The advent of consumer-driven healthcare has given patients more power than ever to choose their providers and control their medical care. At Raintree Systems, we have seen firsthand how this change has made patient satisfaction and engagement integral to the success of healthcare providers. Patient engagement now represents an essential goal for healthcare organizations for various reasons, starting with the following factors.
Growing Pressure on Consumers
Consumer-driven healthcare typically requires patients to cover a larger proportion of their healthcare costs. According to Newsweek, under this model, a significant fraction of consumers struggle to pay for their healthcare and receive needed medical attention. This means that patients are generally more concerned with the value of the care that they receive and more willing to shop around for better deals. In this climate, it is critical for healthcare providers to demonstrate value by providing reasonable pricing and a high level of service. Creating better patient engagement can help healthcare organizations establish their value and keep the business of current patients.
Prevalence of Consumer-Driven Care
In recent years, consumer-driven healthcare has become an incredibly common alternative to managed care. This model appeals to health insurers and employers because it allows them to reduce costs by making consumers directly responsible for a larger portion of their healthcare expenses. This model also incentivizes consumers to limit their medical expenses, which further benefits insurers and employers. The passage of the Affordable Care Act has also supported the shift toward consumer-driven care. Due to all of these factors, this healthcare model will likely become more prevalent in the future, which means that the importance of patient engagement will only grow.
Risk to Healthcare Businesses
Patient engagement is also an increasingly important concern because healthcare providers must now meet more challenging standards under the Affordable Care Act. New standards and goals implemented under the Act include the following:
- Organizations classified as Medicare Accountable Care Organizations are now compensated based on the long-term outcomes patients experience, rather than patient volume or healthcare costs.
- Organizations that receive Medicare reimbursements can be penalized through the withholding of those reimbursements if their patients have overly high hospital readmission rates.
- Medicare ACOs additionally are tasked with providing quality care at a lower price to generate “shared savings,” which each ACO splits with the government.
To maximize compensation, these healthcare organizations must generate better long-term results for patients. Improved patient engagement — which can make patients more accountable, more concerned with their health and more likely to seek appropriate care early on — can help healthcare organizations meet this goal.
Boosting Patient Engagement
Today there are countless approaches that healthcare organizations can employ to keep their patients more involved. Virtual patient portals and video sessions with physicians can both encourage patients to become more invested in their care. Additionally, better customer relationship management software can help healthcare organizations boost patient satisfaction and involvement.
At Raintree Systems, we provide tailored software to help healthcare providers more effectively manage patient care and relationships. If your organization faces challenges with patient engagement or relationship management, our integrated technology may offer a solution. To discuss your specific situation in greater detail, please contact us today at 951-252-9400.