Monday, November 2, 2020

AHIMA House of Delegates 2020 Meeting, Synopsis on Strategic Pathfinder Session Revenue Cycle

by Megan Patton, MEd, RHIA

This year at the 2020 House of Delegates meeting, I had an opportunity to join a strategic pathfinder breakout session on the Revenue Cycle.  It was interesting to hear the insights of the delegates representing a variety of states and healthcare settings.  The revenue cycle has been and continues to be one of the hot topics in the Health Information Management (HIM) field.  Some of the revenue cycle challenges identified were decreased operating income from declining reimbursement, increasing revenue costs due to denials and revenue leakage, increased business intelligence to support technology challenges, more complicated compliance issues, and staffing issues caused by higher-skilled workers who are harder to attract and retain.

Two statements were presented that we had an extensive discussion about in our group.  One statement focused on HIM professional’s role in the revenue cycle as those who identify the data to capture, train providers and staff, and coordinate a patient’s story from beginning to end.  Many comments from the delegates were that this described where we currently are in our roles. One comment highlighted the significant role we have played in the data capture for COVID-19 related information.  Some of the keywords that stood out for delegates were educators, trainers, coordinators, subject matter experts, applicability across all settings, and leaders.  

Another statement centered around revenue cycle management becoming more complex and challenging with the incorporation of natural language processing (NLP) and artificial intelligence (AI) and how the role of HIM professionals will transform.  A great discussion occurred about this statement as well.  One great comment about this statement from the Nevada delegate was that we should be leading the change, and change should not be dragging us along.  Another delegate suggested that HIM professionals need to get ahead in AI and not to chase it.  Discussion followed that said we should get ahead on this transformation so that we have a seat at the table. Some of the keywords discussed about this statement were change management, employee resistance, pioneering, efficiency, and technology relevance.  

There were also many key points made that these two statements really are both applicable.  We have to be the coordinators so that we understand the revenue cycle process from start to finish, but we also have to be on top of potential technologies that could change our roles.  There is certainly more to come with where our profession is going in terms of the Revenue Cycle.  

About the Author

Megan Patton, M.Ed., RHIA is the currently a 1st Year Delegate on the OHIMA FY 2020-21 Board of Directors. Megan is Assistant Professor at the University of Cincinnati.

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