Who should read this?
Read this post if you work for a Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) company or clearinghouse and are concerned about how margins on your traditional healthcare services are shrinking.
Find out how to combat declining margins and engage your clients by developing a new revenue stream in patient communications in healthcare. And, get 4 tips for creating a great patient statement experience.
New Revenue Streams Can Offset Shrinking Margins In Healthcare
Healthcare is an industry under pressure. From increased complexity and performance challenges, payment issues and bad debts to ever-increasing administrative requirements.
Hospitals and health systems are struggling with lower reimbursements, higher costs associated with the revenue cycle, and many are looking to their own service providers (or supply chain) to deliver performance improvement at a reduced cost.
This puts pressure on you, the Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) companies and clearinghouses, as your profit margins on traditional services shrink.
Fortunately, there are opportunities to increase the value you provide and position your company as a trusted partner in the future. This would mean expanding beyond the traditional services that offer solutions in the area of patient communications.
Meet future needs with valuable business services
As an RCM company or clearinghouse, you can expand your service offering into print and digital patient communications, as a value-added service for your clients.
Being able to generate and distribute patient communication is a way to provide valuable business services and tangible benefits, such as reduced revenue cycle times.
To do this, you need to understand patient expectations and help clients deliver an engaging patient experience.
Patients want a better communication experience
Today’s healthcare consumers are experiencing a high standard of customer experience and digital engagement from other service providers, such as financial services, and it makes sense that they expect the same from their healthcare providers.
They are also increasingly open to digital communication - in fact:
“More than 70% of patients today prefer digital communication and over half expect it” (Accenture 2019)
But, patients want clear information wrapped into a great customer experience - regardless of whether it’s provided via print or digital channels.
Improving the patient experience requires a multi-prong approach, based on what patients really want:
- Personalized experiences that take into account the patient’s individual circumstances
- Relevant and useful information presented in a clear and accessible way
- Transparency regarding costs and liabilities
4 Tips for creating a great patient experience
Patients want correspondence that is easily accessible, with clear and useful content. They also want intuitive processes and simple ways to self-serve via the channel of their choice.
You can assist healthcare providers to meet these needs, by expanding your services into new areas of patient correspondence. A good example of this is the patient statement.
Tip #1 - Design correspondence with the patient in mind
Too often, healthcare communication is based on what “can be done” and staying within regulatory requirements. But, you can still provide the optimal patient experience by placing the patient at the core of the design phase.
Tip #2 - Make processes as simple and frictionless as possible
Healthcare communication has a lot of regulatory requirements, but some of this complexity can be “hidden” from the customer to make processes as simple and frictionless as possible.
For example, creating a simple, clear version of a patient statement that provides the information needed to pay the outstanding amounts. The official communication that fulfills regulatory requirements can be attached.
Tip #3 - Build efficiency and choice into the correspondence
Patients of today want options as to how they can engage with their providers - so let them choose their preferred channels.
If they prefer a mailed statement, you can make the experience a great one by adding personalized messaging and custom advice. If they prefer a digital statement, let them choose between receiving it by email or logging into a patient portal to self-serve.
Tip #4 - Make the provider process efficient
While it’s imperative that correspondence meets the patient’s needs, it is just as important to make the provider’s process as efficient as possible. Encourage them to prioritize digitization and automation, as this will help them to reduce inefficiency and manage their own resources better.
Directly address the provider’s pain points through design - if getting payments faster is a key objective, design the patient statement in a way that makes payment as easy as possible. Then provide the appropriate data back to the provider, so they can measure improvements in the time-to-payment.
Constraints and the value of outsourcing
Even if expanding your revenue streams into patient statements is an attractive proposition, you may have some concerns about the complexity of managing data and statement composition, in line with strict regulatory requirements.
Being able to produce patient statements at scale might be a step too far, especially considering the consequences of potential non-compliance.
This is where outsourcing is a great option. Outsourcing offers a low capital outlay, faster speed to market and expertise in design & development of communications that achieve results.
Let your outsource partner worry about integration issues, compliance audits and certification.
But, be sure to choose an outsource partner that keeps up with the pace of leading technology and one that can provide you with a roadmap to take your clients to a fully omnichannel communication capability.
Partnering with Doxim enables you to help your clients deliver a modern patient experience, within a secure and compliant framework.
Talk to us about our Patient Statement Solution
Regional Vice President, Utilities at Doxim.