Boosting your patient experience to 5 stars

Think back to the last time you wrote a negative business review. The experience probably stuck in your mind so vividly, you felt compelled to “vent” about it and ensure others didn’t experience the same thing.

Now, imagine this scenario happened after a patient visited your hospital or physician group, and became frustrated about the billing and payment process. What can you do to avoid this?

Healthcare bills are often confusing for patients. Between multiple statements from the payer and the healthcare provider, trying to interpret ICD-10 codes and various acronyms, and juggling various invoices from different providers at the same hospital, it’s clear that the billing experience for patients has been ignored. Paper statements are seen as impersonal, and getting help can be challenging.

Interestingly, the bill is frequently the last touch point that a patient has with a provider, and negative experiences can greatly impact a patient’s perception of the provider. Just look at a consumer rating platform such as Yelp, where too often a negative billing experiences significantly reduced a patient’s likelihood to return to a provider.

As high deductible and new insurance plans increase the amount of patient responsibility, it’s critical for providers to enhance the billing experience for patients. Here are some ways that technology can play a key role:

  • Modern communications: These days, consumers expect to be contacted via email and text – and are much more likely to respond immediately
  • Patient-focused interface: Particularly for large hospitals, technology can help consolidate bills from multiple providers and present the information in a simple, easy to understand format without technical jargon
  • Personalized outreach and payment options: Data science and technology can be leveraged to automate these processes
  • Live chat and automated triaging of questions: Making it as easy as possible for patients to get help can simultaneously decrease the burden for billing staff

All of these tools can improve patient perception of providers, in turn increasing customer retention, improving financial metrics and reducing the cost of collection.

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