There’s new reason to believe how payments are collected can be just as important as getting payments. According to a recent survey by TransUnion Healthcare, it turns out a positive billing and payment experience can influence how patients assess their overall quality of care. This is significant for two reasons.
First, programs such as the HCAHPS survey are being used to make patient satisfaction ratings a key component of government reimbursement formulas. Second, the TransUnion survey found that negative billing experiences can impact a patient’s willingness to utilize non-critical healthcare services, such as elective procedures and regular check-ups. Therefore, enhancing revenue cycle interactions can help instill a positive patient perception of their healthcare experience – securing full reimbursement and future service revenues for providers.
So what strategic changes can you make to improve the billing experience for your patients? Here are 3 ideas from patient and customer experience research to help you get started.
Rethink your patient communications
While 65 percent of surveyed patients said that clear, easy-to understand bills would impact their decision to use a provider, every communication you send is a chance to positively influence your patients’ healthcare experience.
Appointment reminders, discharge letters, and financial assistance forms can all be printed dynamically to offer a more personalized experience – which according to a customer experience report by RightNow Technologies is a key reason consumers stay loyal to a brand.
Revamp your patient portal
According to the same customer experience report, 55 percent of consumers want to easily find the information or help they need. Do your patient portal and other online self-service tools offer a user-friendly experience for your patients? If not, try redesigning you patient portal following some patient portal design best practices.
Reassess your customer service
If you really want to woo your patients, it may be time to reassess your customer service efforts. According to the RightNow survey, the biggest reason consumers commit to a brand and have a memorable experience is friendly employees and customer service representatives.
Therefore, not only hiring the right team, but empowering them with the right tools to easily assist and support patients during each revenue cycle touch point can positively impact patient satisfaction scores.
As budgets tighten, it may not be realistic to start all of these initiatives right now. But it’s important to understand the true financial implications of improving the patient experience within the revenue cycle.
Moving forward, providers can start making strategic investments that make the payment process easier for their patients and empower staff to deliver top-notch customer service. These types of key investments will help organizations deliver a differentiated patient experience, growing patient loyalty and improving patient satisfaction scores.
About the Author
Derek Stein started his career as a marketer three years ago at the College of Wooster with community outreach, grassroots marketing, social media marketing, word of mouth, and local networking to help build and sustain a local athletic complex with no marketing budget. Now a Marketing Analyst for RevSpring, Derek’s passion for health and wellness and his focus on persuasive communication are aimed at improving patient satisfaction throughout the patient communication lifecycle.