Posted by Accountemps on Tuesday, May 10, 2016 - 10:30 | Follow me
National healthcare reform continues to challenge businesses, and not just those in healthcare-related industries. Employers in every sector must deal with a variety of compliance objectives, adding to their workload and creating the need to staff more accounting jobs.
Companies need additional staff to address provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and a number of related developments and trends. They need to hire more finance, accounting, revenue cycle (capture, management and collection of patient service revenue) and operations staff. Many organizations are also finding a need to hire compliance officers or bring in financial consultants with compliance expertise.
Read Page 9 of Robert Half’s Salary Guide to find out how healthcare reform is affecting financial hiring in the healthcare industry.
New positions, processes and collaborations
The emergence of value-based reimbursement (VBR) models are steering the healthcare industry away from the traditional pay-for-volume model to a pay-for-value one. Accountable care organizations (ACOs) are pioneers in this approach to healthcare financing. They are networks of doctors and hospitals that share financial and medical responsibility for providing coordinated care to patients in hopes of limiting unnecessary spending.
The VBR model compensates providers on clinical and cost-saving outcomes rather than on the services and procedures that are provided. Its adoption is expected to create new positions, new procedures and collaboration among finance, revenue cycle and operations departments.
The Medicare Shared Savings Program is the best known and standardized example of the new value-based model. Tracking shared savings reimbursements requires health systems to be more sophisticated in their accounting capabilities than they currently are, which also means more accounting jobs.
Applying financial analytics to budgeting
Eventually, that means applying financial analytics to budgeting, using historical data on costs and activity-based cost accounting. Last year, CMS.gov delivered a fact sheet showing how Medicare ACOs can improve quality of care while generating financial savings.
Healthcare media platform HIT Consultant notes that both public and private healthcare sectors, including Medicare and some of the nation's most influential health insurers, are looking at measures to expedite value-based reimbursements, saying that is likely “to reshape the healthcare business over the next three to five years.”
The move to VBR includes healthcare-related organizations that need assistance in evaluating and staffing electronic health records and practice management systems. And it means a significant boost in the need for healthcare accounting and financial management jobs across the board.
Increased need for specialized financial staff
The move to implement the 10th revision of the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) is another healthcare priority that is driving the need for changes in finance and accounting staffing.
All sectors of the healthcare industry, including providers, accounting personnel, insurance carriers, government agencies and others, use codes to address diseases, symptoms, abnormal findings, and external causes of injury or diseases. ICD-10 is a clinical cataloging and coding system that went into effect for the U.S. healthcare industry late last year. Diagnostic codes available for healthcare services were expected to go from 13,000 to 68,000.
ICD-10 requires new software installation and testing. Medical practices now have to provide training for personnel, new policies and guidelines, and paperwork and forms have had to be updated. The new standards will have an impact on the revenue cycle as well as reimbursement decisions. In many cases, this will result in increasing specialized financial and accounting staff.
These are not the only strategic changes taking place in healthcare. As priorities come to the fore, additional trained personnel will be needed to manage and care for long-term services and support systems. This means new job opportunities along with more responsible healthcare management.
Accountemps offers immediate access to finance and accounting professionals with specialized skill sets through our Salaried Professional Service.
More articles about healthcare and accounting
- Are you a finance and accounting professional who wants to know what it takes to break into the healthcare industry? Read A Recruiter Shares What it Takes to Land Healthcare Admin Jobs.
- Are you working in healthcare and looking for tips to help you with three key aspects of the revenue cycle: managing claims, payment collection, and cutting bad debt? Read Focus on Healthcare: Tips for a Healthier Revenue Cycle.