Putting the Patient at the Center of Your Self Pay Strategy, Part 1

Your Patients are now consumers. It may seem at odds with the prevailing wisdom in healthcare, but with more of the payment responsibility falling on the patient’s shoulders these days, providers must now consider those in their care to be consumers as well as patients. Sound a little cold? Maybe. 
But consider these startling statistics we shared in a previous blog on the subject:

  • 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

Health Data Management also recently reported on the subject, highlighting a study by claims clearinghouse InstaMed, which related that 76 percent of providers surveyed recently said it takes more than a month to collect from a patient, with 56 percent citing collections as the top revenue cycle concern.

Cold or not, these stats serve as a wakeup call to providers large and small as we go headlong into this new patient-centered healthcare environment. Your patients are now consumers who will possibly seek treatment elsewhere if they’re not satisfied with the level of service they experience from your organization, both during and after treatment.

Hospitals and physician practices must do everything they can to minimize the negative effects of this increasing patient financial responsibility—for the good of those in their care and for their own sustainability. That’s why healthcare providers across the country are involved in implementing additional processes, procedures and systems designed to do just that.

For the purpose of this three-part blog series, we’ll focus on the key areas we think hold the most promise for providers in their efforts to soften the negative impacts of increased patient financial responsibility and enhance their patient satisfaction moving forward: patient portals, patient-friendly statements, and automated-dialing technology.

Today, let’s talk about 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.

self-pay-strategy

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.

An intuitive, highly functional patient portal 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.

Let us know if we can help your organization with its patient-portal needs. And stay tuned for the second blog post in this series where we’ll examine the numerous benefits a well-thought-out and functional online billing statement can deliver to healthcare providers.

 

About Kent Smith, Vice President, Sales

Kent Smith, Vice President, Sales

Kent leads MediRevv’s new business sales initiatives and marketing and account management programs. He has built, from the ground up, a cohesive team of healthcare sales and marketing professionals who understand the critical aspects of any engagement: exceeding the expectations of and creating value for our clients; building enduring, mutually beneficial partnerships; and maintaining transparency and a high level of trust in our execution.

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