Revenue cycle management for healthcare providers was considered as optimization of clinical processes and enhancing administrative productivity. The approach is more focused on improving those core functions that collectively contribute to maximizing collections and improving the revenue gains. However, the current market trend in healthcare is more patient-centered and is inclined towards creating a uniform patient experience that features convenience and satisfaction. This is where the patient walkthrough and the revenue cycle are deeply connected.
Why is revenue cycle management important in the healthcare industry? Currently, the healthcare system is in the transition from a fee-for-service to value-based care. Delivering quality care and improving the patient experience has become the focus of healthcare providers. According to a survey, more than 60 percent of patients consider switching to another provider due to bad care experience. Getting a new consumer in healthcare requires more effort than retaining an existing customer. Most of the time, it’s not just how satisfied patients are with the quality of care delivery, rather various other factors contribute to patient frustration. The reasons for a bad patient experience can be as obvious as long wait times, poor communication, misinformation, long hold on phone, and discrepancies in the billing. Various other factors contribute to a bad care experience and the impact is manifold. It not only results in revenue loss but also in today’s consumer-driven system, patients leave negative feedback online and stays there for a long time.
Superior patient journey can lead to a 50 percent increase in collections and profits. Let’s have a look, how a healthcare organization can steer patient journey and which can lead to an optimized revenue cycle management.
Convenient care access
Adding convenience to patient journey through starts with removing the hurdles and problems patients might face. It is more about keeping your communication lines open and available to patients and listening to what they want to share. At the pre-visit stage, providers that offer multiple channels of communication can attract more consumers and it adds convenience for patients who can reach a provider by using their preferred channel. For instance, they can call, email, and message of schedule the appointment by using a patient portal. This process can be further optimized by automating your front desk and adding technologies that are capable of sending reminders. Patients must be able to conveniently access their health records, lab reports, and other personal health information. Patient Portal adds this convenience by enabling remote access and communication capabilities. Patients can conveniently reach providers, request appointments, request refills, access their health records, and pay bills. This is why; a great number of providers are adopting patient portals to improve the patient journey. This adds convenience and an almost 60 percent increase in turnover.
Transparency in billing
Billing and collection processes of healthcare providers profoundly influence the patient journey. Patients are frustrated when something comes unexpected, especially when a medical bill or co-pay is more than expected. The best approach is to explain financial responsibilities upfront and keeping patients informed on every step of the revenue cycle. According to a recent study by health affairs, out-of-network charges or surprise medical billing drives up spending by $40 billion a year. A majority of patients are upset due to unexpected medical bills and this seriously damages the reputation of the provider. To make the billing process transparent, engage patients earlier in the financial liabilities. Providers must create a workflow where both the billing staff and front desk resources must be well informed about the financial situation of the patients. These resources must have access to financial information and must be capable of accessing payment status. Providers can use cost estimation tools and explain to patients the expected bill right at the start of the patient journey.
Provide multiple options for payments to patients and educate them on how they will pay. Health care providers must integrate digital payment options as more than 68 percent of patients want digital payments as their preferred mode of payment. The electronic system must be paired with digital receipts and statements automatically sent to patients. Providing a secure payment system and the ability to make digital payments adds convenience and it increases collections. Patients will be more satisfied with transparency in payment and less stressed due to informed billing flow.
Leveraging technology to improve outcomes
Almost a decade ago, technology-assisted to reform the healthcare industry. These removes were driven with government-sponsored incentive programs such as meaningful use of practice management technologies, adoption of electronic medical record (EMR) system, electronic health record (EHR) management technologies, paperless physician office, patient portals, e-Prescriptions, and other cloud-based technologies. Although the implementation cost for these technologies was immense for many providers there is no doubt about the benefits that the adoption of these technologies bring in. Healthcare providers must utilize advanced technologies to streamline the revenue cycle and improving the patient journey.
Patients prefer a provider that uses new healthcare technologies and leverage it to improve productivity. “Our data confirm that physicians see technology as a valuable part of their practice of medicine,” said Digital Health Coalition Executive Director Christine Franklin. “They see, understand and most importantly are excited about how future innovations in the space are poised to transform how they interact with and educate patients.”
Healthcare technologies help to automate the care delivery process, improve patient experience and automate revenue cycle management. Today, electronic health record (EHR) applications are capable of scheduling, sending reminders, archiving patient health records, sending records to referrals and assisting physicians on every step of the care. At the same time, these electronic systems are capable of eliminating errors. EHRs are capable of alerting physicians over a wrong decision, reducing potential medical errors and automate the billing flow. This way, healthcare technologies are improving the patient journey and improve financial outcomes. Take your revenue cycle to the next level with Sybrid MD process automation and billing support