The COVID-19 crisis has shown how quickly and ingeniously healthcare can rewrite its playbook, from telehealth expansion to work-from-home business operations. But patients haven’t enjoyed the same innovation in billing and payments.
Since the pandemic, 31% of healthcare consumers say providers have not done enough to improve the billing and payments experience, according to the 2020 Healthcare Consumer Experience Study from one of our RCM clients, Cedar. In particular, 68% want a more customized experience for communications, bill pay and other revenue cycle operations.
One of the biggest consumer disappointments is the lack of digital options for receiving and paying bills. According to the March 2021 InstaMed Consumer Healthcare Payments Survey,
- 75% want e-statements from providers.
- 85% prefer an electronic payment method for medical bills.
Yet 93% of providers still rely on manual and paper-based transactions to collect patient payments.
Digitally transform or else
There’s a straight line from patient financial experience to collection rates to market share and growth. Providers and RCM firms that fail to improve patient financial engagement are only falling further behind leaders that have made the investment in CCM.
Poor patient financial experiences translate directly into lower provider revenue. While 3 out of 4 patients with positive billing experiences pay off their bills in full, fewer than half of people with bad billing experiences pay off their bills in full, according to Waystar.
They also influence patient choice and loyalty and thus provider growth. Already, 28% of consumers have left a provider because of a poor digital experience, up 40% from 2019, the 2021 InstaMed research found. More than half, or 56%, of consumers would consider switching providers for a better healthcare payments experience, according to InstaMed.
In contrast, RCM leaders leveraging CCM platforms are enjoying such benefits as expedited revenues, improved operating performance and enhanced patient satisfaction that lowers barriers to payments.
Revolutionizing patient financial experience
Changing this dynamic doesn’t have to take massive IT investments, as we explain in our new white paper, Accelerating RCM’s Digital Transformation with Customer Communications Management Technology. Healthcare RCM leaders can provide a better patient financial experience by digitally transforming billing and payments with cloud software for customer communications management (CCM).
Self-service omnichannel CCM technology gives RCM firms and providers the control and flexibility to personalize patient financial communications and delivery channels, delivering the choice and convenience healthcare consumers increasingly expect. It’s HIPAA-compliant and secure, from mobile to mail.
CCM software also drives major gains in operating efficiency and productivity. It automates manual operations and tasks while streamlining the entire process from developing patient financial communications to distributing them through print and/or digital channels.