Investment Trends in Healthcare

modern practice podcast

On this episode of The Modern Practice Podcast, Rectangle Health’s Senior Manager of Product Enablement Matthew Morrobel joins host Gary Tiratsuyan to discuss the latest investment trends in healthcare.

During the discussion, Matthew outlines the importance of implementing compliant software solutions that enhance revenue cycle management, automate tedious processes, and improve the overall patient experience. Matthew also dives into the macro and micro economic challenges faced by providers today and how they can adapt to achieve growth in 2023 and beyond. The conversation concludes with an overview of Rectangle Health’s powerful software solution, Practice Management Bridge®


Gary Tiratsuyan: Hello, everybody, and welcome back to the Modern Practice podcast. Today we’ll be discussing investment trends. No, not in stocks, crypto, or real estate, but in tools to run efficient and profitable healthcare practices. Joining us today in our discussion is Matthew Morrobel, Product Enablement Manager at Rectangle Health. Matthew, welcome to the show.

Matthew Morrobel: Gary, thank you so much for having me. And you know what? I was actually looking forward to seeing what we can do stock related, but I guess talking about some solutions here at Rectangle Health will work, right?

Gary Tiratsuyan: You know what we can do always do a follow-up talking about stocks, crypto, anything you want. Always happy to have you, Matthew.

Matthew Morrobel: Thanks again, Gary.

Revenue Cycle Management (RCM)

Gary Tiratsuyan: Of course, excited to have you on. Let’s dive right in. We’re seeing healthcare providers trending towards investment technology, investing in technology to help their practices thrive and grow operationally and financially. Bain and Company, a Global Insight provider across all industries, reports that providers are all in on revenue cycle management technology or RCM to combat a range of challenges from staffing shortages to inflation. I want to start with what is revenue cycle management, and sort of Part B to that is, why is it so important now?

Matthew Morrobel: You know, Gary, I think this is a great place for us to start. RCM, also known as revenue cycle management, it’s exactly what it sounds like. It’s a strategy that healthcare providers can use to manage the administrative and clinical functions in their revenue cycle. And what a lot of folks fail to kind of remember here is that the revenue cycle really begins as soon as the patient reaches out to the healthcare provider to schedule an appointment. And it ends when all of the payments for that appointment or treatment have been collected.

The goal of revenue cycle management is to identify any points of friction in the provider’s revenue cycle to resolve them. Because also, many times, as we know, Gary, especially here at Rectangle Health, providers are not paid in full for services rendered at the point of care. And that’s when balanced billing then ensues, and that’s the later portion of revenue cycle management. What I believe in terms of implementing revenue cycle management solutions is that with these proper solutions, care providers can now maximize their reimbursements and increase their revenue. By implementing RCM solutions, healthcare providers can more easily identify where those areas of opportunity are within their revenue cycle to maximize revenue. Now, here’s the thing, Gary, when administrative staff members don’t have to spend time and energy investigating and chasing down patients for payments, more energy and time can be freed up for that superior patient care. Plus, revenue cycle management is careful to focus on front-end tasks, which simplifies the interactions between administrative staff and patients. Things like, you know, appointment scheduling, intake form completion, and payment processing are streamlined to create that more satisfactory experience for all. Taking time balancing books ends up in days of the month spent by staff tracking down patients for out-of-pocket responsibility, not to mention all the reminders in that intermediate time.

It is not a productive way for administrators and industry leaders to spend their time. And that’s why revenue cycle management solutions enable healthcare leaders to outsource and offload that most time-consuming work so that they can get back to doing what they care about most, which is serving their patients.

Why Automated RCM is Important

Gary Tiratsuyan: I’m really glad you touched on time because it’s one of our most valued assets, right? We can all use more of it in our day-to-day, regardless of industry. And if there’s a tool or tools that help us move tasks forward, we advocate for it. So going back to that report from Bain and Company I mentioned earlier, it talks about software being a top five strategic priority for healthcare providers and automation being among the top motivators for these investments. And that word automation, you hear it a lot in the healthcare industry. Can you talk to me a little bit about why it’s so important and why providers are looking for this tech?

