MU Stage 2: Patient Engagement and Self Pay
We’ve written a lot about self pay in recent weeks, and it’s a topic made even more visible by the MU2 patient engagement requirements. Patient engagement plays a prominent role in Meaningful Use Stage 2, and has implications for both care quality and financial performance.
- Supply electronic/online access to a patient’s health record
- Use secure electronic messaging to communicate with patients on relevant health information
- Ensure that 5% of patients take specific actions regarding their care in order for providers to achieve meaningful use and receive incentive payments
A well-executed engagement strategy will, in large part through the use of technology such as electronic statements and online patient portals, empower patients to become more involved in their care. Engaged and informed patients are much more invested in their care and, as a result, more likely to follow their treatment plans. They’re also much more likely to pay their bills.
Both these considerations are hugely important in our current environment, where competition among providers is increasing and patients are now healthcare consumers looking for the best care at the most affordable price. For providers, engaging patients and delivering a positive experience—from patient registration to bill payment—is vitally important to their organization.
Many providers are giving their patients access to a comprehensive patient portal, which not only gets them involved with their care, but also affords them the ability to judge the organization’s performance with regard to that care. While the ramifications for an underperforming hospital or practice might be devastating, outstanding performance easily seen and gauged will likely result in a positive experience and keep patients coming back for future treatment.
Additionally, patients who are able to interact with their providers through an online portal will better understand the charges they’re about to incur or have already received, and are more likely to have a positive perspective about their overall treatment from the provider organization.
In short, loyalty among satisfied patients will increase as will their propensity to pay, both of which will bode well for providers seeking to improve care and their revenue cycle performance.
With MU2 requiring that providers encourage their patients to become more involved in their care, and with more and more patients now responsible for higher percentages of the financial aspects of their care, developing an effective, overarching self pay/patient engagement strategy is good healthcare, and good business.
If you need any help along the way, get in touch. We’ve been helping many of healthcare’s leading providers develop winning self pay/patient engagement strategies and we’d be happy to discuss your challenges.