There’s a growing trend affecting patients in the U.S. today: delaying or avoiding care because of concerns about costs. High out-of-pocket costs are restraining access to care for many. Even when patients have access and decide to get care, the costs and the financial experience result in even more stress.
Today’s healthcare consumers are also increasingly demanding efficient and smooth experiences as they take a greater financial responsibility for their care. In a study by global brand and marketing consultancy Prophet, only 23 percent of healthcare providers measure their consumer relationship.
Reimbursement policies are placing patients at the center of value-based purchasing and bundled payment models. Hence, a significant percentage of your facility’s A/R is in the hands of patients. With increasing patient financial responsibility, it is essential to give patients a better financial experience.
Here are 3 strategies to give better financial experiences for your patients:
Using Payment Integration
Payment integration allows your center to be where your patients are in terms of their preferred method to make payments. When your payment system is integrated with your other systems, you have opportunities to collect at every patient interaction point.
With payment integration, patients can have access to their accounts online so they can see what their insurance has covered, verify recurring payments, check their payment status, and make payments anytime and anywhere. You can enable patients to make payments through any payment channel (online, mobile, over the phone, bank’s bill pay site, etc.) with all payments posting to your existing system in real-time.
Providers that use automated payment systems that can post patient payments directly to the patient accounting system report collection increases and AR reductions.
A highly engaged staff likely boosts patient experience, translating into better performance. According to a study by Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, patient experience scores pertaining to interactions with nurses have the strongest association with hospital financial outcomes. ASC staff needs to be able to empathize with patients and be trained to use tools and technologies that improve the patient experience.
The study also found that staff engagement measures such as quality of staff, staff communication and responsiveness, and appointment ease, among others, were the most important drivers of patient experience.
Find the Right Partner
Financial services are not a core competency for healthcare providers. But by partnering with companies with core expertise in revenue cycle management and financial services that streamline the end-to-end payment process, providers can solve their most pressing financial problems as well as improve the patient experience.
Your center needs to partner with healthcare-exclusive vendors rather than a one-size-fits-all agency. Choose healthcare specific vendors that take time to educate patients and help patients understand their financial responsibility in the friendliest possible way. The right partner can raise your facility’s standards for ensuring patient satisfaction and improving collections with implementation of technology, automation, and optimization of revenue cycle processes.