At the Margins

How engaged is your revenue cycle staff?

by Anita Mago

As hospitals and health systems increasingly focus on margin health, the revenue cycle has emerged as a critical strategic asset. Revenue cycle staff and leaders are being asked to do more with less. In this challenging environment, highly motivated and engaged staff are no longer a nice-to-have, they're absolutely essential.

In contrast with content staff, engaged staff don't just enjoy their jobs and workplace—they're willing to go above and beyond to help their organization succeed. Organizations with higher levels of staff engagement experience a range of positive outcomes, from higher patient satisfaction scores to better staff retention. But the question remains: How do we sustain engagement amid ongoing change?

Recognizing that resource constraints can make it difficult for leaders to turn the dial on engagement, our research note provides strategic guidance on how to scope your staff engagement strategy and where to focus to maximize your returns.

We identify the top impact drivers for revenue cycle staff— that is, where you will get the most bang for your buck. We also take a deeper look at patient access, midcycle, and business office staff, to help you understand the unique needs and motivations of each group. Find out which group needs your urgent attention, which group is largely satisfied, and what's on everyone's wish list.

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Top engagement drivers for revenue cycle staff

We used the Advisory Board's Engagement Survey national database to pinpoint the drivers that have the greatest impact on revenue cycle staff engagement. Participants who agreed with the following statements were the most likely to be engaged.

Learn more about engagement drivers and how to use them to craft your staff engagement strategy.

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What's working …

Even in areas where they were less satisfied, midcycle consistently outperformed other revenue cycle staff in terms of engagement. If there is any area of the revenue cycle where the current state is working well, it is midcycle. And yet, our engagement data pointed towards one unique area for improvement, specific to midcycle. Find out what it was.

What's not working …

There's no denying this—business office staff feels stressed and ill-equipped to do their jobs. Denials have increased dramatically in recent years, overwhelming many back offices, while processes and technology may not be able to keep up. But staff dissatisfaction points to an encouraging fact: They want to do their jobs well. Capitalize on this fact by finding out exactly what kind of support they need.

What everyone wants

All three groups had the lowest rates of engagement on the same two drivers, which also are among the top three drivers of engagement. For revenue cycle leaders looking to increase engagement, adjusting these two levers are sure to have an impact. 

Learn more: How to engage your revenue cycle staff

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