It’s no secret that the way patients perceive their experience throughout their healthcare journey will impact a provider’s bottom line. The question is, what are the most effective changes providers can make? And how might technology improve their processes?
These were the topics discussed by the panelists at the HealthLeaders online summit, sponsored by Inovalon.
The importance of tech tools for patient communications
How many times have you used an online portal to “check in” for an upcoming appointment, only to be handed a paper form when you arrive at the office, essentially filling out the same information twice?
Technology can help streamline the patient intake process, reducing paper forms and collecting and storing information reported directly from the patient. Making the process smoother and easier for patients can be as simple as letting them decide how they want to receive communications, including email, snail mail, or text messaging. Honoring their preferences is crucial, especially since one report noted that less than 25% of patients cited loyalty as a factor when deciding where to seek care, superseded by convenience and cost.1
To create a better patient experience and improve staff efficiency at the same time, start with more self-service tools. Provide a centralized location where patients can access required documentation and care information, and gain visibility into financial responsibility.
How technology impacts compliance with the No Surprises Act
Full compliance with the No Surprises Act is nearly unattainable without the help of technology. With 30% of health systems relying on manual patient access workflows,2 attempting to collect all the required information from different EHRs or billing systems – and maintain accuracy as you connect the dots – is challenging at best. When you factor in the complexity of managing patient data securely and compliantly, it leaves many to wonder how technology could effectively bring all the data together into a single system.
Addressing the ins and outs of eligibility
One of the biggest stressors for patients is trying to determine their financial responsibility when they seek care. Technology tools abound to help providers determine patient eligibility, and even identify undisclosed coverage. Real-time eligibility verification helps with the coordination of benefits and provides a clearer financial picture for patients.
For providers, the insurance discovery component is extremely important, but a manual process of calling multiple payers isn’t efficient or convenient. Ideally, the insurance discovery process should be built into your eligibility tool.
Using technology to develop scalable, repeatable SOPs
Staffing challenges are ongoing for the healthcare industry, but customer relationship management (CRM) tools have helped create a smoother onboarding experience for new hires. These tools also standardize processes like scripting for staff, helping to provide an improved and consistent patient experience.
In revenue cycle management, technology helps staff develop repeatable processes from patient registration verification to claims management and billing. A dependable process helps eliminate errors on the front end, and prevents surprise billing for patients down the line. Automated workflows are repeatable, scalable and help improve data quality, so it works for any size organization and businesses can grow without automatically increasing the size of the workforce.
Technology also prevents an organization from relying on a single person for eligibility and billing process knowledge. Transferring that expertise across staff reduces risk to an organization if an employee leaves, and ensures a positive patient experience.
Collaboration and partnership with vendors and other departments
The most important thing providers can do is seek innovative vendor partners that are willing to forego a cookie-cutter solution. A vendor should work to understand your organization and your overall goals to create a custom solution.
Another powerful course of action is to collaborate with others in your own organization – those who are familiar with your workflows and processes and understand where technology could have the biggest impact.
Inovalon actively partners with clients to provide the guidance and technology to achieve an organization’s specific goals. Our mission of continuous innovation drives solutions that simplify processes, improve financial performance, and result in higher patient satisfaction.
For more on how Inovalon can impact your front-end efficiencies and back-end success, visit our website.
- 1 2021 Patient Access Preferences Report, Kyruus, July 2021, https://www.kyruus.com/patient-access-post-pandemic-report
- 2 “Why Patient Access is Key to Revenue Cycle Management Success,” Jacqueline LaPointe, RevCycle Intelligence, May 6, 2021, https://revcycleintelligence.com/news/why-patient-access-is-key-to-revenue-cycle-management-success
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