No one enjoys getting a bill, but patient-friendly statements make the process a bit more enjoyable.
Providing a positive, patient experience is paramount in today's healthcare landscape, including interactions after an initial visit; especially with self-pay collections. Patient-friendly statements are an easy way to continue accommodating patient needs and increasing payment success.
A few benefits of patient-friendly statements are positive patient engagement, directing patient awareness to important details, providing easy-to-read and understand statements, and giving patients a simple path from A (getting a statement) to B (making a payment).
Patient-Friendly Statement Best Practice Tips:
Be Bold - clearly and quickly communicate the most important information
- statement urgency (first reminder or past due)
- amount due
- date due
Be Informative - include helpful information, explanations, and policies
- reason for charges
- summary of insurance payments
- financial aid summary
Be Accommodating - make it easy for patients to provide payment
- make all payment options (online, mail, phone) visible and easily accessible
- include a payment coupon
Be Personal - use your facility's unique voice and be available
- use custom, personalized messages
- give customer service contact number and hours of operation
Go Beyond - These are a few best practice minimums, but there are more options available to enhance patient experience, like:
- quick response codes
- frequently asked questions
- dynamic format style
Patient-friendly statements can enhance relations by making the bill-pay process positive, informative, and efficient for patients. However, success will be limited if not partnered with accurate billing and available patient-financial specialists to provide meaningful information helping patients meet their financial obligations.
A positive patient experience during treatment can quickly turn negative with billing annoyances. Things such as incorrect insurance company billing, statements with incorrect balances, unanswered billing questions, limited access to helpful representatives, feelings of unfair treatment, or no provision of bill resolution options, all add to patient dissatisfaction and frustration. While a patient-friendly statement is a key component to maintaining a healthy relationship, excellent patient service is a continuous effort through the entire patient cycle.
If you are noticing less than optimal results with your self-pay collections or patient satisfaction, implementing patient-friendly statement practices is a good place to start. Lacking the resources or energy to assess and improve your facility's self-pay process? Don't hesitate to reach out. My team and I are always here to partner with you in achieving better results.
OUTPARTNERING™ CENTER FOR HEALTHCARE RESOURCE GROUP, INC.
Client care is top priority for Jason Coffin, a Certified Revenue Cycle Expert (CRCE-1), CHFP. Jason oversees all operations at HRG’s OutPartnering™ Center in Spokane Valley, Washington and is responsible for Central Business Office (CBO), Extended Business Office (EBO), self-pay and quality assurance services. He is focused on continuous improvement initiatives to ensure HRG remains the best choice for healthcare providers. Jason and his team provide outsourced revenue cycle services and support to hospitals and clinics across the country.