Patient Portals: One Way to Treat Patients Like Consumers
This isn't new news: your patients are consumers.
While many healthcare organizations understand and even embrace the changing role of the patient, their self pay strategies and technologies lag behind the shift to consumerism.
Here are some fast stats highlighting the importance of thinking strategically about self pay in the patient-consumer environment:
- More than 45 million people are currently uninsured
- The number of underinsured has risen to 25 million—a 60% increase over the last four years
- For every 30 days an account languishes in A/R, your chances of collecting decrease by 30%
- The odds of a patient paying off their account fall to as little as 6% by the time you send the fourth statement
- For every dollar you bill a patient, nearly 50 cents will go uncollected
And here is a best practice idea that falls perfectly in line: patient portals. In our current patient-centered healthcare climate, the benefits of a simple-to-use, yet comprehensive patient portal cannot be overstated. For patients, those benefits are many, and include, importantly, the chance to fully understand their charges (research shows that patients who understand their bills are much more willing to pay). A well-conceived portal with an FAQ section and online chatting functionality to provide real time answers to more specific questions gives patients the knowledge they need to confidently pay their bills.
Offering the functionality of a patient portal also creates good will with patients. At MediRevv, believe “patient care doesn’t end at the exit door.” A patient portal where those in your care can interact with representatives after their physical care is complete continues their positive experience with your organization—and further increases your likelihood of being paid.
Finally, as with any consumer-facing, transactional website, a highly functional patient portal gives your patients easy, immediate choices when it comes to paying what they owe you. Most offer a few ways to pay, accepting the usual MasterCard, VISA and American Express, while premier portals might include several additional easy and convenient ways to pay.
With patients footing more of the financial responsibility of their care, they’re sure to become savvy healthcare consumers who will now judge your organization on the entire experience you provide them—not just the care they receive during treatment. If you want them to return to you each time they require care and to refer you to those they know, you must make their experience as informative, convenient and pleasant as possible.
Intuitive, highly functional patient portals can be a vital tool to help accomplish this. Yet if you’re like many providers, you may not have the human and/or financial resources necessary to develop and man your own patient portal. More and more, providers are looking to outside firms to help them accomplish these goals, and many are turning to MediRevv.