Ensuring accounts payable runs smoothly at the lowest cost possible is critical, prompting hospitals to implement vendor solutions or create their own technology.
As the industry shifts from fee-for-service to value-based care, hospitals and health systems must focus on delivering the highest quality care at the lowest cost possible, and that extends to the accounts payable department.
Ensuring payments leaving the organization are accurate, quick, and compliant is just as important as receiving timely, correct, and complete reimbursements and payments. Optimizing cash flow and operational efficiency on both sides will be critical to staying financially healthy as reimbursement becomes more complex.
However, accounts payable in healthcare is still a largely manual process. Healthcare organizations receive nearly three-quarters of their invoices via paper or email, according to a 2018 survey conducted by PayStream Advisors.
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The survey of hundreds of payable practitioners and executives also found many healthcare organizations rely on hard to configure and/or legacy systems, such as invoice solutions built into enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.
With the healthcare environment evolving, implementing a comprehensive automated solution for accounts payable is key, the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) advises.
“As the healthcare industry continues to evolve, holding on to paper in the accounts payable department is no longer a sustainable strategy,” the association wrote in a 2018 report. “Not only can it potentially hold an organization back, but the inefficiencies and extra costs associated with paper-based processes go against the broader mission of healthcare organizations—to deliver high-value, cost-effective care. By embracing automation, organizations can transform their accounts payable departments and navigate what’s next.”
To help organizations select a solution, RevCycleIntelligence.com breaks down the top healthcare accounts payable vendors by hospital use in alphabetical order using data from Definitive Healthcare.
Following its recent acquisition of McKesson’s health IT business, Allscripts is now a top player in the accounts payable solutions space.
Many hospitals used the accounts payable functions in McKesson’s Paragon, an inpatient EHR system that includes financial management, as well as other solutions, including Pathways and Horizon.
Headquarters in Illinois, Allscripts now also offers its own accounts payable solution through its Sunrise Financial Manager, which operates on the vendor’s open, connected health platform.
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Hospitals and health systems partnering with Allscripts to manage financial responsibilities include Springhill Medical Center in Alabama, Hendrick Health System in Texas, and The Hospital at Westlake Medical Center also in Texas.
One of the largest EHR software companies is also one of the top suppliers of accounts payable solutions, according to the data. Cerner’s EHR system is one of the most widely-used systems in terms of hospital use, and many facilities are levering the system’s financial management functions to automate accounts payable.
Cerner’s $1.3 billion acquisition of Siemens also pushed the EHR giant to the top of the accounts payable vendor list, the data revealed. Hospitals relied on a variety of Siemens products to manage accounts payable before Cerner took over the company’s health IT component.
EPICOR SOFTWARE CORPORATION
Epicor Software Corporation is a global business software company based in Texas that delivers automated accounts payable solutions to hospitals and health systems through Vantage and other ERP products.
The major ERP vendor recently updated its Vantage product to align with industry trends and customer expectations.
The vendor was also deemed an ERP visionary by Gartner in 2018 based on a full evaluation of the cross-industry ERP solution.
EVIDENT, A CPSI COMPANY
Another EHR company – Evident, a CPSI Company – also tops the list of most used account payable solutions by hospital use. The vendor focuses on rural hospitals and community healthcare organizations, aiming to provide the facilities with simple, affordable EHR systems.
The hospitals are also using the EHR systems to access automated accounts payable solutions, according to the data. Evident’s Thrive EHR system also offers hospitals a suite of revenue cycle management and financial management solutions.
Based in New York, Infor is a multi-national software company that develops cloud-based business and ERP solutions for a wide range of industries. In healthcare, hospital and health systems have relied on the vendor’s CloudSuite financials and Lawson financial management solution to automate accounts payable.
Accounts payable is one component of Infor’s financial management solutions, which have end-to-end capabilities. But the solutions’ ability to automate purchasing and manage payables, including vendor maintenance, invoice processing, payment processing, and regulatory compliance and reporting, is key for many major hospitals and health systems.
Major hospitals and health systems leveraging financial management and data analytics solutions from Infor include Mayo Foundation, Mercy, Cleveland Clinic, and Banner Health.
MEDHOST, a health IT company based in Tennessee, offers a range of clinical, financial, and operational solutions to over 1,000 facilities across the nation, including a unique EHR system for the emergency department.
MEDHOST offers accounts payable through its revenue cycle suite, and the company highlights on its website that it can often customize medical billing solutions for multi-facility systems to manage a range of financial functions, including accounts payable, credit card processing, and materials management.
The company is bolstering its revenue cycle offerings at a time when many traditional EHR companies are struggling to satisfy their revenue cycle users, according to a 2019 KLAS report.
MEDITECH is a Massachusetts-based software and service company best known for its EHR system. However, the vendor also provides many hospitals and health systems with materials management and accounts payable services through MAGIC, Client/Server, 6.0, and Expanse Supply Chain Management.
Solutions from the vendor aim to integrate materials management and accounts payable to reduce supply chain costs while maintaining quality. The solutions also work with the EHR system for more enterprise management.
As another global software company, Oracle serves customers in a variety of industries. But in healthcare, hospitals and health systems are turning to the California-based vendor for its PeopleSoft product.
PeopleSoft is a suite of business applications, which includes an ERP solution, human resource management, customer relationship management, and financials and supply chain management. The solution is designed for larger organizations.
Hackensack Meridian Health, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Intermountain Health are all considered “Innovators” by the vendor for their unique and comprehensive use of the solution.
Based in Germany, this international business application and technology company is serving hospitals in the US in part through its accounts payable solution. SAP offers customers in the healthcare space an accounts payable solution through its mySAP financials product. The company also offers clients across industries an ERP solution with automated account payable functions.
Major hospitals and health systems using SAP for accounts payable and other financial solutions include Carolinas HealthCare System, Mercy, and Providence St. Joseph Health.
While not a vendor, propriety software topped the list of most used accounts payable solutions, according to data from Definitive Healthcare. A significant portion of hospitals and health systems have tackled account payables automation on their own.
The hospitals and health system reported that their accounts payable solutions are self-developed.
Implementing the right solution for the organization is a challenge, especially with such a wide range of vendor options. But many hospitals and health systems are anxious to optimize cash flow and increase operational efficiency, prompting many to develop solutions of their own.
Automating accounts payable is becoming increasingly important as the industry becomes more complex under cost-cutting and value-based care initiatives. Ensuring accounts payable runs smoothly is critical, while reducing costs through automation will be vital to boosting the bottom line.
Date: July 22, 2019