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3 ways financial education removes barriers to care and boosts revenue

Patient access and engagement are ongoing challenges for providers across the U.S. With the transition to value-based care, removing barriers to access must be a priority for all healthcare organizations. By improving patients’ financial literacy, providers can clear the way for patients to seek the care they need.

All too often, patients avoid care due to financial concerns. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, in 2021, half of U.S. adults reported delaying or entirely skipping some form of healthcare due to cost concerns – and 29% reported skipping prescribed medications due to cost.1 Let’s discuss a few ways to ensure that your patients get the care they need.

1. Keep patients informed and compliant

In my experience helping providers improve RCM processes, I’ve noticed that patients tend to be more compliant when they are better informed. When patients understand their financial responsibilities, they are more likely to seek the care they need, fill and take prescriptions and attend follow-up visits. Not only that, but patients who understand what they owe and why are more likely to pay their medical bills.

As providers, we can help patients by taking the lead in educating them on their financial responsibilities. But we cannot do this without the right tools. To achieve this goal, providers must be able to easily identify and verify active insurance coverage. With this information, you can minimize unnecessary patient statements that confuse patients and reduce your chances of capturing payments.

2. Make it easy for patients to pay what they owe

Of course, identifying coverage is only part of the equation. We must make it easier for patients to pay what they owe. With technology such as Patient Payment Management (formerly ABILITY SECUREPAY), we can put patients in the driver’s seat to make secure payments with their preferred payment methods. Requiring patients to pay in-office or to send a paper check may have worked in the past, but it will slow your post-pandemic revenue cycle to a crawl. When you give patients the power to see what they owe, pay online 24/7 and automate recurring payments, you equip them to make those payments in a timely manner.

3. Provide price transparency

Along with making it easier for patients to make payments, price transparency should be a top priority. When you share cost data with your patients, you enable them to make informed financial decisions at every phase of their care journey. A full-service financial clearance process equips healthcare providers to share this information without burdening billing and front office staff.

I recommend Eligibility Workflow, the powerful yet easy-to-use application that delivers end-to-end RCM services, from account creation to reimbursement.

To find out how Inovalon can help you improve patient access, request a demo today.


1.“Americans’ Challenges with Health Care Costs,” Audrey Kearny, Liz Hamel, et al. Kaiser Family Foundation. December 14, 2021.

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About the author

Kem Tolliver, President, Medical Revenue Cycle Specialists