In just a couple of days, the Patientco team will be at Becker’s Health IT & RCM conference in Chicago. We are especially looking forward to hearing Patientco’s chief strategy officer, Alan Nalle speak at the event on Thurs., Oct. 10. Alan is an expert on the patient financial experience and during his session, he’ll explore what a good experience looks like. In addition, he will explain why today’s Health Systems should offer more self-service options for patients. Consider this blog a preview to his session!self-service-payment-options

At Patientco, we are constantly trying to make the patient financial experience better and to do that, we have to understand what today’s patients want. So, what do patients want? According to our surveys, they want more control over their billing and payment experience. Patients want to feel empowered to make choices that work for them. Offering more self-service options for patients is just one way Health Systems can address this.

Communication that Empowers Patients

For one, these self-service options should give patients more control over communication with their provider. In a recent Patientco survey, we found that patients prefer digital communication channels over unexpected phone calls. Of those digital channels, real-time chat was number one, followed by email, text and then messaging through a patient portal. When we asked patients why they prefer digital, receiving communications faster was a key benefit for 88% of patients. Patients also appreciate the ability to interact with messages regardless of their location. With digital channels, patients can initiate communication with providers on their own time as well as view the provider’s response on their own time. Self-service options that allow patients to communicate on their schedule foster a better overall patient experience.

Self-Service Options that Address Affordability

Empowering patients means offering payment options that work for their budget. Kaiser Family Foundation just released their annual Employer Health Benefits survey and revealed that the average annual deductible in 2019 is 162% higher than it was in 2009. As healthcare costs continue to rise, Health Systems should provide self-service options for patients to enroll in affordable payment plans.

Many providers still rely on staff-intensive methods of enrolling patients in flexible payment options. This might include calling patients directly or signing them up in-person. Instead, let patients access payment plans and financing offers directly from their statement or eBill. This can pay off for the Health System, too. In fact, we looked at Patientco’s data and found that when patients sign up for payment plans online, they make +20% higher monthly payments compared to patients who signed up with staff assistance. Check out our patient payment behavior infographic for more interesting stats like this.

Join Us at Becker’s HIT & RCM Conference

Alan will cover all this and more in his session at Becker’s Health IT & RCM Conference. If you want to find out how a better patient billing and payment strategy can help build patient loyalty and grow visit volume for your Health System, grab time to chat with him after his session!