5 Big Challenges of Laboratory Billing Services In This Slurping Economy & Their Solutions?

In 2024, healthcare providers are reviewing their budget projections amid signs of emerging financial challenges they expect to endure during a slumping economy. Especially when it comes to medical labs, they only get a fraction of the revenue compared to their counter practices i.e. hospitals, clinics, and other medical organizations. Therefore, they should pay closer attention on improving their laboratory billing services and software to maintain their bottom line. 

Therefore, lab practitioners and their associated should consider the state of the economy to look at these option to deal with the ongoing and upcoming medical practice challenges. 

Major Economy Challenges in 2024 for Healthcare Labs

Everybody knows that there is a great deal of economic fallout from the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, geopolitical disruptions and healthcare issues arising from climate change have made it difficult for the entire healthcare sector to meet the modern care demands of the patients like ever before. 

In all business sectors, everyone is still trying their best to pick up the pieces, and healthcare organizations are no exception. The main issues to resolve include; fulfill staffing shortage, balance the state of economy to combat inflation, streamline financial operations including laboratory billing and technical issues such as cybersecurity. 

In this article, we’ve featured an overview of the current challenges faced by the healthcare labs and why medical groups are transitioning from in-house to outsource laboratory billing services to letting experts focus on these tasks for them. 

1. Staffing Issues Are Among the Biigest Challenges For Labs

According to Forbes, healthcare labs are facing critical shortage of medical lab professionals in the US and Canada. Almost all labs are 20-25,000 short on staff, with only 337,800 currently practicing. That is roughly one medical lab professional per 1,000 people. 


Some doctors’ groups develop networks with local educations institutes to help steer more talented medical lab scientists graduates their way. 

Other medical practices determine that it’s more practical to work with hiring firms t help fulfill the staffing shortage. 

According to Deloitte, there are about 3.1 million registered nurses practicing in the United States only. However, the industry still requires probably 1.2 million more nurses by the end of 2030 since a plethora of baby boomers are going to be reaching the age where they need more healthcare services. 

Along with the medical aspects of your lab, if you’re lacking billing experts with the professional experience, it indicates that you should start considering to outsource lab revenue cycle management to professional lab billing companies. Don’t put off improving you’re revenue flow just because you’re not able to hire lab billing specialists in your local community. Parternering up with an experienced lab billing company will help you save time, cut cost overheads and tie up with professional lab billing experts at a more cost-effective rate. 

2. Keeping Up With Cybersecurity Protocols 

Sensitive healthcare information of patients is the most valuable asset in the black market. Therefore, if your practice has not been affected by the recent outbreak of cybercrime, then you’re the lucky one. 

Hopefully, you have improved your security setup to avoid cybercrime attacks by criminals who use malware such as ransomeware to hold a practice’s patient and financial data hostage. 

Usually, these criminals don’t release your healthcare daya until you pay them a ransom in untraceable Bitcoin. 


Healthcare practices that are not ready to protect their systems from cybercrime attacks should consult with IT security professionals if none are currently on their staff, to ensure data protection.   

It will help you avoid malware attack that can pose a major blow to your finances, but it could also cause patients to sue providers for failing to safeguard their data. Cycbercrime attacks also risk patients who’ll prefer leaving you for another doctor out of concerns over privacy. 

In the aftermath of a ransomware attack, you may find it extremely challenging to sustain customer retention rate because it will cause your patients to sue you for failing to protect their sensitive healthcare data. 

If you don’t safeguard your electronic health records (EHR), and medical billing software from cycbercrime attacks then it increases the chances of declining your patient retention rate. Which will make it harder to find new patients willing to vists your practice for lab care services. 

After cybercriminals attack your practice, you might find it more difficult to retain your employees, if they think you’re not able to keep the systems they rely on to do their jobs as secure as possible. 

3. Planning for Ongoing Inflationary Woes

Of course, a major challenge fr every healthcare lab and pathologists will continue to be inflation. According to a survey of health system professionals, 76% respondents indicated that inflation has caused a significant impact on their healthcare practices. 

Almost a third of consumers in that survey cited inflation as their top reason for being concerned about covering unexpected healthcare costs. Patients who have been hit especially hard by economic downturns are reducing their routine visit to their doctors as well as for tests and follow-ups. 

The increasing expenses affect the profitability of medical practice too, especially with ongoing shortages and other issues caused by supply chain breakdowns. 

Razon-thin margins add on to more financial challenge that could be the downfall of healthcare organizations. According to a report by Revcycle Intelligence, hospital margins were running at a negative in November 2022, with just -0.2%. For small local labs, the margins could be so low that they have either shut down or find themselves acquired by larger entities. 


Healthcare labs should hire professional medical billing audit specialists to review the loopholes in their revenue cycle management and laboratory billing services. However, it can add on to your administrative expenses. 

Instead, you can partner up with a professional lab billing company for a wholesome package. For example, when you outsource laboratory billing services to a professional lab billing company like CureCloudMD then you can get regular medical billing audit services along with lab billing and coding services. 

It can not only help you reduce your cost overheads but also get a chance to work with professionals to streamline diverse administrative functions of your business. 

4. To Sustain & Improve Patient Retention Rate

Are you observing a reduced volume of patients visiting your medical practice? Now might be the right time to conduct a survey, to see how’re your patients satisfied or dissatisfied with the services you provide. 

