A longtime leader in healthcare improvement, we’re developing new ways to revolutionize the industry.

We deliver transformative solutions that power real results. See how we can help.

Optimizing Supply Chain
Integrating Pharmacy
Maximizing Value-Based Care
Awards and Recognition

Transforming healthcare is more than our objective, it’s in our DNA. We’re dedicated to ensuring better health is just the beginning.


Guided by our values, our employees work every day to make meaningful differences in healthcare. At the core of what we do is our most valuable resource - our people. Learn more about us.

Board of Directors
Speakers Bureau

Premier is more than a GPO. Combining robust analytics with consulting and advocacy, we’re changing the healthcare landscape for the better.  

Collective purchasing power lowers costs across your organization.

Intelligence plus unparalleled analytics equals data-driven solutions.

It’s only impossible until it’s not. Premier and our team of experts are transforming care delivery.

Work with Premier members to lower costs, improve quality and safety and succeed in value-based care.

A voice for better healthcare policy is a voice for you.  

Working closely with our members, we’re developing products and services to solve your most complex challenges.

Lower costs, greater efficiencies and a healthier bottom line.

Proven practices that result in better outcomes.

Intersecting specialty drugs with better management and data-driven best practices.

Controlling your future with integrated care delivery practices.

More savings and ROI is a win-win.

Data diving to deliver insights you can act on.

Supporting healthcare transformation through the generation of real-world evidence.

Working closely with our members, we're developing products and services to solve your most complex challenges.

Our most recent insights, articles and more, all in one place.  

Discover what leading healthcare providers are achieving through Premier membership.

Stay informed with our white papers, webinars and e-books.

Browse our blog for a taste of what’s new and what’s next in healthcare.

Premier’s perspectives have been solicited by nationally renowned publications. Read on.

Read Premier’s latest announcements.

Catch our policy statements and perspectives on the latest in DC.

Compelling stories from the front lines of America’s health systems.

The proactive, predictive and behind-the-scenes insights you need to stay ahead in healthcare delivered monthly to your inbox.

Thrive in the Face of Healthcare Labor Shortages with AP Automation


Key takeaways:
  • Labor shortages in healthcare extend beyond the front lines of patient care, affecting back-office functions such as accounts payable (AP) as well.
  • Fueled by technologies that enable greater efficiencies such as touchless invoice and payment processing, AP automation can be a gamechanger for healthcare organizations tapped for finance professionals.
  • Greater workforce capacity, operational performance and employee engagement can all be gained with AP automation.

As a workforce shortage continues to ravage the U.S. healthcare industry, it’s not just nurses and clinical staff that healthcare organizations are struggling to hire – it’s also finance department staff, including accounts payable (AP) professionals. In fact, a recent survey of more than 400 healthcare finance leaders revealed that one in four leaders needs to hire more than 20 employees to fully staff their finance department.

These back-office staffing challenges can trickle down to the front lines of care delivery, spelling trouble for healthcare organizations along the way, including:

  • Increased labor costs to reach proper finance professional staffing levels.
  • Burnout, disengagement and lack of job satisfaction among existing staff due to time-consuming, tedious work and administrative burdens.
  • Diminished staff productivity resulting in slower invoice and payment processing, more errors and missed early payment discounts.
  • Strained relationships with suppliers leading to delays in receiving critical medical supplies.
  • Reduced patient satisfaction.

AP automation can help alleviate the pressure on back-office finance staff, freeing them up for more meaningful, value-added work while increasing efficiencies and reducing overall operating costs.

Here are three ways AP automation can help optimize a hospital’s or health system’s AP labor force.

Reduce Workload and Increase Staff Capacity

Despite the widespread availability of technology-driven AP systems, hospitals and health systems today continue to rely on manual, paper-based processes that create costly inefficiencies. A large volume of paper invoices and checks can be overwhelming for a provider’s AP department, not to mention it can result in wasted time and revenue that could be better deployed to improve other areas of the organization.

Time and money spent on manual, repetitive tasks is drastically cut when AP automation is utilized, providing staff more bandwidth to focus on strategic activities (e.g., building stronger supplier relationships, sourcing new prompt-pay discounts and other financial incentives from suppliers and rebates from credit card processors) that contribute to the overall mission and financial health of the organization.

Improve Operational Performance

AP automation enables touchless processing of supplier invoices and payments, which cuts down on opportunities for human error that can lead to price discrepancies and match exceptions between a provider’s purchase order and a supplier’s invoice, as well as opportunities for check fraud and theft. These issues can bog down the procure-to-pay (P2P) process and put patient care at risk when clinicians can’t access the supplies they need when they need them.

Furthermore, when AP staff don’t have to spend countless hours manually handling invoices and checks, they can turn their attention to things like finding extra working capital that may be hiding in those paper-based processes. Automation can help healthcare organizations optimize their payment cycles, which could generate working capital that could be used to offset Medicare reimbursement cuts and rising inflation, invest in future growth opportunities or be applied to overall margin improvement efforts.

Create Better Employee Experiences

In our post-COVID-19 world, employee engagement is more important than ever before. Evidence shows engaged employees perform better, experience less burnout and stay in organizations longer. Furthermore, two of the three most important levers finance leaders have at their disposal to boost engagement are (1) help employees connect what they do to what they care about and (2) make the work itself less stressful and more enjoyable – AP automation can support both.

By automating administrative accounting tasks, employees are able to refocus their efforts on activities that contribute to the delivery of patient care and drive business forward in a more rewarding way. Automation also affords employees the flexibility of a remote working environment, which can support a healthy work-life balance. Going into an office is no longer necessary as invoices don’t need to be printed; managers chased for approvals and queries; and checks handwritten, mailed or received. With automation, AP teams gain 24/7 access and 100 percent control and visibility over the P2P process anytime, anywhere.

Why Consider AP Automation Now

AP automation can be a powerful tool for hospitals and health systems grappling with workforce issues in their finance department, acting as a labor extender that enables AP teams to do more with less by maximizing their resources and productivity.

As we continue to manage through the after-effects of the pandemic and forge ahead into the new normal, AP automation is one solution that shouldn’t be overlooked by finance leaders striving to increase efficiencies, reduce operating costs, improve revenues and engage their workforce.

For more on this topic:

The insights you need to stay ahead in healthcare: Subscribe to Premier’s Power Rankings newsletter and get our experts’ original content delivered to your inbox once a month.

Login Register Change Registration