With healthcare delivery financial challenges continuing to drive up costs and chisel away at profit margins, healthcare practices are increasingly looking for ways to reduce disruptions to their revenue cycle. From collections to payments to their accounts receivable (A/R) management, these hits to their revenue cycle are limiting their cash flow, reducing collection rates, and contributing to even higher operational costs.

In response, medical, dental, and vision practices are flocking to technology to lower costs and maximize revenue while maintaining high patient satisfaction rates. They’re looking for revenue cycle management processes and solutions that help them stem the hemorrhaging and grow their revenue. A RevCycle Intelligence poll found that only 42% of providers were satisfied with their current patient payment solutions. The No. 1 concern of practices? Identifying a revenue cycle management (RCM) vendor with a proven ability to accelerate cash flow and reduce days outstanding. To minimize these pain points, roughly two in three medical providers are planning to outsource their revenue cycle management activities.

In this article, we’ll unpack RCM systems, what they do, benefits, and pros and cons. We’ll also introduce Revenue Cycle Messaging™, a kill-two-birds-with-one-stone revenue solution. We’ll look at how the two systems are similar but have distinct abilities and benefits. Finally, we’ll help you nail down which type of revenue solution can best help you meet your office’s financial needs so you can increase collections, simplify patient payments, and accelerate your revenue cycle.


What are revenue cycle management and revenue cycle messaging?  


Revenue cycle management 


RCM is an umbrella term for revenue cycle management software designed to help healthcare organizations and healthcare practices overcome common financial hurdles. These pain points include:

  • Delayed collections and reimbursements
  • Overburdened staff
  • Medical billing errors
  • Claim denial management
  • Patient payment access barriers

Collectively, these bottlenecks prolong workflows, increase admin costs, lower collection rates, and lengthen your A/R time. Common RCM tools’ features include:

  • Patient registration
  • Eligibility and benefits verification
  • Medical coding and billing processes
  • Claim submission
  • Payment posting
  • A/R management
  • Patient billing and collections

Designed to expedite and create efficiencies in your payment and collections cycle, RCM solutions automate crucial steps and reduce time-consuming staff tasks. The tools help you shrink delays and disruptions in your revenue workflow. That way, you get paid faster, boost your collections rate, and grow your practice’s cash flow.


Revenue cycle messaging 

 A hybrid of a traditional RCM, a revenue cycle messaging solution includes many of the same features as RCM but adds a unique combination of patient communication abilities. In essence, revenue cycle messaging bridges the gap between traditional RCM tools and critical patient messaging, such as appointment reminders, recall notifications, patient intake, and patient payment reminders.

A two-in-one combo, revenue cycle messaging delivers the efficiency and savings of a traditional RCM while allowing you to improve the patient payment experience across the revenue cycle. Features include:

  • Patient scheduling and intake
  • Insurance coverage verification
  • Treatment presentation and acceptance
  • Payment notifications
  • A/R management
  • Patient collections

How do revenue cycle management and revenue cycle messaging solutions compare? 


It’s important to note that both traditional RCM and revenue cycle messaging systems only solve for specific components of your end-to-end revenue cycle. Each vendor’s software includes a range of revenue components, but no single solution covers every stage of the financial process. As such, no two tools in the RCM family of solutions are identical. 


Healthcare revenue cycle management 


 One differentiator between the two is that traditional RCM systems operate as a disparate, stand-alone solution. Your RCM tool won’t be able to connect with your other office solutions, let alone your patient messaging and communications software. This can create confusion among your staff and add time to their administrative workload.

Another impact is that RCM solutions can sometimes — but don’t always — integrate with your PM or EHR. Without that integration, it can’t digitally write back patient payment details. With a traditional RCM, your practice won’t necessarily have the most up-to-date and accurate data in your patient records.

Finally, RCM solution pricing varies greatly from vendor to vendor. Many small- to medium-sized healthcare providers and practices may find adopting a pricey RCM tool alongside other monthly software licenses cost-prohibitive.


Revenue cycle messaging 


Like an effective RCM process solution, a revenue cycle messaging system doesn’t cover every function across the revenue cycle. However, its automated features cover key revenue areas, including patient registration, insurance eligibility verification, payment notifications, A/R management, and patient collections. This enables you to minimize costly delays and disruptions to your revenue process, reduce time spent on claims processing, and streamline payment and collection processes to drive better financial outcomes for your practice.

Plus, as a hybrid combo solution, revenue cycle messaging enables you to effectively leverage critical patient messaging features like online scheduling, digital intake, insurance verification, patient payment notifications, A/R management messages, and patient collection reminders. From the moment a patient schedules an appointment to the final patient payment collection, you’re able to give your patients a vastly improved patient payment experience.

The pairing of RCM and patient communication features also enables you to consolidate your tech stack, minimize costly license subscriptions, and reduce your staff’s manual workload.

Unlike traditional RCM systems, the solution provides effortless integration with your PM or EHR, enabling you to seamlessly write back patient information and appointment details. This assures your patient data is secure, accurate, and up to date.


Key Takeaways 

Though revenue cycle management and Revenue Cycle Messaging™ solutions are both valuable in helping you expedite and overcome various challenges in your revenue process, they diverge on multiple key abilities and benefits. While traditional RCM tools only tackle your internal revenue logjams, revenue cycle messaging is a two-in-one bundled solution that pairs key revenue cycle abilities with the automation of a comprehensive patient communications platform.

Connecting more effectively with patients at key points in their patient care journey helps you get paid faster while upgrading the patient payment experience. Revenue cycle messaging simplifies and automates financial tasks and patient payment and collections messages, empowering you to increase collections, consolidate costly software licenses, and grow your cash flow.

happy patient reading provider message

To learn more about how Revenue Cycle Messaging™ can expedite your revenue cycle and help you get paid faster, hop on over to https://www.solutionreach.com/revenue-cycle-messaging. 

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