Perhaps your staff should have the freedom to solely focus on delivering quality patient care services. If you’ve made your lab professionals to pay attention to a diverse array of tasks then it causes shortcomings in their performance. 

Therefore, lab pratiitoners should hire professionals to deal with the multiple tasks segregate their tasks into achievable SMART goals. It will help your staff to focus on their core obligations and give them sufficient time to deliver better quality results. 
It will improve the overall experience of your patients and get satisfied with your practice. 
Moreover, you can also make your patients feel rushed because of your financial pressures to get more out of each appointment. 


Healthcare labs should provide quality patient experience and multiple payment method options to make it easier for your patients to understand their financial responsibilities. 

Here are the smart arrangements you can make in your healthcare lab to improve your patients’ experience; 

In such cases, you might need to work more efficiently in other areas, so you can give more time to patient care. This could include investing in modern software and computer system, as older machines and outdated applications can hamper your productivity.

Since in excess of 70 million people report being unprepared to pay for the costs of their healthcare, per a Revcycle Intelligence inflation report, it’s all the more crucial that you make them feel comfortable and that they sense they’re getting services worth paying for.

Boosting patient engagement is easier when you meet them where they are. You’ll want to go online with your practice’s social media channels, to communicate interesting facts to help keep patients healthier, and to encourage them to exercise or make better nutritional choices. 

You can also activate a patient portal connected to your electronic health care records software, to allow patients to communicate more easily with staff, which saves everyone time and effort.

Some practices find it beneficial to create a newsletter that they send out to patients by email once a quarter or on a monthly basis. This is an easy service you can offer to help boost engagement, for those who want to sign up to receive it, that is!

5. Preparing Staff to Switch Focus to Value-Based Care

You already have plenty on your plate, dealing with staffing shortages, inflationary pressures, and the rising costs of goods in a poorly maintained international supply chain. Owners and managers of medical practices are making value-based care a priority now to help keep their lights on and retain their loyal patients.

With a value-based care mandate, you can anticipate seeing a rise in new patients as well as more patients staying with you rather than leaving. You cannot overstate the positive financial effect this stabilizing effort will bring to your business.

Focusing on value-based care will force your staff to learn new ways to document information and to make sure you are complying with the government’s push to promote better outcomes for each patient. 

There are issues of making sure you collect the right data to document value-based care, for example, and in using computer systems that are interoperable with those used by insurers and the government. 

Chances are good that you will have to make some changes to your workflow processes, which is already challenging enough when you are short on team members due to labour shortages in the local community.

Outsourcing Revenue Cycle Management

With so many financial challenges for your medical practice, you will likely take a multi-pronged approach to securing your bottom line. You can see that practices are devoting more resources toward meeting value-based care standards to help them stay competitive. 

But it may be tricky to do this when you are also trying to find suitable recruits to stay on your team. 

You also have to figure out what you’ll do as a hedge against inflationary pressures. Under such circumstances, it often makes sense to outsource revenue cycle management tasks to third-party professionals.

Consider that a business handling RCM on an outsourcing basis will be spending all of its time on this important process, leaving your team free to focus on healthcare delivery. 

The RCM business will be motivated to keep its systems up and running 24/7/365, since their reputation will be on the line. 

Their information technology professionals will keep the software updated and patched for bugs and security problems as soon as possible, which is one less burden for your own office team to contend with. 

And since these are RCM specialists, you can rest assured they will follow industry best practices and will be aware of upcoming changes from the government. They will address everything from privacy protections to meeting the requirements to demonstrate you are providing the requisite level of value-based care in your practice.

Safeguarding Your Future in the Face of Ongoing Medical Practice Challenges

Owners and managers of healthcare organizations realize that now is the time to put more effort into addressing the significant medical practice challenges we’re facing all across the country.

Indeed, many medical practices are starting to take a hard look at their finances to see how they might best ride out the current economic uncertainty. A major example is the need to make changes in how they handle medical billing. One approach is to outsource RCM processes to third-party experts that devote all their time and attention to the details of revenue cycle management. 

To help you and fellow stakeholders prepare to switch to transferring these tasks from under your roof to professionals in revenue cycle management, download this ebook, “From In-House To Outsourced RCM: Everything You Need To Know” today, free of charge. And keep reading this blog to stay abreast of updates in the healthcare industry.

Key Takeaways:

  1. A range of significant challenges pose problems for the bottom line of your medical practice in 2023, that you’ll want to prepare for now.
  • Staffing will be a major issue for large and small medical practices this year, amid the “Great Resignation” and lower unemployment rates.
  • Protecting your organization against cybersecurity attacks can be a major challenge, but it’s necessary to have adequate security to keep your network from being compromised, and data held hostage.
  • Ongoing inflation poses another challenge, from keeping patients away due to lack of funds to pay for visits, to your own issues with high prices because of supply chain woes.
  • Your staff may be unaccustomed to engaging with patients, but meeting this challenge can help boost patient retention and recruitment.
  • Shifting to a value-based care approach is a significant challenge for healthcare organizations, such as making sure your computer systems are interoperable with others and that your staff is up to speed on producing the necessary documentation.
  • For many medical practices, it makes sense to outsource revenue cycle management services to external, third-party professionals, to improve their bottom line amid so much economic uncertainty.

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