The past twelve months have witnessed a widening rift between small, financially-vulnerable health networks and large, highly capitalized hospitals and chains that can afford the high costs of modernizing revenue cycle management and coding information technology. Updated RCM technology rises to be a top priority for the nation's struggling hospitals.

Black Book™ well known internationally for accurate, impartial customer satisfaction surveys in the services and software industries, conducted its annual revenue cycle management software/technology user polls to determine the highest ranked client experience vendors for 2015. As part of a special research focus on hospital, healthcare networks and corporate users, Black Book surveyed the clients of RCM software vendors with the highest scores in customer experience in the functional bolt-on areas of Billing, Charge Capture, Coding, Claims Management, Reimbursement, Insurance and Payer Management, Payment Resolution and Collections, and collectively for end-to-end RCM technology.

“Large hospitals and networks with healthy margins, in great part attributable to their financial planning tools, are making even deeper investments in financial software, emerging patient care technologies and capital improvements’, said Doug Brown, Managing Partner of Black Book.  

“Many rural, independent, inner city and critical access hospitals are sliding further from profitability and the latest RCM software seems to be out of reach just as value based reimbursements changes the playing field even more.”                                          

85% of CFOs managing hospital finances in facilities and networks with profit margins greater than 3% implemented new revenue cycle management technology prior to Q4 2015, and 92% have committed to more RCM solution purchases through 2016.

In contrast, 68% of hospitals operating at under 2% margins in 2014 have delayed or not budgeted any RCM technology enhancements until at least Q2 2016.

Over the course of this summer, Black Book surveyed 2,400 hospital CFOs, CIOs, technology and finance staffers representing 609 hospital organizations, academic medical centers and large IDNs with physician group practices.

Roughly half of all US hospitals that predicted ( in 2012-2013 Black Book surveys) that they would replace their core RCM solution have failed to initiate a sustainable RCM technology plan as of July 2015. 

54% of hospitals reported plans to adopt alternative payment models in 2016, while 44% said they are will not be adopting such a payment model until they improve their capabilities in RCM technology, analytics and forecasting.

Black Book found that RCM transition activities are also being coordinated through advisors and consultants at 17% of the nations’ hospitals surveyed, the majority of those providers (78%) have not selected technology vendors to move towards value-based reimbursements as of Q3 2015.

Hospitals with 400 beds and more were the most equipped with next generation RCM software and resources, with 71% confirming they have the technology in place to succeed with payment reforms and changing models. Only 10% of hospitals under 100 beds reported they implemented the technology to able to participate in new payment models currently.

In response to the challenges that lie ahead for those hospitals still behind the RCM eight ball, many are considering bolt-on upgrades or modules of RCM, mainly collections (87%), denial management (47%), claims management (43%), contract management (40%), benchmarking (25%) and eligibility/benefits (24%).

Other costly priorities have delayed technology acquisitions for financially under performing hospitals through 2015 according to survey participants, specifically on-going EHR implementations (77%) and ICD-10 conversion (58%).

20% of all CFOs foresee the organizational pressures to adopt data analytics solutions as challenging their objective to acquire more RCM technology resources in their next fiscal year.

79% of hospital CFOs report the need to eliminate financial and coding technology vendors that are not producing a return on investment in 2016.

The top ranked end-to-end RCM technology vendors for 2015 were identified based on eighteen key performance indicators of qualitative measures, ranked by users:

Optum360 – Hospitals over 200 Beds

Zirmed- Hospitals Under 200 Beds (fourth consecutive year awarded)

More results can be obtained at www.blackbookmarketresearch.com

About Black Book

Black Book™, its founders, management and staff do not own or hold any financial interest in any of the vendors covered and encompassed in the surveys it conducts. Black Book reports the results of the collected satisfaction and client experience rankings in publication and to media prior to vendor notification of rating results and does not solicit vendor participation fees, review fees, inclusion or briefing charges, and/or vendor collaboration as Black Book polls vendors’ clients

Since 2000, Black Book™ has polled the vendor satisfaction across over thirty industries in the software and services sectors around the globe. In 2009, Black Book began polling the client experience of over 510,000 current healthcare software and managed services users. Black Book expanded its survey prowess and reputation of independent, unbiased crowdsourced surveying to IT and health records professionals, physician practice administrators, nurses, financial leaders, executives and hospital information technology managers. Over 5,000 users participated in the 2015 polls of RCM client experience in a sweeping seven month set of studies. Additionally, 1,900 respondents that have not yet fully implemented or optimally using RCM outsourcing or technology provided insight on budgeting, adoption plans, factors driving RCM decisions and vendor awareness.

For methodology, auditing, resources, comprehensive research and ranking data see: http://www.blackbookmarketresearch.com