February 15, 2024

Empower Patients with Effective—and Painless—Financial Engagement

Conventional wisdom says effective performance is preceded by painstaking preparation. We agree that preparation is key to great outcomes. But painstaking? Not so much—at least in terms of preparing patients for effective financial engagement. Thanks to smart digital solutions and proven personalization strategies, it’s now easy and convenient to empower patients to meet their healthcare financial responsibilities.

Preparation should begin with assessment. Understanding each patient allows you to deliver personalized communication through the channels that work best. This helps drive optimal financial outcomes from day one.

Offer a digital first approach for patients that are most likely to prefer engaging digitally. (Print is still important for many and should continue to be used for patients that prefer it.) By strategically sending text and email messages prior to print communications, providers have experienced remarkable results including payments received, on average, 6.5 days faster.

But digital first is just the beginning.

Preparing patients for effective financial engagement should include providing them with the best payment option, including pay-in-full, payment plan, patient financing or financial assistance.

More than 70% of patients agreed they would pay sooner if presented with the payment option best for them.

Preparing patients also means empowering them with intuitive and flexible payment interfaces: self-service payment portal, IVR or text-to-pay, all of which should display the right payment option for each patient.

Many other smart—and painless—strategies prepare patients to easily make payments when, where and how works best for them. Gathering consent and digital assets, presenting care costs estimates in advance and collecting card information all help facilitate a faster, more convenient payment experience. Such preparation also delivers reliable collections with low associated costs for providers.

When patient financial engagement is easy and accessible, providers see self-service rates increase, faster time to payment and an overall increase in payment rates, all leading to more satisfied patients and a healthier bottom line.