- A lack of technological alignment may cause hospital revenue cycle to dip substantially, according to research from Accenture. Stronger patient engagement efforts and revision of digital health strategies may help hospitals protect their revenue cycle.
Mainstreamed smart technologies continue to become commonplace within the healthcare industry. But hospitals are failing to meet healthcare consumers’ mobile app demands says Accenture. Millions of dollars in revenue cycle loss may soon be a reality. According to Accenture, hospital revenue cycle may experience upcoming annual loss of over $100 million.
Patients reportedly desire greater access to medical records, the ability to book, change and cancel appointments without headache, and more electronic prescription management. When healthcare providers fail to meet consumers’ increasing desire for mobile patient engagement, they will potentially lose revenue, Accenture adds.
This kind of do-it-yourself approach to healthcare means without a digital touch, untapped revenue and value-based outcomes potentially falter. When a hospital is wired, its revenue reportedly flourishes.
Healthcare consumers are interested in individually managing their healthcare. When patients take greater responsibility for things like registration, billing, and scheduling, this allows healthcare facilities to focus on providing higher quality care and getting outcomes, said Alan Soderblom, Adventist Health’s Vice President and Chief Information Officer, to RevCycleIntelligence.com.
“It’s [about] not having to rely on interfaces that the scheduling is in the same system, where they want to document the care and everything works together hand in hand. So, if we can reduce the cost, too, then that puts us in a strategic advantage."
Mind the mobile gap
The primary problem, however, is that hospital revenue cycle is not keeping up with patient engagement demand. Only 2 percent of patients across the nation’s 100 largest hospitals utilize hospital-provided mobile apps, says Accucenture. Such data perhaps seems contradictory to a another finding that at least 2 in 3 of these hospitals offer apps to their patients.
“[By] not having solid mobile engagement strategies, providers are ceding a portion of the patient experience – and potential revenue streams – to digital health disruptors that increasingly offer competing products and services,” researchers write.
“To improve their mobile strategies, providers should look to create a better user experience that is more tailored to the functionality demanded by patients.”
“Hospital apps are failing to engage patients by not aligning their functionality and user experience with what consumers expect and need,” states Brian Kalis, Accenture's Managing Director, within a press release.
“Consumers want ubiquitous access to products and services as part of their customer experience, and those who become disillusioned with a provider’s mobile services – or a lack thereof – could look elsewhere for services.”
Seven percent of patients reportedly changed healthcare providers because of a negative online experience related to facets like mobile apps and online chatrooms. Healthcare providers should nonetheless expect higher switchover rates in the future, Accenture asserts.
A drop in patient volume may lead to net loss. In November of 2014 alone, patient volume allegedly fell, and loudly so. The net loss aftermath reportedly hit $147,000, according to The Sheridan Press. This was a 12 percent decline from the month prior.
“Large hospitals that design and build experiences as well as partner with digital disruptors will have the ability to better engage with their patients, which will enhance patient loyalty – thereby enabling the hospitals to protect their revenues,” says Kalis.