Long before the invention of computers, doctors and nurses needed to keep information on their patients. The data that was collected focused primarily on health issues. Now, we know more than allergies, surgeries, immunizations, illnesses, and results of tests. We know communication preferences.
The amount of data that’s collected in every industry—including healthcare—keeps growing. It’s estimated in 2013 there were about 153 exabytes of healthcare data generated that year and the number was projected to reach 2,314 exabytes in 2020.
Did you know existing data can also play a role in improving revenue cycle management?
We previously wrote about the use of predictive analytics and how it can help health systems determine the tiers of charity that should be available to their patients. Here, we’ll explain how you can tap into existing data to discover the best ways to communicate billing information.
Understanding Patient’s Behaviors
Put yourself in their shoes and realize all the different ways their health system communicates with them. They might make an appointment by signing into a patient portal. Then, an appointment reminder comes via a text message. After they have received treatment, they receive a survey by email. Or, some patients may prefer ‘low tech’ ways to communicate and just use phone calls and regular mail.
Since there are several ways to communicate, it is best to encourage payment that matches the customer’s preferences. Thanks to analytics, you can see what communication channels an individual has used in the past. Then, deliver billing information to match that data.
Announcing Pay By Text
One study last year found that 35% of customers are interested in making a payment via a text message from their phone. Just as patients are used to receiving automated appointment reminders, a patient might appreciate receiving an automated reminder a few days before a bill is due.
It's important to realize people are busy and that many appreciate receiving text messages. For those who like receiving a text reminder for an upcoming appointment, it makes sense to send a text reminder that a bill is soon due.
Since the study mentioned above found that 35% of people like paying via text, simple math tells us that 65% do not want to pay that way.
The goal is always to make a stressful situation less stressful by accommodating a patient's preferences. That's why it is important to provide options. Whether that means receiving an email, a printed bill, or a phone call, we realize that it’s best to communicate in various ways. We base our communications on a person’s wishes. When possible, we work with a hospital to see their analytics and discover a patient’s preferences.
Ready to Learn More?
Our Third Party Accounts Receivable Management service uses several techniques to help you obtain payments from patients. We’re proud of the relationships we’ve built with our clients and would love to explain all of the ways we can improve your revenue cycle. Please contact us and learn how we can help.