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Optimizing Patient Access Management in the New Healthcare Consumerism Environment

Healthcare Professionals

Healthcare consumerism is going to be an important factor in the new healthcare financial environment where a number of patients are going to be responsible for a portion of their healthcare costs. Empowering healthcare consumers to schedule appointments, receive online statements, and make electronic payments are just a few of the options that consumers are demanding.

How can today’s healthcare providers meet this increased demand for consumerism in their healthcare delivery? One solution is to employ a professional, outsourced, state-of-the-art call center that can exclusively handle your patient inquiries.  This center can offer the up-to-date infrastructure you need to handle heavy call traffic and manage call volume peaks and valleys with ease. Experienced healthcare billing professionals can provide quick resolutions to patient issues and queries.

A healthcare-specific call center can:

  • Provide a detailed study of your call patterns, including a “reason for call” analysis to identify automation opportunities
  • Implement an interactive voice response (IVR) to handle simple queries such as balance inquiry and statement requests
  • Furnish a patient portal to automate credit card payments
  • Offer flexible staffing to manage peaks and valleys in call volumes
  • Provide extended operating hours to manage all calls 24X7 with live operators and an after-hours voice mail system
  • Implement a real-time call management and reporting solution

With a professional call center, you can begin to manage your patients’ expectations prior to their arrival — expected copayments, referrals and authorizations — all before services are rendered. In today’s newly expanded self-pay environment, a professional call center will allow you to adopt a proactive approach for patient financial responsibilities, prior to delivering non-emergency services.

Optimal patient access management requires a robust preregistration program, combined with a redesigned registration process, to facilitate patient flow and produce more accurate financial patient data. A professional call center will provide a facilitated registration process for preregistered patients where their insurance coverage and their ability to handle self-pay amounts have already been determined, prior to their presenting at the hospital.

Best-performing healthcare providers have a stringent process in place for insurance verification within 24 hours of admission. A professional call center will allow you to scrutinize accounts registered as self-pay within 24 hours of admission seven days per week. They can also periodically re-evaluate patients with long hospital stays to make sure that eligibility is maintained.

The healthcare revenue cycle is just beginning to feel the effects of this consumerism as employers focus on containing healthcare costs. A professional call center will allow you to implement revenue cycle solutions that extend the capabilities of your information system, helping you improve patient access management, while accelerating cash collection and improving payer performance.

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