Matthew Morrobel: I mean, this is the segue that we’ve been wanting, right, Gary? You talk about revenue cycle management solutions, and what it’s really doing is it’s automating things that streamline things. Automation is so instrumental for care providers looking to not only recover from some of the setbacks that COVID introduced but also looking to recover and recoup that outstanding revenue. You know, think about current labor shortages and remote workforces facing the industry. That only accelerates the need for automation to support practices and organizations facing productivity and staff morale challenges. Those that choose to tap into automated technology solutions have a greater ability to adapt to the changing environment because, as we know, it’s changing day in and day out with all the technology that surrounds us.

Employing the digital workforce to work alongside you in the front office and back office staff, it enables providers to spend that additional time. Like we’re talking about conceptualizing and implementing business revenue and patient growing initiatives. More importantly, Gary, automation allows for that relationship and rapport between the practice staff and patients to elevate since more time can be spent having those meaningful conversations because, as you know, Conversations Matter.

And one thing I always like to say here, Gary, you know, I kind of stressed all the time here at Rectangle Health. I’m big on relationships, I’m big on conversations, and one of the things I cherish most is that my dentist has a lot of these automated technologies in place, maybe because he uses Practice Management Bridge®, that we offer here at Rectangle Health. But what that does is it allows us to have a conversation, and you know, he’s a vault of information. He’s a conversational haven for me. So being able to have more time with him in the chair, you know, discussing life, it means a lot, you know, I’m in the chair with him more than I’m in the waiting room. And that’s what matters at the end of the day, especially receiving those happy birthday text messages and appointment reminders via email and via text. It’s really about trading in those antiquated systems for digital automation in order to eliminate the burden of those tedious tasks as it relates to manual data entry and then being able to streamline that administrative workflow so that we can spend more time with our providers.

Gary Tiratsuyan: That’s so true. And it’s so important. And if I can share really quickly, as you know, rectangle health has been featuring healthcare professionals on social media as part of a hometown healthcare Heroes initiative.

These are doctors, dentists, and ER nurses. The range and areas of expertise vary. But the one thing that remains consistent as you read their stories on the Rectangle Health social feeds, they go above and beyond to develop a bond that you spoke about with your dentist. The practice and the patient become family in a sense, and it really matters. And these practices grow as a result. And you know, nearly every submission of a hometown healthcare hero that we intake includes, I highly recommend this practice, I highly recommend this staff to work with, they never forget to ask, you know, for example, how my mom is doing, how my son’s soccer team did last weekend. It’s those types of personal conversations that develop that really strong bond that lead to, you know, business growth, retention, patient loyalty. It’s super impactful.

I’m really glad you shared that personal experience with us today. Moving on, Matthew, when we talk about automation, smooth revenue management, and increasing cash flow, we already live it outside of the healthcare space. We don’t receive paper statements from our amazon account, we input a card, and away we go. We set up our Netflix accounts with a credit card, and we just start binging shows and movies. We don’t worry about writing checks, late payments, or penalties. These problems have been eliminated from the picture. I want to ask about your time speaking with providers, training practice solutions, and consultants at Rectangle Health, really being entrenched in healthcare and financial technology. Can you talk to me about the impact of investing in payment solutions?

The Impact of Investing in Payment Solutions

Matthew Morrobel: Yeah, I mean, when you want to talk about investing in payment solutions, Gary, we’re really talking about payment technologies. And what this does for companies in other industries and for providers is that it gives them better control of their cash flow, providing those additional insights to accelerate their receivables and simplify their payables. Right. That’s essentially what it’s doing.

And payment technologies allow more providers to focus on the work they consider meaningful rather than those repetitive tasks like inputting payments data entry we’ve talked about, processing checks, or manual data collection in terms of registration from their patients. Technology as we know it can improve the experience and not only the retail experience but in the healthcare experience as well, making it easier for us as patients to consume healthcare in contemporary ways. And I think that’s impactful and that’s meaningful. This can include sending that simple text message reminder for an upcoming appointment, allowing patients to fill out forms from the comfort of their home, and then being able to submit mobile payments with a simple tap of a button, as we prefer through the other kind of lifestyle ventures that we take in part of late with Netflix like with Amazon, like with Uber, like with Instacart. These digital tools Gary, they give patients the freedom to fit care more comfortably into their busy schedules. And that’s what it’s all about. It’s about those preferences, that consideration, and this helps practices to it reduces the complexities on the administrative staff so that they don’t have to take multiple phone calls in order to gather appointments and go through cancellations and process onboarding, and chase down payments after the fact.

