Strategy, Legal & Operations

Accounting pain points in healthcare – an obstacle you can avoid

Hands working on a paper

Accounting and finance are becoming paramount priorities in healthcare as the competitive landscape evolves. Carefully managing costs and driving revenue empowers organizations to preserve their advantage while tapping into the ever-expanding healthcare economy.

The problem is that in organizations as complex as long-term care and skilled nursing facilities, physician practices, or clinics, accounting and finance is a major undertaking. And when these organizations are suffering with persistent pain points, simply managing the basics of accounting is an all-consuming process. The threat of errors and omission is high, and the strategic potential of financial data is largely lost.

Solving this problem begins with recognizing the issues in play:

  • Lack of visibility – The nature of the healthcare industry means that organizations often have multiple locations across state lines. Each location may share core financials with one other, but the details of the accounting departments are largely siloed off from each other. This inevitably leads to confusion, delay, and oversight.
  • Slow decision making – As accounting and finance departments begin to integrate more data, the processes historically used to manage that data become time-consuming and cumbersome. Decision makers have to wait for key financials, forcing the organization to slow down as the industry is speeding up.
  • Poor financial understanding – Financial data is useful in every department, but it’s often presented in a way that makes it inaccessible to non-financial professionals. Even when the accounting department is able to generate deep insights, it’s difficult to share them with other stakeholders.
  • Incomplete reporting – Generating reports based on growing amounts of accounting data requires tons of input while delivering uncertain returns. And when organizations don’t fully understand their past performance it’s much harder to effectively plan for the future.
  • Too much manual input – Relying on manual inputs is a time- and labor-intensive process that is ripe for mistakes. Worse, as inputs increase, the only solution is to push back deadlines or hire more accountants.
  • Ineffective analysis – When analysis is based on outdated, incomplete, or erroneous data it’s unhelpful at best and self-destructive at worst. Unfortunately, as it becomes harder for healthcare accounting departments to collect, integrate, and examine data, analysis will only become less reliable.

In this instance a complex problem has a fairly simple solution. Healthcare accounting departments are being asked to dive deeper into growing pools of data in order to find the innovative ideas that set the course for the future. That is an overwhelming responsibility, which is why smart tools like automation, machine learning, and advanced analytics are essential.

When the hardest parts of financial data management are automatic, healthcare accounting departments are free to focus on strategy, outreach, and innovation. And when technology does more of the heavy lifting, the quality of communication, collaboration, and planning improve instantly.

Don’t let accounting pain points limit the potential of your accounting department and the healthcare organization you serve.

This content was originally posted here.