Today’s patients are more like consumers than ever, demanding easy online access to every aspect of their healthcare. Meeting that demand means delivering a better online patient experience — and a key way for organizations to get that important job done is updating and streamlining their healthcare payment system strategy.
And giving patients the ability to more easily access and address their financial interactions with an organization doesn’t just boost satisfaction. It can also offer operational benefits like faster payments and lower administrative costs. And it all comes within the context of improving the patient experience at a time when that’s more important than ever before.
3 Ways to Improve the Patient Experience with an Updated Healthcare Payment System
#1: Improved Ease of Use
Streamlining an organization’s healthcare payment system into one single, cohesive system delivers operational efficiency for organizations and ease of use for patients, all at the same time. This means more than just combining every aspect into one cohesive platform, but also applying user experience (UX) best practices to make sure that it’s intuitive and easy for people to use.
On top of that, healthcare organizations should look to take useability one step further. Integrating personalized services like custom financing or other types of assistance unique to each user’s needs makes it easier for them to engage with the system as a whole. And making it easy for them to pay how, when and where they prefer can also lead to fewer write-offs and lower reconciliation times.
#2: Greater Visibility
A streamlined healthcare payment system also provides patients with more visibility into their financial obligations. Given that healthcare costs are a top concern for patients, this is a way to not just meet patient demand for more information, but also to contribute to their peace of mind (and potentially, their positive feelings towards your brand) by removing ambiguity about financial expectations.
Not only are patients concerned about healthcare costs, but they’re also prepared to hold organizations accountable for lack of visibility into those costs. A 2018 patient survey found that a whopping 83 percent “said hospitals, pharmacies, and health payers must use better cost transparency,” as reported by Sara Heath at PatientEngagementHIT.
With access to pre-care estimates and clearly explained financing options, a sophisticated healthcare payment system can ease general anxiety about costs, and reduce the surprise factor of unexpected bills. There’s likely a direct line between offering reassurance into the aspect of care that patients worry about most, and seeing higher rates of patient satisfaction and referrals.
#3: More Opportunities for Engagement
Offering a healthcare payment system that’s easier for patients to use and that quickly answers their questions can result in better engagement. Making sure that messages are delivered using the patient’s preferred platform — be it text, phone, email or even traditional mail — means dramatically improving an organization’s chances of connecting with patients and getting them to take the necessary action.
The system can include other tools to promote engagement, too, including payment alerts and bill reminders. Using automation and AI-based algorithms to make sure that the right person gets the right message at the right time, healthcare payment systems can not only improve engagement but also take the burden of this repetitive, time-consuming task off the shoulders of full-time administrative staff.
Update Your Healthcare Payment System Strategy with CareerStaff
Seizing these opportunities to improve the patient experience does more than just boost satisfaction. It also adds up to a serious competitive advantage at a time when the market is more tumultuous than ever. Retailers like CVS and Walmart are quickly moving into the healthcare delivery space — and these are organizations with deep resources, already skilled at delivering an effective patient experience.
Staying ahead of the curve means getting on board with innovations like a streamlined healthcare payment system. And the best way to put those systems in place is with the help of a dedicated partner. For instance, a vendor management solutions (VMS) provider can help organizations consolidate all of the different billing and payment components into one single, cohesive, easy-to-use system.
And with healthcare managed services (MSP), leaders can integrate these streamlined payment services into a larger ecosystem that includes scheduling, customer service and other key parts of the patient experience. And by applying automation and other best practices to key functions, healthcare MSPs can dramatically improve not only the patient experience, but a facility’s overall operational efficiency.
If you’re interested in optimizing your healthcare payment system or another aspect of your administra5tive workflows, CareerStaff is standing by to help. Our comprehensive suite of healthcare workforce solutions include a variety of options to meet each organization’s unique needs. You can learn more here, or contact us here to connect with a CareerStaff expert today.