The impact of patient satisfaction on your revenue cycle
The value you offer patients has a direct effect on the revenue you collect. This applies to all healthcare organizations, but unfortunately, not all providers understand the impact patient satisfaction can have. The more satisfied your patients are, the better your revenue cycle management performance will be, which affects many other aspects of your business.
Here’s a closer look at how patient satisfaction contributes to financial growth (and losses).
The high costs of low patient satisfaction
Patients want clear pricing and payment expectations. They also want:
- A deep understanding of their condition
- Actionable steps they can take to improve their health
- Simple, stress-free payment processes
- The option to manage high treatment costs with a payment plan
All these things show patients that they’re genuinely cared for. When providers offer such resources and payment options, patient satisfaction increases. When these aren’t included in treatment, patients are likely to be dissatisfied.
And when satisfaction is low, many aspects of your organization are hindered including financial performance, market share, and care quality. Dissatisfied patients are less likely to pay their medical bills in full, if at all. There’s very little chance these people return for more services, which is how market share can suffer. Even patients who continue treatment may not be fully engaged, resulting in a decrease in quality care levels as patients stop adhering to their treatment plans.
Luckily, these issues can be avoided by investing more in your patients. There are plenty of ways to increase patient satisfaction while also improving revenue cycle management performance, care quality and much more.
The revenue cycle management benefits of investing more in patients
Providing a more satisfactory patient experience can be as simple as taking the time to explain payment responsibilities or as significant as implementing new tools and processes. Convenient payment technology or an advanced claims management system can help you better serve your patients, your staff and your bottom line.
The following is a closer look at three of the top ways to increase patient satisfaction with improvements to revenue cycle management.
1. Help patients pay faster and in full
Price and payments are some of the biggest factors that affect patient satisfaction. While you may not be able to lower your costs, you can make patient payments more accessible and easier to manage with a tool like Patient Payment Management (formerly ABILITY SECUREPAY).
This allows patients to conveniently pay their fees anywhere, anytime. Patients with ongoing treatment can set up automatic payments and those who see you for one-time services have the choice to pay with a credit or debit card in addition to cash and checks.
These payment practices are very familiar to your patients; they’re tools patients use every day in other aspects of their lives. When patients have the option to pay for medical bills in the same manner, they’re more likely to pay quickly and in full, increasing patient satisfaction and practice revenue.
2. Decrease billing mistakes
Billing mistakes don’t benefit anyone involved in treatment, yet for most organizations, they’re a common occurrence. These issues slow down your revenue cycle and can lead to lost profits. They’re also a stressor for patients.
If it’s become the norm to see your staff discussing billing mistakes with patients, it’s time to try a new approach. Implement an eligibility and claims management process that creates a satisfactory experience for all. Make it easy for billers to input patient information and track claims. Eliminate the need for your staff to sift through paperwork and the risk that patients’ bills go unpaid by their payers.
This will result in higher patient satisfaction and engagement, a more motivated staff and a healthier revenue cycle.
3. Prepare for price shopping
One-third of healthcare consumers used the internet or mobile apps during the past year to compare the quality and cost of medical services. They price shopped before seeking treatment, a trend that will continue to rise in the coming years.
Providers need to prepare for this now by improving pricing transparency, strengthening their organization’s brand and increasing patient satisfaction. They need to put a bigger emphasis on value-based care and comprehensive treatment.
These are the details potential patients look for when comparing provider reviews. They keep current patients coming back and new patients coming in to begin treatment. Thinking long-term, an early adjustment to price shopping can mean significant rewards for your organization.
Start improving patient satisfaction today
At the end of the day, all the functions of your organization should be rooted in one purpose: serving your patients. If you fail to meet their expectations, revenue performance will be one of the first things to feel the consequences. However, put the above tips to work to make sure your organization is performing well across the board and watch how patient satisfaction skyrockets and how your entire organization benefits.
To take the patient experience – and your revenue cycle – one step further, discover our RCM solutions that support staff workflows and meet patient expectations.
Inovalon® and design, Inovalon® are trademarks of Inovalon, Inc.
About the author