Improving revenue cycle performance takes more than technology. At Patientco, we believe patients should feel empowered to understand and navigate each financial interaction during their care journey. Self-service tools alone can’t do this. Your patient access and revenue cycle teams play an important role here. The key is to leverage technology and your team together, engaging patients with the right outreach at the right time. Not only does this create a better experience for patients, it also leads to improved revenue cycle performance.
Today’s blog will examine the role your team plays in delivering compassionate financial care for patients and boosting your health system’s revenue cycle performance. Let’s start at pre-service.
Better Patient Financial Care (& Revenue Cycle Performance) Starts at Pre-Service
The new Price Transparency Rule shows that patient financial care begins before service. Here are a few ways your team can offer the best financial care possible, sooner rather than later. For one, provide estimates earlier, before treatment, not just at the time of service. These estimates should be as specific as possible and should show what the patient’s out-of-pocket costs may be.
Also, complement estimates with flexible payment options that are tailored to the patient. By prompting the patient to sign up for a payment plan before treatment, they can commit to a monthly payment amount that works for their budget sooner rather than later. As a result, the patient can focus on what matters after treatment: their health. This also impacts revenue cycle performance by accelerating payments. Patientco’s Data Team has found that our clients who integrate payments with their estimator tools get paid 10% faster than health systems that do not.
So, how can my team help?
Lastly, make sure patients can access their estimates digitally, too. By offering estimates digitally, your patient access team can track whether patients are engaging with their estimate or not. For example, they could see that a patient opened their estimate but didn’t pay. By tracking engagement, you can empower your team to prioritize follow up and assist the patients who need it most. Perhaps that patient who opened their estimate but didn’t pay needs help signing up for a payment plan. This is just one way your team can help patients navigate their care journey while positively impacting your health system’s revenue cycle performance.
Following Treatment, Patients Deserve Compassionate Financial Care
After undergoing treatment, patients should focus on what matters most: their health. During their recovery, patients shouldn’t be stressed about muddling through all of the financial details associated with their treatment. Eliminate some of the financial pain points patients face after their visit. After all, the pain points that patients face eventually become pain points that hinder revenue cycle performance.
One major pain point is the multiple bills a patient receives after one episode of care – it’s confusing! Patients are left wondering, who do I pay? And who do I pay first? When do I need to pay? How do I pay each of these bills? Instead, those bills should be consolidated into one easy-to-understand statement. Doing so makes it much easier for a patient to manage their healthcare expenses.
Affordable payment options like payment plans also make it easier for patients to manage their healthcare expenses. However, if a patient is already enrolled in a payment plan and receives a new bill balance after their latest visit, your HIS may only allow one payment plan per account. This would mean the patient has to pay their new balance in full or create an entirely separate payment plan. Instead, allow patients to manage multiple balances in one, easy plan. To enable patients to add a new balance to an existing payment plan, simply leverage your health system’s business rules to recalculate the monthly payment and number of installments. This saves time and confusion for patients while reducing manual work for your revenue cycle team.
So, how can my team help?
For better revenue cycle performance, health systems must integrate technology with human touch. Giving patients a way to engage digitally is key, as this empowers patients to self-serve on their own time. Setting up a payment plan is a great example of this. Still, there will be times when a patient needs help from a team member. For instance, what if the payment plan options don’t work for the patient? Or, what if they need to apply for financial assistance? Make sure your team has the tools they need to provide great financial care at scale. This may mean adding more scalable customer support channels, like messaging or live chat!
Bet on Better Revenue Cycle Performance
In conclusion, empower your team to focus on what matters most – your patients. By understanding the patient’s journey, your team can know when to interact with a patient digitally and when to give the patient a personal phone call. This ensures your patients receive the compassionate financial care they deserve while powering your revenue cycle performance.