The number of healthcare providers replacing their revenue cycle management system (RCM) has risen drastically according to new research from healthcare research firm KLAS. Over the next five years, nearly half of the providers KLAS interviewed for the study told KLAS they plan to replace their RCM, with 87 percent of those planning to do so in the next three years.
There are many factors influencing this shift—from integration and single source tools to cost and bolt-on functionality—and providers are going about their RCM buying decision processes with more than just the revenue cycle in mind, the Orem, Utah-based KLAS stated.
"The RCM decision has become a clinically driven, enterprise decision," the report stated. "Most providers are favoring their EMR vendor's RCM system, particularly one that is integrated, over a third-party's best-of-breed RCM. Of the 84 opportunities that this research found, less than 30 percent were considering best-of-breed vendors and 72 percent of providers said their current clinical information system vendor has a least some impact on their decision."
One in four said that accountable care, ICD-10 or other government initiatives were also influences. “However, while fewer providers are gravitating toward the best-of-breed approach, this study found that larger development shops and those with a weak RCM are the most likely to choose go-forward plans with a best-of-breed RCM replacement,” the report read.
Epic and Siemens top the list of considerations for over-200 bed providers while McKesson and Meditech were the most considered by community (200 and less bed) hospitals, according to the report. However, large numbers of considerations are offset in some cases by similarly large numbers of a vendor’s existing RCM customers planning to replace them, KLAS concluded.
Of providers over 200 beds, 53 percent are planning to replace their RCM over the next five years, the report found. This is up from 38 percent three years ago. Of that 53 percent, 87 percent are planning to do so in the next three years.
"Integration continues to be a key part of many providers' IT strategies, and it is driving many RCM purchasing decisions," the report concluded. "The market continues to grow stronger in the conviction that integration will pave the way for easier transitions into future initiatives such as Stage 2 of meaningful use, ACOs and value-based purchasing."