The Director of Revenue Recovery at Memorial Hermann Healthcare System talks through perfecting patient billing processes and what’s in store for the future.
Revenue cycle leaders are in search of ways to better secure revenue by bolstering their technology and streamlining processes, and if perfecting the patient billing experience isn’t on the radar, a big opportunity could be missed.
Patients care about the billing experience—so much so that 56% of respondents in a recent survey said they would switch providers if the experience was poor.
In addition, the study showed that personalization and consistency were regarded as important to the billing and payment experience. Personalization was very important to 42% of respondents and somewhat important to 41%, while consistency was regarded as very important to 59%.
It’s obvious that patients are more likely to be satisfied with their healthcare experience if the billing process is transparent, accurate, and efficient. And while patient satisfaction is reason enough to optimize the billing and payment experience, a streamlined billing process leads to faster and more accurate reimbursement and improved cash flow.
So how can revenue cycle leaders perfect their billing processes?
Tonie Bayman, director of revenue recovery at Memorial Hermann Healthcare System, said during the Patient Financial Experience NOW Summit that honing patient billing processes on the front end is creating greater patient financial satisfaction at her organization.
“We have a new tool that we’ve recently started using to measure satisfaction, and we can see the comments about what has happened prior to service,” she says. “While we aren’t at the bedside treating somebody clinically, what we do matters in relieving the anxiety.”
Another area revenue cycle leaders can look to create a positive financial experience: financial clearance, Bayman says.
Based on focus group data, Memorial Hermann is working on an additional offering to grant patient financial clearance to some patients before they are scheduled for service to help them on their financial journey. “Patients have told us they want to know that everything’s taken care of…and that they have an authorization before they ever schedule the appointment.”
Bayman says that the industry will likely see more vendor consolidation in the next five years as providers invest even more time and resources into improving patient payment processes.
“[Revenue cycle leaders] have a lot to manage now, and it’s better for them if they can pair down to one or two vendors,” she says. “There’s going to be more consolidation and newer technology that’s going to help manage some of this complexity,” says Bayman.
By making meaningful and intentional changes to the patient billing experience, providers can ensure the financial journey leaves a positive lasting impression on patients, families, and caregivers.
Amanda Norris is the Revenue Cycle Editor for HealthLeaders.
While patient satisfaction is reason enough to optimize the billing and payment experience, a streamlined billing process leads to faster and more accurate reimbursement and cash flow.
By making meaningful and intentional changes to the patient billing experience, providers can ensure the financial journey leaves a positive lasting impression on patients.