Many hospitals are implementing patient engagement strategies to help improve care outcomes. This is going to be an important trend as we enter a new era of reimbursement. Just like engaging patients can improve care outcomes, engaging financially with patients can also yield significant benefits for patients and providers.
Financial patient engagement includes educating and communicating with patients at every point in the revenue cycle – pre-service, point of service and post-service – to facilitate higher collections and help improve patient satisfaction. I recently came across a whitepaper by RelayHealth that looks at a number of ways you can engage with patients financially to achieve these results.
At a high level the whitepaper offers a couple suggestions:
- Educate – Train staff to increase opportunities to collect
- Inform – Arm your patients with the information they need to pay bills sooner
- Collect – Provide multiple touch points and payment options to help reduce staff workload and increase collections
- Measure – Leverage data to help improve processes and achieve goals
These are all really good suggestions for hospitals looking to improve their financial position. If you download the whitepaper, it goes into more detail on each of the subjects. Many of the explanations come from a RelayHealth product perspective, but the concepts can be applied regardless of the software you use.
For some reason we often shy away from talking about the finances of healthcare. We’re a little uncomfortable talking about what’s really happening and what an organization can do to be more successful on the financial side of things. Hopefully I can start more conversations about the financials of healthcare going forward.