3 signs you’ve outgrown your healthcare bookkeeping system
Health spending in the U.S. is expected to hit $6.2 trillion by 2028. In other words, healthcare is big business, and healthcare bookkeeping needs to be able to accommodate that.
You might not be one of the massive hospital systems taking in billions of dollars each year and constructing flagship locations all over the globe, but if you're the CFO for a multi-entity healthcare company, you know you've probably outgrown your entry-level healthcare accounting system.
Here are a few signs it’s time to upgrade.
Your finance team is burnt out from repetitive tasks
A survey by the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) found an overall physician burnout rate of 42% — and that was before the pandemic. Burnout in the medical field isn't limited to clinicians, though. It can happen to non-clinical staff such as finance team members as well – and a key way to combat burnout is surprisingly similar for both types of roles: reduce inefficiencies in the workload.
Among physicians, this may mean reducing unnecessary documentation (or GROSS – Getting Rid Of Stupid Stuff — as the AAMC bluntly puts it). For finance teams, this may mean eliminating repetitive, rote tasks in your accounting workflow. If you're a multi-entity organization using healthcare bookkeeping software designed for a single company, there are plenty of redundancies to eliminate.
Entry-level accounting software requires a separate database for each legal entity within an organization, meaning shared vendors, patients, and journal entries must be entered one at a time into each entity's database.
On a practical level, it's more efficient for one dental office to order toothbrushes for all five practices in the organization rather than having every office research and secure a supplier on their own. Unfortunately, that efficiency doesn't carry over when accounting for the purchase using entry-level software. Allocating the cost to all five practices means logging into five separate databases and manually creating the appropriate due to/due from journal entries five separate times, and then making sure they all balance correctly.
Patients are frustrated by a poor billing experience
Patients are increasingly viewed by the healthcare industry not as passive recipients of healthcare but as consumers who have choices. More than 90% of healthcare consumers in a 2021 survey said a poor billing experience would keep them from returning to a particular medical provider.
An entry-level healthcare bookkeeping system that doesn't let you share patient information across entities could lead to exactly the frustrating billing experience the survey illustrates. You may have the same patients visiting different practices within the same organization – a primary care physician and a specialist, for example. With entry-level software, you'll need to manually enter that patient's information into each office's database. Inevitably, this information won't be entered or updated exactly the same way each time. This could lead to delays in invoicing, patients being bombarded with invoices from different offices within the same healthcare organization when they could have received one streamlined bill, and errors in applying a patient's payment. It could even result in a patient’s invoice being erroneously sent to collections.
Shareholders are disgruntled with delayed, incomplete financial reports
There are calls to move healthcare from a fee-for-service business model to a value-based care model, in which prices are determined by patient outcomes versus procedures performed or supplies used. But, as a St. George's University Medical School blog post notes, this will require plenty of data.
While the financial arm of a healthcare company may not have a role in calculating health outcomes, it can help answer questions such as how much you’re spending on supplies, and how you can trim costs without sacrificing the quality of care.
The increasing focus on data and analytics in healthcare reflects an overall trend toward data-centrism across all industries. Healthcare company shareholders expect advanced financial reports with the metrics that matter most to them, not disorganized spreadsheets with inaccurate or outdated information.
With an entry-level healthcare bookkeeping system, each data point from each database must be copied and pasted individually into a separate spreadsheet, creating too many opportunities for error and not enough time to present the forward-looking analyses that stakeholders increasingly want to see.
Healthcare accounting software for modern, multi-entity organizations
If you have a vendor or patient that's common to multiple entities, that information only needs to be entered once. You can manage inter-company billing in a single step, with due to/due from entries automatically balanced. You can also compile consolidated financial reports within a few hours instead of days or weeks.
Gravity Software's reporting capabilities make it easy to create advanced reports using preset templates. You can use Microsoft Power BI to turn rows of numbers into easily understood, real-time data visualizations or use Jet Reports to create presentation-quality reports with drill-down capabilities right in Excel.
With Microsoft Power Automate, you can easily manage approvals, billing reminders and personalized workflows to support the way your company works. You can apply one cash receipt to multiple invoices, even those from multiple locations, with just a few clicks.
Ready to see how Gravity can support your growing healthcare company? Schedule a demo today.
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