Recruiting revenue-cycle talent carries significant financial and time-efficiency costs. Filling senior-level revenue-cycle talent vacancies has proven the most difficult for medical practices. They take a remarkable mean of 207 days to fill, with an average cost of $5,699. When it comes to mid-level revenue-cycle positions, fulfillment averages 153 days at a mean cost of $3,581. Entry-level positions are also hard to fill, as it takes a mean of 84 days and a cost of $2,167 to secure entry-level talent.

According to a survey from AKASA, developer of artificial intelligence (AI) for healthcare operations, difficulty recruiting revenue-cycle talent both adversely affects a practice’s productivity and increases burnout. Researchers found that revenue-cycle talent recruitment challenges are due to the larger Great Resignation trend, which has led to increased staff turnover, especially in the healthcare industry. People may be choosing to leave the healthcare industry for higher-paying jobs elsewhere, in areas like retail and logistics. Researchers also observed that longer hours, more pressure to be productive, and the healthcare industry’s desire to make the patient financial experience better are putting stress on revenue-cycle management teams.

Significant Number of Respondents Indicated Burnout

Based on Georgia-based physician recruitment group Jackson Physician Search and Medical Group Management Association’s (MGMA) survey, nurses, physicians, and other healthcare professionals present with higher-than-normal turnover rates. What’s more, the survey found that a significant number of respondents indicated high burnout levels, with almost 50% of respondents pondering retirement. Unfortunately, this trend is not showing any signs of slowing. According to a Mayo Clinic Proceedings study, 20% of physicians plan to leave their jobs within the next 2 years. Administrators and clerical staff are also impacted by the Great Resignation trend, many choosing to reduce their hours over the next year.

AKASA’s survey found that employing automation in revenue-cycle management can aid in resolving some of the above issues. Malinka Walaliyadde, co-founder and CEO of AKASA, suggests that medical practices need to change the way they work, given that it is challenging for practices to acquire and maintain all of the staff needed to do so. Walaliyadde urges physicians to dispose of repetitive activities and to employ staff to work on the most cognitively complex tasks. Although revenue-cycle automation is trending, outsourcing vendors to make up for vacancies in the revenue-cycle workforce is another strategy used by some medical practices. Revenue-cycle management company NextGen’s CEO David Sides notes an increased number of customers calling on his company for outsourcing services.

Whether via automation or outsourcing, medical practices are increasingly reworking their revenue-cycle talent recruitment strategies. This allows them to manage workforce gaps so that they can devote time needed for patient care.