A great digital patient experience can increase timely collections. Jason Pothen explains the value of patient-centric billing & gives a few practical ways to approach it #DigitalPatient Experience #HealthcarePayments



Increase Patient Engagement And Cooperation With Patient-centric Billing And Get Results

With margins eroded, expenses up, and revenue down, healthcare providers across the United States are feeling the pinch from the COVID-19 pandemic. And unfortunately, the pandemic burden adds further pressure to the collections process for healthcare providers, who were already contending with a challenging shift in healthcare billing.

Trend data on healthcare payments consistently shows that, over the last several years, there has been a notable shift towards the patient in terms of covering costs. This trend is driven by higher deductibles and an increase in out-of-pocket expenses. With the shift to consumers owing more, comes a new challenge for healthcare providers, since it can be much more difficult to collect from patients than corporate payers.

These changes in patient liability are further complicated by patients’ ever-increasing expectations of their healthcare providers. Today’s patients are fully immersed in their digital world, and they expect the same convenience from their healthcare providers. But providers are often still dependent on inconvenient manual and paper-based processes for payments. The consequences of this disconnect include missed payments and erosion of the customer experience.

To respond to the challenges of smaller margins, more difficult collections, and increased patient expectations, healthcare providers need to focus on improving the digital patient experience. They can start by taking a hard look at how patient-friendly their billing, payment, and collections processes are.

By optimizing their billing to increase patient engagement and cooperation, medical practices can access the funds they need to provide essential services for their patients and communities.

Improving the Digital Patient Experience Through Patient-Centric Billing Gets Results

Traditionally, healthcare networks send bills, followed by several past-due bill reminders, and finally, the delinquent patient account goes to a collection agency. But the truth is, this approach does not recoup revenue in a timely fashion, is costly for the provider and more likely to increase patient churn.

A more successful approach to healthcare payment is to improve the digital patient experience and build a stronger relationship that incorporates a payment element into it. From providing price transparency up front, to developing a collections process that respects patient circumstances and preferences.

By creating a frictionless patient experience, from a trusted brand, that includes payment options, you can collect more payments, sooner, while retaining your patients.

Here are a few practical ways to approach patient-centric billing:

  • Provide payment notifications/reminders customized to each patient’s preferences, whether they be digital or physical channels.
  • Design statements for simplicity and comprehension, clearly communicating what patients owe, and providing supplemental data (links) explaining the services covered by various codes.
  • Provide a variety of flexible and convenient payment options, , with details and links on the statement.
  • Offer flexible payment plans and information about financial assistance and charity care, based on patient requirements.

How a Customer Communication Management Partner Can Assist

To accelerate time-to-pay and boost their revenue collection, many healthcare providers are opting to work with firms that specialize in patient communications.

Working with a strategic partner means organizations do not have to reinvent the wheel. Instead, they can draw on outside expertise and proven best practices to ensure that business revenue is collected from patients in a timely, efficient, and frictionless manner.

If you are considering such an approach, look for a vendor partner with both healthcare expertise with multi-channel communication capability.

By leveraging such a solution, you can optimize all aspects of the billing process, from statement delivery to personalized payment reminders with access to a variety of ways to pay, including a secure portal for frictionless payment.

Managing patient communications through a branded and patient-focused experience builds trust, comfort, and engagement while reducing your collections burden. That’s a win-win for both you and your patients!

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Jason Pothen

Regional Vice President, Utilities and Healthcare at Doxim.

Jason has 22+ years of experience serving a diverse array of industries, across a wide range of print and digital communication technologies. Prior to joining Doxim in July 2020, he was a Senior Client Services Manager at Taylor Communications.

In his current position as Regional Vice President, Utilities, Jason is focused on developing long-term client relationships to facilitate account growth and expedient conflict resolution, He retains a key interest in communication management in other regulated industries, such as the Healthcare sector.