Yes, Bots Break, But They Turn Data Into Dollars

Thumbnail yes bots break

The subject of process automation in revenue cycle management is a hot topic of conversation. Coming out of COVID, RCM leaders reimagined the people, process and technology that support their financial operations. “The way we’ve always done it” just simply isn’t sustainable. So many are beginning to look for alternatives, particularly around technology that will make their operations more efficient.

There are two big topics around automation that deserve a closer look:

They Break

Honestly, I love it when this statement gets made, because the reality of it is that it is 100% absolutely TRUE. But, that doesn’t mean they are useless. They are incredibly useful. Lots of things break and we still use them every day. Are you going to start doing the dishes every day by hand because the dishwasher may break? Or are you going to start walking everywhere because the car may break? Or just be hot/cold all the time because you don’t want to risk the air conditioner/heater breaking? Of course not, that is a completely silly idea. Yes, all of those things CAN break but what is important is that they require maintenance.

If a vendor tells you that their bot is foolproof, only requires a one-time implementation and won’t break, you should look for another vendor. The reality is that once the bot is built there are a lot of things that can and likely will change. Maybe the portal login changes or extra fields are suddenly required. The solution is a bot architected with building blocks that quickly alert when problems occur. This way they can be easily isolated to a particular step in the process and quickly addressed so the bot returns to maximum functionality.

Automate Everything

Completely the opposite of the above, the automate everything approach is not only a mistake, but today it is not possible. There are too many payers, portals and changing rules to make this a feasible reality in the near future. The way to attain success with you bot program is to adopt a very narrow and specific approach. Don’t start building 10 bots at once. Let the data direct you and turn that efficiency into dollars. Pick the highest value payer that is causing your rev cycle staff to spend the most time resolving accounts (one example-Blue Cross Blue Shield using the Availity portal and the requirement of an itemized bill for any claim over $50k). This is a perfect use case. One organization saved two FTE’s time simply by automating this task and now those employees can work on the more judgment specific tasks.

Just like artificial intelligence, bots can’t make judgement calls and they aren’t the answer to everything. However, as rev cycle operations look to gain efficiencies and support continued work from home and hybrid work environments, bots are a technology to enable healthy financials.

Interested in learning more? The team at VisiQuate is focusing on how we can help hospitals optimize their revenue cycle management. Visit our Revenue Cycle Playbook for step-by-step plays to help you stay on top of the ever-changing landscape of healthcare revenue cycle, or contact us to schedule a demo.

Other featured posts

See why we say You'll see.®