The annual HFMA conference in Nashville last week was absolutely booming with vendor and provider innovation, delivering a fantastic variety of insights and advancements for healthcare. It reinforced and reminded me how dedicated to progress healthcare is.
In particular, I’m excited and optimistic about the level of innovation at hand or imminent in our area of expertise: patient billing, communications and payments. Nordis Technologies is an innovator and leader in advancing critical communications and payments automation for providers and revenue cycle management firms. So I couldn’t help but look at the conference through the lens of a disruptor and technologist — a focus shared in conversations that I had with leaders, including:
- Flywire highlighting the move to digital-first in healthcare and how embracing digital drives efficiencies across a health system.
- Cedar is tapping consumerization to build customer loyalty, exploring new ways health systems can lean into a unified system of engagement.
- Conifer is focused on helping healthcare clients improve digital patient engagement.
One big advance: It was refreshing to discuss trends in communication, billing, and payment experiences that value the patient’s perspective and preferences. There’s real action around putting consumerism first and proven returns from doing so.
Healthcare leaders show the way
Dennis Dahlen, Mayo Clinic CFO and HFMA’s National Chair, has drawn an important distinction in how healthcare should pursue and succeed at innovation. While legacy stakeholders in some cases may benefit from being “fast followers” of innovative practices developed by startups and disruptors, Dahlen says they should take the lead in key areas including business and payment models.
Hackensack Meridian Health, New Jersey’s largest health care system, is doing both. Here’s why: “Patient experience is everything, and that includes financial experience. If they get a bill and they don’t know why, they may forget about all the good things they experienced during care,” said Anne Goodwill Pritchett, MPA, FHFMA, Executive Vice President of Revenue Cycle Operations for Hackensack Meridian Health.
Given the high stakes, HMH transformed its patient billing and payments to make the experience easier, clearer and more personalized, according to an HFMA presentation. HMH created create a single integrated system, using Nordis’ Expresso™ omnichannel customer communications management platform with TD Bank’s payments solution. Hackensack Meridian Health now provides patient-friendly statements with custom messaging, digital statement options that link to each patient’s account in hospital system and statements that include payment options with electronic links.
The energy I felt at the HFMA meeting from organizations including Professional Credit, Capio, Finexio, TD Bank and PNC, not to mention from healthcare leaders themselves, reaffirmed to me why I chose a healthcare career and why I continue building products and services to serve the industry.
As I walked the exhibit hall at HFMA last week, attended sessions and interacted with new colleagues and old friends of 30 years, it struck me that healthcare is and always has been dedicated to change.
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