent have built internal automation teams, though more than 76% of those are large organizations — with $1 billion or more in net patient revenues.

The survey was commissioned by Alpha Health and conducted through the Healthcare Financial Management Association’s (HFMA) Pulse Survey program. The survey was fielded between May 19, 2020 and June 22, 2020 among 587 chief financial officers and revenue cycle leaders at health systems across the United States. Tthe survey has a confidence level of 95 percent with a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percent. 

Regardless of the solution used to automate revenue cycle tasks, the process generally involves three steps: 

  1. Observing and documenting workflows
  2. Programming the technology to perform the work as documented
  3. Maintaining the solution as inputs and variables in specific processes change

It’s not uncommon for business process consultants to handle the first step while working with a technology vendor to manage the second and third steps involved in using automation solutions. Ongoing maintenance can be particularly complex – requiring internal revenue cycle staff to coordinate with both business process consultants and technology vendors to manage changes. As a result, many large health systems invest in building their own automation teams. In these instances, the internal teams may still work with one or more technology vendors. 

“Many automation technologies, such as robotic process automation (RPA), were originally developed for other industries and purposes. Trying to retrofit these solutions to healthcare revenue cycle operations can result in unnecessarily complex deployment processes. This also requires significant investments in maintenance resources, whether those be multiple vendors or entirely new internal automation teams,” said Ben Beadle-Ryby, co-founder and Vice President of Operations at Alpha Health. “Health systems now have better options with machine-learning based solutions. Alpha Health’s Unified Automation™ platform is purpose-built for healthcare revenue cycle operations. It is designed with continuous learning capabilities that eliminate the disruptions of having an army of consultants shadow staff as well as the hassles and costs of fixing broken bots.”

Survey respondents were asked, “Which of the following best describes how many outside consulting firms and vendors you currently use to automate revenue cycle operations?”

When statistically evaluated by organization type, health systems and hospitals currently using automation in their revenue cycle operations each use the same average number of outside consulting firms or vendors. When statistically evaluated by net patient revenue, larger organizations (both hospitals and health systems) are likely to use more vendors than smaller organizations.graph2

About Alpha Health

At Alpha Health we believe every dollar spent on healthcare matters because healthcare matters to everyone. The first Unified Automation™ company for healthcare, Alpha Health uses the same machine learning approaches that made driverless cars possible to provide health systems with a single solution for healthcare revenue cycle management. Alpha Health’s proprietary Unified Automation™ technology operates within a healthcare system’s existing electronic health record and revenue cycle infrastructure. Alpha Health’s Unified Automation™ brings together the best of people, data and technology to efficiently, accurately and autonomously navigate the complex state of medical reimbursement in the United States. This enables health systems to reduce their cost of care and be better stewards of the healthcare dollar. Alpha Health is based in the heart of Silicon Valley. Learn more at www.alphahealth.com.