The impact of new reimbursement models, egregious payer behavior, and regulatory change took center stage at this year’s Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) Conference. Thousands of health care revenue cycle and finance professionals filled educational sessions and HFMA central to assess how new tactics and technologies can be implemented to combat the rising tide of reimbursement loss. HFMA panelists and presenters were candid about their relationships with payers and shared important strategies to improve the dynamic.

For example, regarding how risk-based contracts have impacted her health system, Gerilynn Sevenikar, vice president of revenue cycle at Sharp Healthcare, says, “Payers are taking advantage of providers and we’ve got to remove the friction. My hope is for technology or artificial intelligence (AI) to get us to clinical decisions we can all agree on.”

Having observed dozens of new AI vendors addressing health care revenue cycle challenges, I applaud Sevenikar’s goal. But while we wait for new tech to spark a revolution in reimbursement retention, we must also recognize our shared health care revenue cycle reality—change takes time.