According to the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA), revenue cycle is defined as "all administrative and clinical functions that contribute to the capture, management and collection of patient service revenue." It includes processes and procedures that can impact a healthcare organization’s revenue including scheduling, patient registration and accounts, payment collection and anything that has to do with accounts receivable (A/R). I like the way Ryan Mcaskill of revcycleintelligence.com described it when he wrote, “it is a healthcare organization’s financial circulatory system.”
Although revenue cycle management (RCM) has been part of healthcare for many years, some healthcare organizations are only recently utilizing their EHR system along with it to improve their financial and operational performance. Some may not even realize their EHR includes RCM capabilities such as real-time insurance verification, electronic check-in, price estimators, and more. This integration of systems is especially important because each part of the continuum of care can have an effect on a healthcare organization’s revenue cycle.