About Inspira Health
- Headquarters: Mullica Hill, New Jersey
- Locations: More than 150 access points including 3 hospitals, several multi-specialty health centers & over 35 physician practices
- EHR System: Cerner Millennium (physicians) & Soarian (hospitals)
- Patientco Client Since 2018
- +66 patient billing NPS, which is considered excellent
- $1.5MM generated in revenue across hospital & physician groups
- 90% of hospital payments are self-service
Serving their New Jersey community since 1899, Inspira Health is committed to delivering a seamless patient experience rooted in clinical expertise, comfort and compassion.
Deriving its name from the word “inspiration”, the 150+ access point health network seeks to embody this promise across every interaction with their patients. That’s why in 2018 Lynda Carbone, Director of Patient Business Services for Inspira Health, decided it was time to take a deeper look at an area that was causing friction for Inspira Health’s patients: their financial experience.
“Our team recognized that patients faced difficulties when navigating the billing and payment process, from understanding their statement to making a payment,” said Lynda Carbone, Director of Patient Business Services for Inspira Health. “We wanted to give patients a modern, intuitive financial experience with more self-service payment options and a better payment portal.”
Patients found the complex medical billing codes on their paper statements confusing and hard to read. Since patients struggled to understand the charges on their billing statement, many patients would call Inspira’s team with questions about their bill before making a payment. For patients who wanted to make a payment online, the experience was not user-friendly. Inspira’s prior payment portal was an HTML form that had multiple fields, which required patients to manually enter their information. Patients had to type in their details, including their name, address, phone, email, care location, bill amount and more to make a payment. This made it especially difficult for patients to make a payment using a mobile device.
There was also no way for patients to view their outstanding bills or the amount due within the portal and when patients completed a payment, they did not receive confirmation that the payment was successful. Therefore, patients had very little transparency into their current bill balance and recent payment activity. Outside of making a payment through the online portal, Inspira’s self-service payment options were limited, which strained Inspira’s business office and customer service teams. If patients did not use the payment portal or mail in their payment, they had to call the business office for a team member to assist in processing their payment. For patients to sign up for an affordable monthly payment plan, they also had to call during business hours and speak with an Inspira team member.
Even when patients made a self-service payment through the portal, it was difficult for Inspira’s team to accurately match payments to a patient’s open balance in Soarian. This often caused manual posting errors, re-work for team members and a time-consuming reconciliation process.
In addition, Inspira’s team did not have an easy way to engage patients with a payment conversation before patients received their final bill. Team members wanted to have payment conversations earlier and offer greater price transparency for patients at point-of-service. However, this required an integrated solution that would allow team members to generate a price estimate for the patient and take a payment on the estimate at the time of service.
Inspira selected Patientco as the best partner to provide an intuitive and personalized end-to-end solution for patient billing and payments. Patientco’s HFMA Peer Reviewed platform supports a variety of key features needed to provide a seamless patient experience, such as: tailored billing communication; translated medical language on printed statements; multiple self-service payment options, including customized payment plans; as well as staff-assisted payment options. Together, these features empower patients to easily navigate each financial decision throughout their care journey and enable Inspira’s team members to offer the best patient financial care possible.
Patientco’s exceptional focus on continued innovation and forward-thinking alignment to Inspira’s long-term business objectives cemented the partnership since Inspira needed a partner that would help them anticipate and respond to their patients’ future needs. Today, Inspira is considering other forward-thinking solutions with Patientco, such as consolidated billing, to proactively respond to patients’ needs and exceed their expectations.
Smarter Billing Communication
Since partnering with Patientco, Inspira’s patients now receive billing statements with an easy-to-understand explanation of their charges. Carbone shared that patients reacted positively to the new statements and quickly noticed a reduction in patient call volume.
“Once we rolled out Patientco’s billing statements, fewer patients were calling our customer service team with questions about their statement or calling to make a payment,” said Carbone.
