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Myndshft Blog

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May 17, 2023

Unlock the Savings Potential: Prior Authorization Software Offers an Alternative to Looming Layoffs

by Susan Lawson-Dawson | Healthcare Technology, Prior Authorization

Recently Ochsner Health cut 2% of its workforce, pointing a finger at reimbursement rates that have failed to keep pace with inflation. Ochsner isn’t alone. Many healthcare providers face a similar dilemma, especially now that the Public Health Emergency (PHE) has ended. As a result, many healthcare providers have targeted mostly management and non-clinical roles in their layoffs. Unfortunately, that means fewer staff to manage the ever-growing burden of prior authorization. That’s where end-to-end prior auth software can help.

Why downsize when you can upgrade?

With the increasing pressure to streamline operations and reduce costs, healthcare providers confront the difficult decision of downsizing their non-clinical staff. Reporting on the healthcare layoff trend, Modern Healthcare notes, “Headcount reductions are affecting employees at all levels, from back-office billing to the executive ranks.” Highlighting a recent study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, the article explains that growth rate for administrative costs outpaced clinical expenses by 5.6% from 2019 to 2020. 

No wonder providers want to rein in those administrative costs. 

Rather than relying on layoffs—especially when many providers still struggle with staffing shortages—why not tackle one of the most time-consuming and costly processes your staff (and clinicians) deal with daily? 

Prior auth software delivers real results

Technology provides an alternative to this predicament, offering innovative solutions that can help institutions maintain high-quality service while simultaneously optimizing costs. One of these solutions is prior auth software. 

Manual prior authorization is a labor-intensive and time-consuming process. Staff spend countless hours searching for prior authorization requirements, often requiring multiple phone calls or faxes. Then, they have to follow-up on pending authorizations, usually by visiting different payer portals or more phone calls. 

The CAQH Index projects that simply shifting to electronic prior authorization could save the medical industry $449 million annually.  End-to-end, automated prior auth software could save even more—and not just on the provider side. If prior authorization submissions contain only the relevant information, it allows for more efficient reviews on the payer side. 

Let’s take a closer look at the benefits, including cost savings, improved accuracy, and enhanced staff productivity, which all help to alleviate the need for layoffs.

Reduce operational expenses with prior auth software

One of the most apparent benefits of prior auth software is cost reduction. Automation significantly decreases the number of hours that staff members spend on tedious administrative tasks. This allows you to do more with less, reallocating staff to higher value tasks. Furthermore, by reducing the amount of manual data entry, you minimize errors that might lead to preventable claim denials and the costs associated with reworking those claims.  

Improve the accuracy of prior auth submissions

We touched on it above: Manual prior authorization processes are prone to human error. Miscommunication, incorrect or even excessive information can result in slow approvals, denied claims, delayed treatments, and frustrated patients. Prior auth software mitigates these risks by ensuring that the required information is accurately and promptly submitted. It cross-verifies data against payer policy rules, enhancing the chance of approval on the first submission.

Boost staff productivity with prior auth automation

By automating tedious tasks, prior auth software allows non-clinical staff to focus on more critical aspects of their work, such as patient care coordination and customer service. It also reduces the stress associated with paperwork and manual tracking, leading to improved job satisfaction and reduced staff turnover.

The human touch remains essential

While automation provides a host of benefits, it doesn’t entirely replace the need for human involvement. There will always be complex cases requiring human judgment, and patients will continue to appreciate the personal touch in their care. But by empowering non-clinical staff with low-touch technology that frees them from the paperwork treadmill, you increase both staff and patient satisfaction. 

By embracing intelligent automation via prior auth software, you can increase operational efficiency, improve patient health outcomes and satisfaction, and retain valued staff members. It’s a win-win scenario for all parties involved.

See how Myndshft automates prior authorizations by arranging a demo today