What are we getting to, Gary, that payment technology allows providers to be proactive rather than reactive in their patient engagement and payment processes. And the biggest thing to point out is consideration, like we talked about, because we all prefer to pay a particular way. And that way, changes are based on what we have going on in our lives and with our bank accounts. But it’s also determined, Gary, by the options that are made to made available to us as consumers, either in the retail space, but in this case, in the healthcare space, it’s about having those options, Gary,

Gary Tiratsuyan: I love that proactive instead of reactive, getting ahead of the payments eliminates the need to chase them down. Right? I have to say most patients who want to pay that pay their bill quickly and easily get it out of the same way. Get it out of the way, in the same fashion, as I said, and you said their Amazon, their Netflix that her Uber accounts, their car payments, mortgages, and so on. And so, as providers move more rapidly in this direction and provide this experience, they’ve got many options out there in front of them. That’s no secret, and many of them are turning to their EMRs for payment solutions and automation tools. Is there a risk in taking this route?

The Risks of an All-Encompassing EMR

Matthew Morrobel: You know, Gary, there are some cons, I would say, in terms of risk. And there’s also some risk involved here too. But I can totally understand, you know, you might want that all-encompassing EMR. But one thing I would like to say is you got to be careful with protecting that data from unauthorized access, especially when you’re computerizing patient records and patient payments.

You know, your IT department will have to exercise extreme diligence in order to protect that information from, let’s say, even criminal hackers, right? And then the thing, Gary, is that these systems many times also failed to provide timely updates. And in addition, these EMRs are relatively heavy resources that take up a lot of server space. So having no efficient hosting capability, providers will spend a lot of time browsing patient records and going through payments. And that’s why it’s important to have that cloud integration as a good solution to kind of decrease that delay and preserve productivity. It’s also important that we’re following software industry best practices and protocols. So that’s why it’s all about having something that is PCI-certified, HIPAA compliant, sock two certified, and point-to-point encrypted, especially as it relates to patient engagement and patient payments. And another thing I would say here, Gary, is that you know, to add to all this, EMR systems can cost providers up to $30,000. And then those additional features like a patient portal and engagement tool, a payment integration with payments and billing, that also that often costs extra, you know, that’s not a simple kind of add-on. So those all-encompassing EMRs, they lack sometimes that additional functionality as well as it relates to patient financing or online payments are updated terminals in order to process point of care payments and a lot of those additional patient engagement kind of technological advances.

And then just to kind of add in terms of maybe a potential con of going this route with that all-encompassing EMR, right, that EMR that does it all, think about the customer service aspect of it all. You know, in my previous role here at Rectangle Health, as you know, Gary was delivering the product that was part of our implementation or product delivery team. And I would often hear about the nightmares induced on healthcare staff when it came down to reaching out to their EMRs customer service. From long wait times to restricted hours to the poor conflict resolutions, problems just persisted, and solutions were often hard to come by. So those are a couple of things I would mention here, Gary, in terms of being cons or risks involved in going to your EMR vendor for some of these payment and patient engagement solutions.

Gary Tiratsuyan: That’s really interesting. And I think one thing that I’m really glad you touched on is compliance. You know, healthcare is one of the most targeted industries when it comes to cyber criminals and cyber-attacks.

What Separates Practice Management Bridge from the Rest

And we’re actually going to be talking about this in an episode coming up real soon. But you know, there’s There is massive risk, even in the slightest oversight, and the cost and penalties can be damaging, and sometimes enough to permanently close the doors of a practice forever. I’m really glad you touched on that. But getting back to the investment trends and practices, finding the right solution, Matthew, I want to talk about an option 1000s of practices have come to rely on, and that’s Rectangle Health’s Practice Management Bridge; what separates this software from others?

Matthew Morrobel: You know, I kind of want to first talk about Gary if you don’t mind, you know, because, from my perspective, Practice Management Bridge makes sense more so because of the trends that we’ve seen in healthcare as it relates to patient engagement and payments.

Just think about the last couple of years; think about the switch to more virtual visits than ever before in the history of healthcare. Virtual visits not only helped patients kind of, you know, have some kind of balance between work or school or some other activities that they have going on. But now it’s created kind of this ideology and this preference to have information readily available to them online, and especially managing their payments online. There are tons of stats and tons of studies out there that show what the preferences are of patients because, remember, these are the same consumers in the retail space, like we’ve talked about, who have these options and preferences readily available to them. So that’s why when you talk about Practice Management Bridge, it’s about having that automated payment and engagement processing flows in order to decrease that workload on administrative staff and increase their revenue cycles, and they’re readily available cash flows. You know, the rise of the telehealth and automation it’s been one of the biggest impacts on healthcare and the payment trends in general. When you talk about, you know, also, having a lot of the staff members and having a lot of providers who are now remote, swiping a card for payment is no longer possible or preferred. And that creates the need for these digital payment solutions to be propped up. And for advanced patient engagement solutions to be necessary.

