Dollars and (common) sense: Why making RCM a priority during your EHR build is critical
Few health IT implementations are as expensive, complex and involve as many stakeholders as an electronic health record – and it’s even harder when you’re up against an aggressive deadline. That was the situation we were facing at Mercy Physician Enterprise, which is part of a larger healthcare network, Mercy Health Services in Baltimore. In order to attest for Meaningful Use and improve our reporting, we decided to replace our legacy system with a new system (Epic) in under 12 months.
During an EHR build, it’s natural for an organization to put considerable focus on clinical functionality. However, the line between clinical and financial data isn’t as bright as it once was, and a significant indicator of a successful go-live is providers’ ability to effectively manage payments and claims.
We decided to make revenue cycle management (RCM) a high and continuous priority in order to identify and mitigate any issues during the course of the build. With an implementation of this scale, the impact on cash flow is always going to be a concern. New EHRs often cause changes in charge capture and billing processes, and there is the ever-present risk that something will go wrong, leaving you unable to get charges out the door.