The back office is as important as the clinical departments when it comes to overall quality of care, a new survey has found.

Patients who had positive experiences related to billing gave higher marks for quality of care than patients who had issues with the billing process, according to the survey by TransUnion Healthcare. Negative billing experiences also affect a provider’s bottom line, as the survey found that patients who experienced problems were less likely to take advantage of proactive healthcare options such as regular checkups and cancer screenings.

In all the survey found:

  • Nearly 70 percent of survey respondents who gave the highest ratings to their quality of care over the past two years also gave high ratings to their billing and payment experiences, compared to only 24 percent of those who gave low ratings to their quality of care.
  • More than 75 percent of those who gave high quality of care ratings also said they had a clear understanding of costs at least some of the time, compared to only 52 percent of those who gave low quality of care ratings.
  • Two-thirds said that receiving clear information on expected out-of-pocket costs before receiving treatment would have a positive impact on their decision to use a provider, and 65 percent said that clear, easy-to understand bills would do the same.
  • More than 60 percent of respondents reported that cost information at the point-of-service would positively impact their decision to seek non-critical care.

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