Many academic health systems struggle with two inherent challenges: (1) the complexity of multiple management and governance structures across the shared landscape of the partnered medical school and healthcare delivery system and (2) the need to fund a broad range of strategic priorities—from expanding clinical service lines; to modernizing or building clinical, research, and education structures; to fulfilling mission-critical research commitments.

A solution to help address both of these challenges can come from an overlooked corner: The revenue cycle. While advancing a revenue cycle model that incorporates industry-leading practices is no simple feat, academic health systems that have undertaken that journey attest that the results have made it well worth the effort and investment.

Stemming from interviews with several leading academic health systems, this issue brief discusses five key differentiators and considerations for starting on the path toward a leading-practice revenue cycle.

"Academic health systems that are still in the early stages of their journey to leading practice should accelerate that drive by leveraging key strategic differentiators to overcome organization and financial challenges."

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