Inspira’s patients can also opt to receive electronic statements (eBills) through their preferred channel, such as email or SMS text, instead of receiving mailed paper statements. Today, more patients are engaging digitally, which has helped Inspira reduce printing and mailing costs for paper statements by more than half.
Intuitive, Self-Service Payment Options
Inspira now provides patients with more convenient and flexible, self-service payment options that can be accessed on their preferred device. Patients use the PatientWallet®, Patientco’s online and mobile-friendly payment portal, to quickly and easily make a payment. With the PatientWallet, patients only need to type in a fraction of their information to complete a payment compared to the previous HTML portal, which supports a more streamlined patient experience. Patients can also view their outstanding balances, prior payment activity and more. For patients that need more affordable options, patients can sign up for monthly payment plans through the PatientWallet as well.
If a patient wants to make a payment over the phone, Patientco’s Interactive Voice Response (IVR) solution allows patients to make a payment 24 hours a day, seven days a week without assistance from an Inspira team member. These payment options have helped increase self-service payments for Inspira and reduced the time Inspira’s customer service team spends answering patient calls to process payments.
Patientco gives Inspira’s team a centralized work queue and greater visibility of patient payments. Team members can now view outstanding balances, process payments and more from one portal instead of switching between several different tools. Through Patientco’s integration with Inspira’s price estimator tool, Recondo, Inspira’s patient access team can now generate a price estimate at point-of-service and easily process a payment on the estimate. This allows team members to have payment conversations with patients earlier, rather than waiting until the patient receives their final bill. As a result, patients have more clarity about their out-of-pocket costs while Inspira receives payment for services rendered sooner.
Additionally, by integrating Patientco’s payment platform with the hospital’s EHR system, Cerner, Inspira was able to completely overhaul and streamline its posting process. This eliminated the previous challenges team members faced when matching payments to open account balances in Soarian and reduced the research time team members spent on reconciling issues.
The success of Inspira’s partnership with Patientco illustrates the power of an intuitive and modern patient financial experience. Inspira’s revenue grew by more than $1.5 million across its hospital and physician groups in less than two years since going live with Patientco’s billing and payment platform.
In addition to growing revenue, Inspira has increased digital engagement with patients. More patients have opted to receive bills through email or text. Further, more patients are actively engaging once they receive their eBill. Of patients who receive eBills through email or text, 57% engage in less than a week, eliminating the need for Inspira to print and mail a paper statement. Inspira has cut printing and mailing costs for paper statements by more than half since partnering with Patientco.
Patients are also choosing to engage digitally when making a payment. Today, 90% of Inspira’s hospital payments are self-service and more than half of those payments are made through the PatientWallet. These payments require no intervention from Inspira’s team members.
Since patients can now sign up for monthly payment plans in the PatientWallet, Inspira has grown payment plan adoption as well. Not only are self-service payment plans more convenient for patients, they also benefit Inspira’s revenue cycle performance. Self-service payment plans see 34% higher monthly payments compared to payment plans that require patients to enroll with assistance from an Inspira team member. Self-service payment plans are also 56% shorter than provider-initiated plans. In other words, patients pay off their balance faster with higher monthly payments when they sign up for a plan themselves.
Revamping the billing and payment experience also helped Inspira boost patient satisfaction and build loyalty with patients. Today, Inspira’s patient billing Net Promoter Score is +66, which is considered an excellent NPS. Inspira’s score of +66 means patients are more likely to refer their friends and family to Inspira’s network compared to patients at other healthcare organizations and Inspira’s patients are quick to share positive comments about their payment experience.
“This was an extremely simple way to pay! Thank you!” – Inspira patient
“Inspira’s partnership with Patientco gives us the ability to respond to our patients’ financial needs, exceed their expectations and deliver a truly seamless patient experience, from the time the patient visits their doctor to receive clinical treatment to when they receive their final bill,” said Carbone. “This initiative is one more way we can further Inspira’s mission to improve the lives of the communities we serve.”