It’s a good thing I didn’t travel last week to Chicago for the fall weather: I can enjoy 90+ heat every day of the week at our headquarters in southern Florida. Aside from the Second City’s record-breaking heat wave, though, Becker’s 3rd Annual Health IT + Revenue Cycle Meeting was well worth the trip, with practical and thoughtful sessions on the future of the healthcare revenue cycle.
Here’s what healthcare revenue cycle leaders were talking about at #BeckersRevCycle17 and our key takeaways:
Healthcare revenue cycles are shifting from provider-centric to patient-centric.
High deductible health plans mean patients have more skin in the game and need to be treated as customers. “Healthcare is a retail industry that doesn’t know it’s a retail industry,” Sutter Health’s Jonathan Manis remarked. Providers, and their revenue cycle partners, are evolving their patient engagement strategies as a result.
Attention to patients’ financial health drives better clinical health.
Want to drive higher satisfaction and better health outcomes? Providers need to notify patients of their financial obligations upfront, either before they arrive for care, or during the registration process. And providing a payment plan option is a huge plus. This way, patients don’t have the financial stress of worrying about cost and instead can focus on their treatment plan.
POS patient enrollment into payment programs improves provider finances.
Providing affordable installment programs and helping patients enroll results in more revenue and less bad debt while creating a financially sustainable structure for healthcare organizations. The focus on POS and payment plans requires cultural change and training of front line patient registration personnel to make it work. These staff members are responsible for much of the revenue, so it’s crucial to devote ample education and gauge employees’ understanding of the process and its importance.
Every patient needs a financial plan as well as a care plan.
The financial plan for each patient should be created largely based on an upfront evaluation of the patient’s ability to pay. On average, patients now pay 30% of their medical costs bill vs. 10% previously. But the average American has only $400 in liquid assets to tap for medical or other bills.
Better patient bills can increase patient financial engagement.
To strengthen patient financial engagement, one health system partnered with its statement vendor to improve bill design and add dynamic messaging based on patient segmentation. It also upgraded its online payment portal as part of the strategy, which helped boost revenues while decreasing bad debt.
Patient communications, integrated with payment technology, plays a vital role in helping providers and patients adapt to the new payment reality in healthcare. The right information, resources and support at every step in the patient journey and along the revenue cycle can make a major difference in both health and financial outcomes for patient and provider alike.
Leading healthcare RCM companies trust Nordis to help them deliver a patient-centric revenue cycle with our Expresso and ExpressoPay customer communications management and payment solutions. With ExpressoPay, for example, patients can access their accounts online and set up a payment plan based on parameters previously set by their provider, such as minimum monthly payment and term length. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to learn more.
About the Author
Bryan joined Nordis Technologies in 2016 to manage and grow the company’s already-large vacation ownership client base. He also is responsible for business development and market expansion in the healthcare and financial services markets. Before joining Nordis, Bryan spent more than 21 years with Interval International, a leading global provider of vacation ownership services. Bryan graduated from Northwestern University with a bachelor of science in political science.