Robotic Process Automation is a Must-Have for Community Health Center CFOs

CFOs of Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) face a daunting obstacle when it comes to managing filings, data reporting, and process management. While already overburdened by high costs, high volume, and stringent regulations, these heavily manual tasks create an environment that is prone to inefficient functions and inaccurate data transfers.  

Not only do overwhelming manual tasks introduce risk but they also keep CFOs bogged down in the minutiae of bookkeeping and compliance filings, leaving less time for strategic planning and forward thinking.  

To increase efficiency, reduce cost, minimize human error, and improve the patient experience, AAFCPAs guides clients to explore Robotic Process Automation as one piece of the solution.

What is Robotic Process Automation (RPA)?  

RPA is software technology – no, not an actual robot (yet) – that automates a business process by replicating the steps that an employee would perform manually. It can be used to streamline manual and repetitive tasks, freeing up workers to focus on higher value-add activities and reduce the amount of time they spend on data entry, billing, and other clerical tasks. By automating these processes, RPA can reduce labor-intensive tasks by 80%.  Further, insight and transparency gained during the initial process mapping stage of RPA often leads to processes efficiencies as well.  

The value of RPA in Healthcare  

With constant pressure to improve processes and quality, community healthcare organizations in particular can benefit from RPA. 

There are a range of repetitive processes and decisions that rely on the availability of accurate data within FQHCs. For example, patient onboarding and follow-ups, medical billing and claims processing, generating reports for physicians, and prescription management are common tasks across all organizations.  

On top of general day-to-day work, additional cumbersome tasks such as filing and reporting for compliance regulations put stress on the workforce, as they balance formatting and reporting data for multiple interested parties – the federal and state governments, grantors, Medicare/Medicaid Cost Reports, auditors, the Uniform Financial Report (UFR), the Federal Financial Report (FFR), Uniform Data Systems (UDS), and others. Each requires a different system for gathering information and different formats for submitting, adding to the complexity. Regulatory compliance is dependent upon accuracy, consistency, and protection of records. As these tasks are often done manually, they can be rife with human errors. RPA can streamline filing and reporting and decrease the risk of penalties and revenue loss.  

Beyond reporting, the gathering and updating of data is another manual, repetitive task. Some of the major systems from which data could be pulled include payroll, electronic medical records/practice management systems, and pharmacies. This information is often sensitive and private, and systems must be up-to date and synchronized between providers, labs, and management. Automating this process ensures that the information is always current and ready to access when needed.  

RPA can also alleviate other, non-financial clerical tasks like data reporting for board meetings on statistics, setting up and managing KPIs, managing grant deadlines and reporting, patient accounts receivable reconciliations and reserve analysis, vendor management, and compliance reporting. 

Can you imagine a world where a report taking 40 hours to produce (after accumulating data from multiple systems, cleansing, making necessary relationships, validating, etc.) can be ready in a matter of minutes with the click of a button? RPA makes this possible. 

If you have questions about RPA, please contact Vassilis Kontoglis, Director, IT Security & Data Analytics at, 774.512.4069. 

About the Author

Vassilis is a leader in AAFCPAs’ Business Process & IT Consulting Practice. He has 20+ years’ proven experience providing business intelligence, productivity, information risk management, and cybersecurity solutions. He is a critical resource in keeping clients and the firm on the forefront of transformative technologies while mitigating risks that come along with these advancements. Vassilis leads the delivery of Robotic Process Automation solutions at AAFCPAs. He understands the unique requirements to achieve RPA success, including proper design, planning, implementation, and governance. He works collaboratively with clients and cross-functional teams, and leverages his deep understanding of enterprise information systems, business logic, and structured inputs to automate rote processes and increase operational efficiency. Vassilis is also the leader of AAFCPAs’ automation center of excellence (CoE), an internal team that streamlines automation output, provides structure, and helps scale automation through the firm.