When was the last time your hospital evaluated its patient payment strategy? Now may be the time for a refresh.
Fewer than four in 10 Americans could pay an unexpected $1,000 bill from their savings, a recent Bankrate survey shows. Nearly one in five would use a credit card to pay for the expense, incurring interest charges. About one in 10 would turn to a family member to borrow the funds.
But the need to hit "refresh" on payment strategies isn't just a smart move in the current economic environment, when unemployment remains elevated. At Avadyne Health, we're also seeing trends that point to a strong desire for more modern approaches to payment:
- 70% of consumers expect technology to become a bigger part of their lives in the next three years, an Accenture analysis found. This means healthcare organizations must elevate their technology agenda to keep up with consumer preference.
- 90% of patient access leaders believe the patient experience will be the most important differentiator for winning and retaining patients in 2021. The patient financial experience–the first and last experience consumers have with a hospital–merits attention from revenue cycle leaders.
- 2020 saw a surge in digital payments, including alternative payments like Apple Pay. That's a trend that healthcare revenue cycle leaders should keep in mind in developing their approach to payment and account management.
- To what extent could your organization deliver highly accurate out-of-pocket estimates prior to care delivery, including the amount of the patient deductible met to date?
- Does your revenue cycle department have the tools to screen uninsured patients for eligibility for Medicare or Medicaid and enroll individuals for coverage?
- Does your hospital help patients in need apply for charity care?
No. 5: Cash forward from bad debt. Hospitals who wait too long for patients to pay after bills are sent can experience higher bad debt. A more effective approach: Incorporate predictive analytics to determine likelihood of payment. Then use an omnichannel approach of self-service and assisted service with a modern contact center to generate higher levels of patient engagement–and improve your financial health.