Patient-first pandemic response: key Cedar product updates
At Cedar, we pride ourselves on knowing patients. We understand the ways in which they like to interact with their providers (as well as the ways they don’t), appreciate the mix of simplicity and transparency that’s needed to navigate their financial obligations, and acknowledge the level of empathy required to restore and build trust.
We apply this knowledge to the products we build and are constantly thinking about new and better ways of improving the patient experience. Our design- and data-first approach to product conception enables us to develop solutions that solve real user problems, and our nimble team structure empowers us to be proactive technology partners.
So when it became clear that the COVID-19 pandemic was about to shake up all of our lives, it didn’t take long for the Cedar team to mobilize and start thinking about how we can help our client partners best serve patients during this difficult time. Slack messages started pinging, impromptu Zoom meetings were scheduled and members from our Product, Design, Data Science, Engineering, Client Growth and Marketing teams came together to start executing.
Keeping the ‘what’s good for patients is good for providers’ credo front of mind, below are some of the patient-centered improvements we came up with, which are featured in The Academy’s Partner Solutions for COVID-19:
Educational messaging: Patients concerned about COVID-19 are struggling to find accurate information and billing is one of the few patient-provider touchpoints beyond the point of care. On our paper statements and in our digital platform, we are including messaging that guides patients toward reliable educational resources regarding COVID-19. In addition, we also offer the option to include messaging around encouraging patients to use our live chat feature, as some contact centers have been inundated with calls as well as face staff shortages.
Flexible payment plans: With the surge of unemployment and economic uncertainty caused by COVID-19, many patients require greater flexibility to pay their bills. To accommodate, we are offering payment plans with delayed start dates, extended durations and reduced balance thresholds. Based on experiments from the Cedar data-science team, we know that offering these types of payment plans improves core collection results.
Compassionate dunning: Many patients need extra time to get back on their feet right now. We are working with providers to implement extended dunning and payment due dates as well as decreasing billing communication frequency.
We are confident that these updates will help our provider clients maintain healthy patient relationships and show understanding to their patients during a time of shared crisis.
To learn more about how Cedar can help preserve financial stability and patient loyalty during this difficult time, please click here to talk to a member of our team.
Christine Pak is a Product Manager at Cedar working to enhance and personalize the patient billing experience. She strives to have deep empathy for users in both her product and prior consulting careers to develop meaningful solutions. In her spare time, you can catch her watching Broadway shows or dabbling with her new Kitchenaid mixer.