How Healthcare Finance Automation is Transforming Accounts Payable
In a recent interview with HealthLeaders, Paymerang CEO Nasser Chanda discussed his predictions for healthcare providers providing modernized vendor payment processes utilizing AI and machine learning. Keep reading or click here to view the full article.
Healthcare is a high-growth space, experiencing tremendous disruption, with hospitals and physician offices stretched for resources. As pressure mounts to improve healthcare performance, providers are automating across the board, from clinical applications (like robotic-assisted surgery) to back-office processes (like finance functions). Accounts payable, saddled with manual processes, errors, and fraud, is a crucial area ready for automation. Automating vendor invoice processing and payments ensures timely, accurate payments and reduces fraud, allowing organizations to divert resources to critical high-dollar areas, like the revenue cycle. “Automating accounts payable and the finance office is an essential step on the path to digital transformation,” says Nasser Chanda, CEO of Paymerang. Below, Chanda discusses the top ways healthcare organizations are benefiting from financial automation.
Q: How is Paymerang changing the accounts payable space for hospitals and healthcare providers?
Nasser Chanda: Many healthcare providers have antiquated financial processes that still rely on manual, paper-based workflows. Vendor invoices, in particular, require a high degree of manual intervention. Paymerang helps healthcare organizations by automating all aspects of vendor invoice processing, including capturing invoice data using AI, approving invoices through electronic workflows, posting invoices with the push of a button to the general ledger, issuing electronic payments, and reconciling bank accounts. But we do more than automate payments. We provide white-glove service to our clients and their vendors, ensuring on-time payments that prevent supply-chain disruptions. Ultimately, automating invoice and payment processing increases visibility, control, efficiency, and accountability while reducing waste and fraud.
Q: Why is it imperative healthcare providers automate their accounts payable?
Chanda: Provider organizations need to be ready for the digital age, which means automating as many processes as possible to reduce unnecessary work and costs. Automation brings greater efficiency to hospital financial operations, allowing finance departments to focus more on the revenue cycle, including billing and collections. Similarly, with automation on the physician practice side, office managers can focus on running world-class healthcare facilities and supporting doctors. This results in better-run practices and improved patient care.
Q: Why is fraud on the rise, and how can finance professionals better protect their organization?
Chanda: Fraud is increasing across the board because the healthcare industry transacts in high-dollar invoices. We frequently work with law enforcement and clients to prevent fraud, given our industry knowledge and experience. There are two primary forms of fraud: fake invoices and fake vendors.
Preventing fake invoices requires a proper approval process that supports transparency, accountability, archiving, and paper trails to make sure the right people approve invoices and that the software is checking for duplicates.
Preventing vendor impersonation requires taking a critical look at every interaction and change request from a vendor. Finance departments are experiencing an uptick in fraud attempts from organized crime syndicates in the form of business email compromise and social engineering. These sophisticated organizations typically try to get providers to change payment methods by impersonating the vendor. Many healthcare organizations can’t tell the good actors from the bad ones and thus change banking information and send money to the wrong place. It’s essential to be more vigilant—check for phishing, avoid clicking on bad links, make sure emails are from credible sources, and pick up the phone to call the person if you are suspicious. Automating accounts payable processes and working with an experienced partner will help protect your organization against fraud.
Q: If you could tell finance teams one thing about your service, what would it be? Chanda: You’re not too busy to get started. Our program takes a week or two to launch and our clients are up and running with a full-scale finance automation suite right away. We don’t just sell software; we are a full-service partner to healthcare providers, offering technology, education, and the human experience. We take the manual work off your finance team’s plate, allowing them to focus on high-priority areas. We also support our software solutions with a team of payment experts, not chat bots, who work closely with vendors and clients, resulting in a world-class Net Promoter Score.