Advanced Strategies for Healthcare Financial Wellness

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Strategically Aligning Digital Front Door and Revenue Cycle Solutions

Learn how healthcare practices can increase revenue by 4.5% and treatment acceptance by 10%!

The digital front door is the latest approach to patient-centered care, promising greater patient engagement by enhancing the overall experience. However, the critical aspect lies in the strategic alignment of this digital front door with your revenue cycle.

The patient journey can often be a fragmented experience for patients and providers. Various digital tools and technologies aimed at improving the patient experience, are typically separated from the complex billing and revenue cycle processes. These two facets of healthcare, while crucial, operate as distinct entities, with minimal interaction or synergy between them.

As the healthcare experience becomes more patient-driven, the roles and responsibilities that were once exclusive to healthcare providers are now being shared with patients through technology.

In this article, we’ll explore how the intentional integration of technology can yield substantial revenue benefits downstream.

Digital Front Door + Revenue Cycle Stratification

Patients have increasingly taken an active role in their healthcare journey with access to scheduling appointments, medical records and telehealth services. The demand for greater transparency, convenience, and engagement is growing.

The digital front door is designed to make healthcare more accessible, convenient, and patient-centered by providing various solutions through digital channels such as:

  • Online Appointment Scheduling
  • Telehealth Services
  • Patient Care Portals
  • Digital Engagement

While revenue cycle solutions are designed to optimize the financial aspects of healthcare operations such as billing and operations.

However, it’s essential to recognize the significance of financial information, which often falls in between these two areas and tends to be overlooked. To optimize both the patient experience and the financial health of healthcare practices, it’s imperative the digital front door and billing cycle work together to create a seamless and patient-centered financial experience. This benefits both patients and the financial health of the healthcare practices.

The Power of Transparency and Affordability: Improving the Patient Journey

At the very least, healthcare practices should consider collecting an initial payment prior to treatment. This approach not only improves appointment acceptance but also a patients’ propensity to pay.

However, a single payment leaves a patient balance and requires ongoing billing support resources to collect. Once the patient has been treated and the number of days outstanding rises, the ability to collect patient balances diminishes, leading to revenue streams that are challenging to predict and, in many instances, necessitating write-offs.

It’s important to acknowledge that offering price transparency alone, without accompanying affordability options can discourage essential care-seeking, causing treatment delays or avoidance due to financial concerns.

The following strategy is provider recommended:

Start by implementing an accurate treatment estimate solution that enables your practice to configure business rules to both estimate and payment options.

Once the patient receives the estimate, prompt them to create an account on file agreement. This authorizes your practice to automate the patient payment once the EOB is posted up to a preferred dollar amount.

Practices should offer patients affordable payment plan options at this time with tiered options based on balance thresholds. Ensure the technology leveraged offers your practice the ability to adjust payment plans and set minimum payment amounts on an individual basis as needed.

Give patients piece of mind by enrolling them into digital engagement for payment reminders, notifications, and confirmation receipts to allow them to make adjustments as needed.

Implement a patient online payments portal through your website or QR code in the practice office and patient statements. Ensure your portal includes the following options for optimal performance and patient experience:

  • Initial payment: patients can apply any payment value towards their balance (i.e., copay)
  • Account on file agreement: patients can authorize a pre-determined “up-to” amount, set to auto-withdraw post-EOB
  • Pay In Full: patients can pay the entire balance upfront
  • Set-up Payment Plan: patients can choose from 3-5 tiered payment plan offerings
  • Billing Support: Leverage vendor billing support team to engage with patients who have expired cards on file, payment declines, etc.
  • Minimum payment: set minimum payment amounts by plan type or balance amount
  • Secure Payment Storage: enable patients to store their preferred method of payment in an encrypted, secure portal
  • Digital Engagement: patients receive upcoming payment notifications and confirmation receipts

This approach brings numerous benefits to both providers and patients, addressing existing shortcomings in the healthcare payment landscape, supported by the following:.

37% of patients forego care because their providers do not offer a payment plans. Accurate treatment cost estimates and affordable care options lead to greater patient access to necessary treatments, reducing disparities and enhancing overall health outcomes.

67% of patients want payment plan options for medical expenses. The availability of cost estimates and payment options builds trust between patients and providers, encouraging open communication and shared decision-making.

Save up to 70-90% on paper statement costs. Digital patient engagement minimizes the need for paper statements and saves practices value time and resources.

Poor billing practices cause doctors in the US to lose an estimated $125 billion each year. For healthcare practices, the use of custom rules engines and real-time eligibility data minimizes billing errors and disputes, streamlining administrative tasks and ultimately leading to a healthier bottom line.

Learn more about how ClearGage treatment estimates and affordability solutions can improve treatment acceptance and revenue cycle performance by scheduling a free consultation with a ClearGage solutions expert today.

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