With each passing year, the entire healthcare system is becoming more stressful for patients and providers alike. According to Black Book’s “Revenue Cycle Management” report, patients averaged more than $6,200 in out-of-pocket expenses and deductibles during 2017. The same survey found that 82% of providers struggled to collect outstanding patient balances through traditional payment methods. Although taking a consumer-first approach to service is typically a retail strategy, more and more healthcare providers are considering this method in an attempt to ease the process for patients, and therefore increase business and collections for the provider.
In order to prioritize patient satisfaction, any healthcare system must understand the patient’s struggle and adapt their services accordingly. Let’s examine three common, yet easily addressable common patient pinpoints.
- Patients have little say in how to make payments
The technology needed to simplify the healthcare bill payment process is here, and easier to implement than you may think. So why do 77% of providers still use traditional, paper-based collection methods, when 52% of patients prefer electronic based communications?
Electronic statements (eStatements) send directly to the patient’s email, where they are much more likely to be seen and responded to compared to a snail-mailed statement.
Technology-based payment methods complement the eStatement. By implementing a braded payment portal, the practice can easily receive online payments guided from the eStatement. Simply logging in on a desktop or mobile device allows the patient to pay their outstanding balance in seconds, similarly to many other services.
Other technology-based payment methods provide enough variety to please a wide range of patients, which increases the number of collections and reduces the amount of time the balance remains unpaid. These options include:
- QR Code scans
- Credit card on file (CCOF)
Including a variety of technology-based payment options in addition to traditional collection methods ensures that each and every patient can pay in their preferred method, increasing satisfaction for all.
- Patients receive inaccurate estimates for healthcare services
Nothing adds insult to injury like receiving a healthcare bill that requests a much higher payment than previously estimated. With healthcare service costs varying dramatically based on a variety of factors, accurately estimating the cost of service is an extremely difficult request. However, taking the time to do so can dramatically improve the patient experience, increasing satisfaction.
When patients feel that they were charged fairly and anticipated the correct amount, they are significantly more likely to pay their balance in a timely manner.
- Patients cannot compare prices between providers
Consumers compare prices between sellers for nearly every large purchase, and the inability to do so in the healthcare system results in heightened frustration for the patient. More and more healthcare systems are making their prices available to researching patients, who then pick a provider based on the simplicity and competitiveness of the pricing. Practices who decide against this are ultimately left out of the comparison all together.
Patients who experience some or all of these pain points within your healthcare system likely will seek out another practice who takes patient satisfaction into higher consideration. Shifting to a patient-focused strategy will increase patient satisfaction, which results in better reviews, return business, and timely payments.
MailMyStatements is a technology-driven billing and payment vendor who specializes in simplifying the collection process for both patient and provider. Get in touch with us to learn how you can implement easy statement and payment options today!
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