February 28, 2022

Seize Opportunities for Better Patient Engagement

Opportunities are often disguised as challenges.

The No Surprises Act regulation and Price Transparency rulings, for example, have proven confusing and challenging. Many providers we speak with are behind on implementation or struggling to implement them correctly. It’s understandable, yet revenue cycle managers who overcome the challenges and embrace them as opportunities will distinguish themselves among their competitors by forging stronger patient engagement.

Let’s start with Surprise Billing. The No Surprises Act, which prohibits balance billing by out-of-network providers in emergency and other specific situations, was enacted by Congress last December as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act. One aspect of the act’s requirements: patient notifications for certain estimates.

This is good news!

A strong patient engagement strategy lets providers turn these notifications into sturdy stepping stones for building trust and standing apart from grudgingly compliant providers. Making it easy for patients to see, read and understand the information is an obvious place to begin. HHS has provided a model disclosure notice to help providers get started.

The Price Transparency regulation is another opportunity to lead in a crowded healthcare market. It mandates that providers publish pricing information in a consumer-friendly format—including payer-specific negotiated charges—on at least 300 shoppable services. Patients looking for credible price comparisons will notice providers that make it easy to find.

Yet many hospitals are not in compliance with Price Shopping or Surprise Billing requirements. If your organization has struggled with or resisted compliance due to worries about resources, there’s more good news. Technology solutions exist today to facilitate streamlined and accessible price information and estimates for patients.

Government regulations will continue to change and evolve, but one thing will remain constant: creativity around price transparency and billing opens up many new avenues for patient engagement excellence. Shoppable service lists and interactive websites that mimic the retail experience—including service listings, personalized price estimates, and clear, automated patient messaging tools—are just some of today’s stepping stones toward a more engaged patient base tomorrow.

Stay ahead of competing health systems by making these practices part of your patient engagement strategy. Embracing both the letter—and spirit—of these laws will improve your patients’ experience, particularly patients who expect individualized digital interactions. Increasingly, patients choose providers—and choose to stay with them—based on the ease of those interactions.

Dive deeper into the Surprise Billing requirements, and how to make the most of them, with this article.