The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference was a huge event that took place in the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, with 44,000 participants staying across 90 hotels, visiting 1,200 exhibitors. As a first-timer, I took the seasoned participants’ suggestions for comfortable footwear and laced up my sneakers to traverse the expanse of hallways, exhibit halls, and meeting rooms, inhaling all I could. The tagline for the year was “Champions of Health Unite.”
With one move, CMS declared price transparency as the new black: CMS rang in the new year with a ruling that mandates that hospitals provide patients with a current set of standard charges for all services they offer. This move provides patients with a digitally accessible menu of fees and prices for medical procedures and services.
In 2018, hospitals incurred US$42 billion in uncollected debt from patients, an estimated 6% of their revenue. This not only threatens their financial solvency but also signals a dire need for solutions that alleviate the scourge of revenue cycle management and collections. Help is on the way if revenue cycle executives look hard enough, as Aite Group estimates that US$14 billion of these uncollected receivables can be collected. Hospitals just need to be open to consumer-friendly payment products and financing options that create a pathway to collect.