Patientco believes that healthcare statement design is an important element in the patient’s financial experience. We aim to eliminate some stress and anxiety for patients by adhering to a ‘people-first’ approach when outlining important bill information.
In this interview, Mara Stephenson, Patientco’s User Experience (UX) Designer, explains how she takes feedback from patients across the country and incorporates it into a patient-centric healthcare statement design.
What is Patientco’s philosophy on UX and design?
Mara: Our goal is to help patients understand their bill, including what they owe and why they owe their balance. We also need to make it clear what payment options are available to them and provide modern tools that make it easy to pay. That’s why Patientco is continuously iterating and improving, across all of our products, including our healthcare statement design.
We don’t make changes to our statements very often. However, when we do, we test potential new designs with patients in focus groups. This ensures the changes are meaningful, driven by patient feedback, and will enhance the patient experience. After all, user experience design evolves over time, so we wanted to refresh our statements to reflect that. The process for updating our healthcare statement design starts with research. We ask patients what information on their medical bill is clear versus what confuses them. Patientco also seeks input from our clients to make our statements as effective as possible. Once research is done, we plan our initial design, iterate and conduct additional rounds of patient testing.
To be clear, testing is never over. For testing, we bring in patients of all ages with different backgrounds and insurance coverage to see how easily they can understand their healthcare statement. As a user experience designer, I want to make sure patients understand their charges, whether or not insurance paid and what payment options are available to them.
What makes Patientco’s healthcare statement design unique?
Mara: Patientco has been very careful about the placement of information. We study patterns in how people read their bills, and where they expect to find certain information. This allows us to strategically place information in specific places. As a result, patients can easily understand their financial responsibility, even if they quickly skim over their healthcare statement.
For example, we include a bill summary on the front of our statements, which breaks down charges, adjustments, previous payments and helps the patient verify what is due. We summarize these details in a vertical format to support quick mental math. This gives the patient an easy way to confirm that everything adds up.
Why are paper statements important? I thought patients only wanted eBills now.
Mara: Many patients prefer digital or paperless billing. However, some patients prefer paper simply because they are used to receiving bills in the mail. Some patients also use their paper bill as a reminder to hang on their fridge and others keep them for their records. Whether it’s a digital bill or a mailed paper statement, Patientco gives patients a consistent experience with their health system’s brand.
Our billing communication reinforces your health system’s brand by incorporating your logo and colors. Additionally, we provide a single, centralized view of a patient’s financial responsibility across an episode of care. As a result, our statements reduce confusion and build trust with patients. Patientco’s statements set the stage for a world-class financial experience that mirrors the high-quality clinical experience that patients receive from their healthcare provider.
Curious to learn more UX design tips for a better patient experience? Check out our other interview with Mara. She’s got some insights on why screen sizes matter when making a payment.
Stay tuned for more blog posts in our Patientco Listens series!
This blog post is the first of our Patientco Listens series. Patientco Listens is a compilation of thought leadership pieces that show how our team is constantly listening to patients and healthcare providers to make the healthcare financial experience easier to navigate. Stay tuned to our blog, as each month we’ll drop a new Patientco Listens post.