Patient Engagement Systems and Your Bottom Line
Patient engagement is steadily becoming the standard for the healthcare industry, especially with the new EHR Medical Incentive Program. Though the ultimate purpose of patient engagement is to provide a greater level of care for the patient, the means to that end help providers like you increase your patient knowledge. Stemming from that knowledge is a myriad of benefits, from marketing and patient loyalty to reduced staffing costs and faster payments. We’ll take a look at the elements of patient engagement systems, and how you can use features such as online appointment scheduling and online bill pay to improve patient satisfaction and your bottom line.
Greater communication through online appointment scheduling
While online scheduling is considerably more convenient for patients, it also saves the time that your receptionist would otherwise use taking calls, thereby helping your staff become much more efficient. Additionally, using a patient portal strengthens your communication with the patient by providing opportunities for several avenues of communication. When the patient registers with the patient portal, you can ask them to provide their e-mail, phone number, and give them the option to receive text messages. With that information, you can offer the patient the most convenient mode of communication, and also use e-mail and text messaging for appointment reminders, marketing, billing notifications, and collections.
By bringing your patients to your website for self-scheduling, you also give yourself an additional opportunity to further market your services. If you’re a radiologist, for example, a patient who primarily comes to you for MRI might not have known that you now provide breast imaging services, until she visited your site. Satisfied with your services, the loyal patient might recommend to her friend that she go to you for her mammogram, and she can direct her friend to your website to learn more about your imaging center. The same goes for physicians.
Higher patient volume with e-mail marketing and secure messaging
In addition to raising standards for providers, patient engagement is also raising the bar for patients. Underlying modern healthcare reform is a greater expectation that patients will be more attuned and involved with their healthcare needs, especially those with chronic conditions. Physicians and radiologists can use secure messaging and e-mail marketing to:
Bring existing patients back into the office for checkups, medication reviews, etc.
Provide the patient with online access to test results, image results, and updates to their health records
Send billing statements
Alert the patient of new services at your practice
For both radiologists and physicians, these modes of patient engagement not only increase patient satisfaction, but keep you up to date with EHR Incentive requirements, increase your patient volume, and subsequently improve your bottom line.
More efficient collections with online bill pay
Today’s younger generations are already accustomed to the convenience of paying bills online, such as student loans and credit card payments. Healthcare still isn’t quite up to speed with the collections processes in these other industries, positing an opportunity for more efficient collections. For example, after scheduling the appointment, a patient can go ahead and pay the copay prior to the services being rendered.
For services that require additional payments, online bill pay can help provide the patient with clearer expectations of her obligations, regarding due date and payment amounts. The patient can view the statement at her convenience, reducing the amount of calls to your office for questions about a payment. By generating e-statements, you’ll also cut your overhead costs from printing and mailing statements, and increase your cash flow with faster payments. You can even set up auto-withdraw for payment plans, making the process substantially easier for both you and your patient.
Affording patient engagement systems
Patient engagement software systems are another investment, but certainly worth the cost when you consider how much more efficient your staff will be with the system. Prices vary for software platforms, but you’ll typically pay a large initial set up fee, as well as an annual or monthly fee for upkeep. Allocating the resources to afford a patient engagement platform isn’t always easy, especially if your cash flow isn’t steady. But a great way to quickly improve your cash flow is by selling your receivables to a medical lien finance company.
Keep in mind, not all medical lien finance companies are the same, so you’ll want to work with an experienced company that offers other benefits in addition to purchasing receivables, such as MedChex. As an affiliate of Global Financial, one of the nation’s leading financiers for attorneys, MedChex can connect you with their extensive nationwide network of healthcare providers and patients, so that you can expand your client base and increase your cash flow considerably. Unlike many other medical lien finance companies, MedChex is well backed and has the resources and expertise to offer you top dollar for your receivables, as well as the flexibility to wait for a claim to settle. MedChex charges no application fees, and will work diligently to help you increase your cash flow.