While providing patients with safe and effective care is the primary priority, healthcare organizations cannot overlook the other critical elements that make up the patient experience (PX). The patient experience does not start or end in the physician’s office. Instead, it encompasses all patient interactions, from their first phone call to paying their bill.
Traditional workflow processes must be updated and more cohesive for payers, providers, and patients. One of the most critical ways that healthcare organizations can improve the patient experience is through revenue cycle technology. With the right tools, they can provide seamless care continuation long after patients leave the office without frustrating staff or payers.
Why Interoperability is Critical for the Patient Experience
The financial process is protracted and complicated for many patients long after their healthcare encounter. It requires support from payers in addition to providers. A breakdown in communication between the three groups leaves many patients frustrated and confused. In fact, 31% of consumers said in a recent survey that they were dissatisfied with the coordination and communication between their providers and payers.
While seamless technology across providers, payers, and patients is crucial, many providers are slow to adopt technology that could improve PX, smooth processes, and enhance communication. Approximately one-third of healthcare organizations don’t use revenue cycle automation. This gap in technology gives providers a powerful way to stand out from the competition and provide patients with a superior experience.
A slow, complex, and challenging financial experience will negatively influence the entire patient experience, even if the patient had a positive clinical experience with the organization. Patients have more options than ever when it comes to choosing their providers. They are more likely to leave a provider than ever: 90% of patients in a recent survey stated that their financial experience was critical to their loyalty and whether they would refer a provider to friends.
Keeping up with the competition is another critical way to keep consumers. Patients are much more likely to leave if your tech stack does not match up with other healthcare organizations. Sixty-nine percent would consider switching providers if another offered more appealing services. With such a competitive environment, healthcare organizations cannot afford to deliver an inferior financial experience.
Not only will a poor and confusing financial experience cause them to leave a provider they otherwise like, but patients are also less likely to pay if they’re not confident in the charges. One survey found that one-third of consumers cited dissatisfaction with the administrative experience as a reason for not paying the patient financial responsibility.
It’s not that consumers don’t want to pay what they owe. However, patients think the charges are incorrect, worry about being overcharged, and hesitate to pay. With better collaboration and communication, providers will find it easier to get paid by patients and elevate their patient experience.
The right tech stack is critical to ensuring that staff has the tools to streamline processes and work seamlessly with payers and patients. Some of these technologies include:
Artificial intelligence/Machine Learning. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are critical technologies that will improve workflows and create a streamlined financial experience. Healthcare staff is often overwhelmed with tasks related to the financial process. From intake forms to coding to billing, providers who invest in automating these tasks will reduce personnel burden and ensure that mistakes do not jeopardize the financial process.
Using AI/ML not only improves the patient experience but improves the provider’s bottom line. Because automation enhances staff productivity and accuracy, patients benefit from better medical bills. AI could potentially save the healthcare industry $18 billion every year.
Natural Language Processing. As a subset of AI, Natural Language Processing (NLP) is an especially critical form of automation for providers. Coders often lose productivity by combing through thousands of pages in patient charts, often missing important conditions that should be documented. This slow and painful process wastes the coder’s time and means that patients miss out on timely billing.
NLP improves the coding process so that patients don’t receive their bills late or have the headache of corrections from inaccurate billing down the line. Providers can build trust with patients as the technology improves data integrity, leading to less confusion. The technology’s exciting potential has many healthcare organizations happy to invest: experts estimate that NLP for healthcare market size will reach $3.7 billion by 2025.
Digital Service Integration. Automating a few front-end revenue cycle processes is not enough to improve PX. When staff must juggle multiple tools to service patients and contact payers, the entire experience suffers, and patients can become frustrated. Representatives can appear distracted and disorganized when forced to use more than one tool.
Integrating digital services onto one seamless platform will improve the entire process, enhance the workflow, and create a seamless experience. A single source of truth for everyone involved on a single dashboard will ensure that staff has the tools they need right at their fingertips and that payers can access the information they need from providers and maintain transparency with the correct data management.
The right AI-powered solutions on one seamless platform benefit providers and payers looking for a streamlined workflow and ensure that patients receive better care long after their appointment. With enhanced collaboration, accuracy, and productivity, patients can understand their financial responsibility faster and trust that it is correct instead of acting as a mediator between their insurance and medical provider.
Healthcare organizations that cannot keep up with the latest technology will find that they lose patients, and many hesitate to pay their financial responsibility. However, the right tools will help them enhance the patient experience, leading to better loyalty and efficient care long after their doctor appointment. To see how GeBBS Healthcare Solutions helps providers take their patient experience to the next level and improve their bottom line, request a consultation today at gebbs.com with one of our experts.