With the endless talk of the electronic medical/health record (EMR/EHR), the Affordable Care Act and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA, now 16 years old), it can be easy to forget about other advantages afforded by document scanning, document management and the cloud—particularly for financial departments in hospitals and other medical facilities. Nowhere is this more compelling than in accounts payable when it comes to the automation of invoice processing from major medical facilities to small practices.
You may know that scanning invoices can prevent them from being lost and be the beginning of a workflow system that automates their processing and gives visibility to management that can impact cash flow and operational efficiency. What you may not know are the dollars and cents*:
- The average cost to manually process an invoice is $16.67 per invoice
- The average cost when automating invoice processing is $3.34 per invoice
The result: organizations can cut processing costs by $13 per invoice as well as cut cycle times from an average of 16.3 to 4.1 days (75%)*.
If you are currently digitizing patient files to meet federal mandates, even better: you can further leverage your current document scanning and document management system to automate accounts payable and make documents available quickly during an audit. You can then move on to accounts receivable and HR to further reduce cost and increase efficiency. If you want to do all of the above in the most cost-effective way possible, we recommend outsourcing document scanning and utilizing cloud document management.
These days, when Medicare reimbursements are slow to be made and/or cut, and with insurance companies looking for any reason not to pay, this level of business process automation is critical to ensuring strong cash flow and overall financial health for any healthcare organization.
*Figures are taken from Aberdeen Research’s accounts payable whitepaper: AP Invoice Management in a Networked Economy, May 2012