Staffing is one of the healthcare industry’s most frustrating challenges. The National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) reports that 68% of U.S. health centers have lost between 5% and 25% of their workers within the past 6 months. Another 15% have lost 25% to 50% of their workers during the same period.
This workforce attrition includes losing valuable business professionals like billing staff, medical coders, and revenue managers. According to the NACHC survey, two of the top complaints among departing workers are competition from other employers and workplace stress.
A study by the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine calls healthcare staffing shortages a public health crisis. The USC study found 32% of doctors and 41% of nurses were already feeling burned out before the COVID-19 pandemic hit and since then, 40% of doctors and 49% of nurses report feeling burned out. Healthcare burnout is predicted to remain a major trend for years to come.
In this environment, it’s essential to do anything you can to ease your employees’ stress and remain an employer of choice. Healthcare centers must address persistent billing challenges to preserve morale and financial stability.
Staffing Struggles and In-House Medical Billing Challenges
In-house billing is a challenge when you have such a high rate of staff turnover. Healthcare companies are feeling the pain of losing talented, hardworking people – especially in billing offices where expertise makes such a difference in effective revenue cycle management (RCM).
For federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) and other community health centers, there’s an added layer of pain lately. Many of the benefits from the American Rescue Plan have begun to expire. More than $6 billion in funding helping FQHCs survive the chaos of the pandemic is no longer available or will be phased out soon.
It’s more important than ever to use your resources wisely and ensure you can continue to provide the same level of care for your patients. Under so many pressures, many FQHCs and community clinics are outsourcing billing, coding, and other RCM tasks under the pay-for-performance model.
How Outsourcing Eases Healthcare Staffing Pressures
The pay-for-performance model in healthcare means financial incentives are attached to the performance of any partner you select to handle a portion of your business. Therefore, if you outsource your billing, your pay-for-performance partner has a strong financial motivation to collect as much revenue as possible on your behalf.
Outsourcing has a direct connection to staff turnover. When you don’t have the staff available to handle certain tasks, or when your staff doesn’t have the right level of talent, outsourcing is a proactive and effective alternative. If you don’t outsource, your in-house staff may leave these tasks to languish, meaning claims aren’t submitted, bills aren’t paid, and clinic revenue takes a nosedive.
Forecasts show outsourcing will continue to become more prevalent as healthcare companies struggle to retain employees. A Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) study found that among healthcare leaders, 36% plan to outsource revenue cycle activities within the next six months, which is higher than all other healthcare activities including patient communications (33%) and clinical efficiency tasks (9%).
Outsourced RCM not only relieves the billing burden on your staff but also opens the opportunity for a more productive revenue-gathering process. While you focus on patient care, your RCM partner uses their experience to find innovative ways to optimize your billing cycle. As a result, your clinic strengthens its bottom line and your community reaps the benefits.
A Simple Solution: Altruis FQHC Billing Services
At Altruis, we help healthcare clinics use RCM strategies to strengthen FQHC revenue cycle management. We’ll relieve the pressure of your staffing challenges by working as your partner to conduct fast, accurate medical billing. Our extensive expertise improves your billing practices and identifies new opportunities for healthcare revenue generation.
Best of all, our services are available 100% remotely and we can handle all aspects of your billing anytime, from anywhere. Our success is your success. Schedule a call with Altruis to learn more.