But also, Gary, think about the rise in healthcare costs. Now, patients are spending more out of pocket, and they’re looking to reduce expenses in any way they can. So how organizations collect payment and communicate, it’s a crucial element of the healthcare experience. Now, these patients want to be treated as consumers. And that adds to another trend, Gary, when you’re talking about the consumerization of healthcare, you know, because now more so than ever before, they want to be treated like they are consumers. And that’s all because of, like you said, Amazon and Walmart and their mobile and fax and ultra-convenient services that they provide. But also think about Uber and things like Instacart. Like we mess, like we mentioned, in terms of that effortless delivery and Transportation Services. It’s things like that, and Apple Pay, right being incentivized to pay in particular ways, because a cashback rewards or other benefits, it’s how we’re all consumers of this payment technology. And those are the expectations we’re now taking into healthcare.

Appealing to the Younger Generation

And as we know, especially when you look at younger demographics, Gary, my sister is 24 years old; like I love to mention, if she can’t pay with her Apple Pay or she can’t pay on a payment plan, she’s not looking to pay at all. And especially those younger demographics, Gary, they’re three times more likely to leave a negative review or to not go back to a provider because of that poor, you know, digital experience or digital payment experience.

Gary Tiratsuyan: I couldn’t agree with you more. And there’s definitely a buzz around headquarters to say that stems from the teams because the solution and the support behind it really do champion the success of each practice. And as you mentioned, cater to that new generation of health care consumers, you know, hitting the mark and taking in that treatment and expecting a certain type of experience. There was a recent post on the Rectangle Health feeds that read the power of one. And I think it speaks to the platform, being all-inclusive and being a single source to achieve growth goals, but also, the team in place, as you mentioned earlier, you know, the support you get that handles the compliance that ensures a practice is optimizing payment capture, and enabling more consumption of care through, you know, patient financing, like enabling better communication between provider and patient, as you mentioned, those text messages. There’s a lot to be excited about.

And, Matthew, I want to say I’ve been looking forward to our chat for some time, and I can’t thank you enough for stepping away from your busy schedule to join us and share your insights. I’m so glad we were able to connect.

Final Thoughts

Matthew Morrobel: No, Gary, thank you so much. And if I could just say one more thing, you know, it’s about that frictionless experience, not only for the patients, but it’s also for the providers, and it does do them some justice in terms of reduced AR, right increased collection rates, and then satisfied patients leaving those positive online reviews, and then being able to harness the power of positive reviews because I know you know more than anyone else here at rectangle health, Gary. That stuff matters, you know, and spreading that positive word of mouth and getting those referral opportunities that really matters. And then the last trend, if you don’t mind, Gary, I want to mention is that, you know, there is this thing kind of going around as it relates to know value-based care rather than just fee for service care.

As you know, pounding on procedures and treatments in order to hopefully, you know, garner more in terms of your revenue. The approach that providers now take with their patients and the experiences that they provide it’s paramount now. So, in my eyes, this is why it makes sense Practice Management Bridge makes sense from both paradigms of that of the patient and of the provider. Thank you so much, Gary, for giving me the opportunity to talk about what we’re doing here at rectangle health with practice management bridge as it relates to payments, compliance, financing, and engagement tools.

Gary Tiratsuyan: Of course, Matthew, happy to have you. Always I’m looking forward to that discussion on stocks with you. And you know, there are a ton of resources on rectangle, including a completely free No Cost Assessment you can take advantage of that shows that return on investment not only in revenue but from a time perspective when utilizing Practice Management Bridge. I’ll have a link to that assessment in the description of this episode below. Matthew, thank you once again for joining us.

Matthew Morrobel: Thank you so much, Gary.

Thank you all for tuning in. Till next time, everybody.

Editor’s note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Get started today!

Thousands of providers like you supercharge their front office with Practice Management Bridge. Schedule a call to see how we can help reduce admin work, so you can focus on your patients.

Book a Demo