March 31, 2020

Patient feedback reveals gaps and opportunities to transform patient engagement

Understanding the true voice of the patient as it relates to their financial experience is critical for those who seek to improve it, and our most recent report uncovers some important insights. Negative financial experiences are leaving patients’ health (and the health of your practice or hospital) hanging in the balance. Nearly half of respondents (48%) from our 2019 Patient Financial Experience study said they were confused after receiving their bill. Specifically, they were confused about:

  • Charge detail and service descriptions (40%)
  • Status of insurance payments (25%)
  • Options for making partial payments (16%)

By transforming the billing process into one that is personalized, consistent, clear, and easy to use, providers can offer a consumer-centric financial experience that patients are ready and have been clamoring for. The report reveals several techniques that providers can use to improve the patient financial experience and reduce patient confusion. Here’s a preview:

  1. Embrace digital engagement. Patients are eager to adopt digital billing and other electronic engagement with their healthcare providers. Not only do more patients say they are comfortable with digital financial interactions; many prefer them.
  2. Provide reminders. Electronic reminders are a proven tool for helping patients remember and stay on top of their appointments. This technology should be used to send digital billing reminders because many patients say they would find payment reminders helpful.
  3. Enable payments through tailored options. By tailoring payment options (such as payment and financial plans) to what is known about individual preferences and their financial situation, providers can eliminate payment barriers.
  4. Connect the financial conversation from start to finish. Patients struggle to understand what they owe as the financial journey flows from pre-service to insurance to post-insurance billing. Start financial conversations at pre-service with early estimates of financial obligation or a pre-service payment plan. Continue these conversations throughout the patient financial journey using an OmniChannel model that offers the right type of communication to the right person at the perfect moment.

For more key findings on what patients want most in their financial experience and other strategies, read the entire Patient Financial Experience Report: here.