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Provider Efficiency Series Part 2

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Jessica Shaw

Last week we kicked off our exciting new “Provider Efficiency Series” by discussing all things EMR and clinical documentation, but today we wanted to take a look at how the revenue cycle management (RCM) and billing industry has learned to leverage engagement tools that help improve the delivery of patient care and increase provider profitability.

The events of 2020 have impacted the world in ways that no one could have ever expected and as we have expressed many times over this year - times are stressful. Therefore, as new patient behaviors continue to change how providers facilitate care, effective communication is vital to the success of the healthcare industry in terms of business continuity and patient satisfaction. While telehealth, remote patient monitoring and other engagement technologies have been on the rise during the pandemic, so have healthcare costs and how patients are altering their preferences to pay online, personally manage their accounts as well as directly engage with providers’ efforts to increase price transparency.  In fact, about 91% of consumers were surprised by a medical bill in 2019 alone, proving the need for improved collaboration between providers, payors and patients. Click here to learn more about the latest RCM trends of 2020.

However, beyond making patients more accurately aware of pricing and better preparing them with preliminary conversations, the next big change for patient revenue is offering a variety of financing options. As high deductibles continue to be the reason for increased out of pocket costs, patients, especially younger generations, are struggling to pay their medical bills, so much so that millennials specifically are 2x more likely than baby boomers to opt out of receiving care due to fear of creating additional debt. To avoid these collection barriers, you should make sure your RCM software focuses on “patient-to-payment”, which is an engaging billing strategy that empowers patients to pay what they owe on time.

Understanding “Patient-To-Payment” 

While patient driven payment models prioritize getting health care providers paid for their services as efficiently as possible, it mainly is focused on streamlining collections by simplifying patient responsibilities. To do this, your RCM software should utilize electronic payment methods or E-Statements as well as feature intuitive clinical documentation templates with interactive reporting modules that help improve the quality of coding and reduce claim processing errors. Additionally, patient portals offer easy access to medical records, insurance information and allow patients to interact with comprehensive views of their accounts, leading to better understanding of costs due and increased accessibility to affordable payment plans.

Why Should Your RCM and Billing Tools Include Engagement Features? 

These days, practice management not only entails fundamental clinical documentation, RCM and billing but also involves engagement platforms that help bridge the communication between patient, provider and payor in order to enable positive patient responses (payment, circulation of required information, participation in surveys etc.). While many avoid the modern nuances of medical billing and insurance, it is important for providers to utilize engagement features such as patient portals, customizable dashboards and self check-in kiosks that all help reassure patients that they are being taken care of and that no revenue gets lost on account of miscommunication. 

If you are a healthcare provider, medical biller or payor and want to see for yourself how much effective engagement can help you significantly gain workflow efficiencies, visit our website to learn more about our interoperable billing and Connect solutions. 

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