EBOs and the Patient Experience in Healthcare Billing

EBOs and the Patient Experience in Healthcare Billing

The patient experience in healthcare billing is an essential (often overlooked) part of the healthcare revenue cycle. Every medical organization understands that patients need to feel involved in their care during medical services but don’t always extend that importance when it’s time for patients to pay.

As an extended business office (EBO) for a healthcare organization, what does the patient experience mean and how does your medical billing strategy play a part?

Patient Experience Definition

Patient Experience in Healthcare Explained

The most common definition of the patient experience is viewing every interaction patients have with your client as a whole. This sum of their interactions makes up their experience.

Each encounter throughout the patient journey has a direct impact (positive or negative) on revenue. For example, a positive environment incentivises people to continue seeking care at a facility, a negative one will drive them away.

Your job as a medical facility’s EBO is to carry out administrative actions as though your staff belonged to the organization itself. This is the best way to ensure their patients keep coming back.

Patient Experience in Healthcare Billing Statistic_Importance to Providers
Many medical facilities understand the need for emphasis on the patient experience. However, many haven’t taken any steps to implement improvements. Your EBO can create value with clients by introducing strategies that help them improve the end-to-end experience.
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Although the patient experience is all-encompassing, the changes one client should make may not be the same as another. Before trying to enhance a client’s patient journey, you should work with them to define their ideal patient experience in healthcare. Be honest about where you can help them improve, and where you can add more support to already successful efforts.
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The Rise of Self Pay Medical Bills and the Challenge for Healthcare Providers

Every experience patients have with a medical facility is tightly connected. No matter how great medical services are, a problem with billing may drive patients away. This fact is becoming more relevant every year, with the ever-rising numbers of high-deductible insurance plans and out-of-pocket costs.
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Especially in smaller medical offices, the issue of high deductibles and greater patient payment responsibility can slow down collection. Some patients may not understand what costs they are expected to cover while others may not have the money up front to cover their treatments.

Assure your clients that your call center is trained to communicate payment responsibilities to patients. Also be sure to train your staff to ask probing questions when necessary to identify those who may need financial assistance or require a recurring payment schedule to resolve their accounts.

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People don’t plan to get sick or injured. Aside from preventative care, many services come as a surprise. An unexpected medical bill can be stressful. It’s important to build empathy and helpful resources into the patient payment experience to accommodate these difficult feelings.
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Billing Options Patients Prefer

One of the easiest, most effective ways to create a better patient experience is through offering billing and payment options patients expect. People are used to paying all types of bills online. If you aren’t meeting this and other basic payment needs, you’re causing friction that is slowing down collection.
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Another impactful change that can be made to the patient experience is adding mobile payment and billing alert options. Payment communication tools should be used to increase patient engagement. This will help satisfy patients throughout the payment journey and provide a valuable service to your clients.
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Online logins are another consideration medical facilities must confront when enhancing how patients pay. Many facilities offer an online portal that requires a login and password just to pay a bill. Using your own payment processing software that allows consumers to pay without creating an account decreases likelihood of abandoned payments.
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Patient Experience and Your Public Reputation

Billing is the last experience patients have with your clients, and they don’t always understand you are another company working on the provider’s behalf. A bad experience during billing and payment can undo your client’s hard work everywhere else during the patient journey.

Along with this, patients – especially those from younger generations – are more willing to provide online reviews about their care. This means that patient engagement all the way through the payment process is essential to your client’s (and your) success.

Patient Experience and Reputation Statistic

Revenue, business from repeat patients and public reputation are all tied together by the patient experience in healthcare. As an extension of these medical practices, your EBO must understand this connection.

  • Make the patient financial journey pleasant and easy to navigate for patients and you will shorten your revenue cycle.
  • Create greater patient engagement to encourage patients to return to the client’s facility.
  • Bring in new business through proofs of the success you’re helping clients build through their online reputation.

All of these actions will enhance your relationship with your clients while creating a better experience for their patients.

Want to share these statistics with your team or healthcare clients? Download the infographic.

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Check out how one PDCflow client, an EBO operating out of Kansas, has been able to double credit card payments, build trust with consumers and create a better overall experience.

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