The Healthcare Hub

The Risks of Overlooking AP Automation

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

While healthcare organizations have increasingly adopted digital processes over the past decade, COVID-19 threw fuel on the fire, accelerating digital transformation as a necessity to successfully navigate the pandemic —think telehealth, remote patient monitoring, etc.

It also shined a light on the importance of back-office processes in care delivery that had previously resided in the shadows. Supply shortages and disruptions prompted most healthcare leaders to invest in their supply chains for greater efficiency, accuracy and resiliency.

When it comes to supply chain, the focus has been on procuring products, not paying suppliers. Therefore, accounts payable (AP) has been one of the last back-office areas for digital transformation in many healthcare organizations.

The implications of manual invoice management and processing have been overlooked:

  • Unnecessary Labor: 70% of invoices are received via paper or email, with AP staff having to key-in invoice data and manually route invoices for approval
  • Higher Costs: The average cost to manually process an invoice and paper check is $31
  • Risk for Error: The inability to automate invoice to purchase order (OR) matching to confirm the correct price for items/accurate payments
  • Missed Savings: Longer invoice processing times can lead to supplier late payments and missed savings opportunities (e.g., early pay discounts and rebates)

Forward-thinking healthcare leaders are instead looking at the bigger picture – how to capitalize on digitizing the entire procure-to-pay process. If your organization has already automated procurement through a cloud-based platform, extending these digital capabilities to invoice management is no heavy lift – and the benefits substantial in terms of efficiency, accuracy and savings.

Furthermore, when your team is no longer pushing paper, they can focus their time on more valuable activities, which can help improve overall job satisfaction.

Learn more GHX eInvoicing