Healthcare providers struggle with EHR adoption

Optimizing electronic health records is still an ongoing effort for most healthcare providers, and the challenges might outweigh the benefits when it comes to revenue cycle performance, according to a new analysis and survey from Navigant and the Healthcare Financial Management Association.

More than half––56 percent––of providers said EHR adoption challenges are equal to or outweighed by the benefits specific to revenue cycle performance. Namely, these providers can’t keep up with EHR upgrades or they underuse functions. Only 44 percent said they can quickly adapt to EHR functional releases.

Fewer providers are likely to spend more on revenue cycle IT next year, with 68 percent saying their revenue cycle IT budgets will increase next year, compared to 74 percent last year, according to the results. More smaller hospitals planned to increase their revenue cycle management IT budgets next year compared to larger hospitals––75 percent and 59 percent, respectively.

“The impact of consumer self-pay on providers will only increase with the popularity of high-deductible health plans and negative changes to the economy,” James McHugh, managing director at Navigant, said in the report. “Providers must take advantage of opportunities to more holistically educate patients on out-of-pocket costs, predict their propensity to pay as early as possible, and secure alternative payers or financing when needed.”

Providers seemed to think increased consumer responsibility for healthcare costs would have less of an impact on their organizations in 2018 compared to 2017.

Looking ahead, organizations were most focused on IT, revenue integrity and RCM improvements and capabilities.