Hospitals that are struggling financially say large health IT investments—such as electronic health records (EHRs), health information exchange technology, and patient portals—are hindering efforts to upgrade revenue cycle software, according to a new Black Book Market Research survey.
For the survey, Black Book researchers queried over 2,300 hospital CFOs, CIOs, business office managers, and technology staffers on revenue cycle management between June and October. The surveyed health care professionals were located at 590 hospitals and inpatient practices in 45 states.
The study found that the technology gap is growing between hospitals that are struggling financially and those that are fiscally well-off. Researchers found that 94% of struggling hospitals' CFOs attributed their financial problems to failed or delayed IT implementations, particularly EHRs.
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Although 86% of those CFOs said they believed revenue cycle management tools are key to financial stability, nearly 75% said they do not have enough financing to implement the best technology and some said they will be forced to delay such tools until 2016.
Among CFOs at smaller hospitals, 87% believe that not having a solid revenue cycle management strategy will negatively affect their ability to be profitable throughout 2015.
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Meanwhile, 91% of CFOs that reported being financially well-off reported plans to implement, outsource, or purchase new revenue cycle management software by the third quarter of 2015 (Perna, Healthcare Informatics, 11/3; Bresnick, Health IT Analytics, 11/4; Black Book release, 11/3).
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