Healthcare Should Embrace Consumer-centered, Proactive RCM
Consumerism is no longer a buzzword – it’s a part of our healthcare ecosystem. Patients are empowered to choose providers who have excellent bedside manners at health systems that provide convenient, timely and accessible care.
Amidst an evolving and demanding healthcare landscape, organizations are investing in health IT solutions to streamline workflows, save time and improve costs with the ultimate goal to deliver better care. As our industry continues to shift, we must evaluate the care delivery process from the front-end to back-end to identify opportunities for improvement with the consumer in mind.
Revenue cycle management (RCM) must also embrace a consumer focus. The consumer experience begins and ends with the RCM process, from the time an appointment is scheduled, to registration, to when a statement is submitted for payment.
While quality of care and improved health outcomes remain top of mind, a consumer’s first and final impression of the care experience is important and will impact overall satisfaction.
Organizations should consider taking a step back to evaluate all of their touchpoints with the consumer. A cohesive strategy is necessary to improve transparency and engagement, including when they interact with the RCM process.
One opportunity to improve the consumer experience is during point-of-care transactions. Many organizations are hesitant to implement POC transactions on-site at the risk of harming consumer satisfaction. On the contrary, many consumers appreciate straightforward transparency and would prefer to understand their financial responsibility upfront, rather than receive a bill months after with unclear line items and a higher-than-expected cost.
Simple and consumer-friendly statements that reflect transparent costs and include education about insurance copays and medical benefits can significantly improve overall satisfaction.
Today, we are compelled to improve the health of the consumer beyond their immediate care needs. Our industry has made tremendous progress with preventive population health management solutions, such as chronic care management, that help monitor and manage care outside the traditional hospital setting.
Consumerism is not a passing industry trend. It’s an opportunity to serve your community in a way that exceeds expectations, increases knowledge and improves engagement. Helping individuals understand the financial side of healthcare will better enable them to fulfill their financial responsibilities and bring us closer to more proactive management of our populations.
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