Patient Experience

Are You Optimizing Your Patient Statements?

November 14, 2018 2:29 pm

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Patient statements can be a powerful tool in helping you achieve your goals and drive collections. Leveraging the impact of patient statements involves two critical steps: 

  • Create patient-centric and easy-to-understand statements.
  • Deliver statements to patients through a streamlined electronic health record (EHR) integration. 

Combining these two steps can help providers build a win-win relationship with their patients.

Patients rely on providers to guide them through the healthcare journey. Becoming your patient’s financial partner can help speed up payments, reduce administrative overhead, and increase patient satisfaction scores and loyalty (“Vetting Patient Accounts for Better Experiences, Better Financial Outcomes,” David Figueredo, Revenue Cycle Strategist, HFMA, September 2016).

Statements are the first billing communication to patients; therefore, it’s important to know that statements created with design thinking methodology also help providers capture patient payments faster. Providers may need to redesign patient statements to make them more effective. For example, incorporate intuitive design into statements to help patients quickly and easily make payments. Design-thinking principles such as this, as well as focus-group feedback, drive enhancements that will help improve statements and expedite payments. 

Step 1: Developing Patient Statements

Create effective and patient-focused statements that include these five elements: 

  • Concise, simple language that incorporates layperson phrasing.
  • Easy-to-understand wording and layout with a call-to-action that clearly displays the patient’s financial responsibility.
  • Statement data that supports a logical flow and groups related information.
  • Multiple options for payment, including over-the-phone, via mail, text, or online. Americans pay more than half of their bills online ( How Americans Pay Their Bills , ACI Worldwide, Jan. 24, 2017); therefore, it’s crucial to offer this convenient option—which also delivers payments to your account faster.
  • Opt-in for digital statements and to pay online or with a mobile device.

An EHR integration may be challenging and disruptive to a provider’s revenue cycle process and patient statement delivery but taking a proactive approach and choosing the right vendor can help create a streamlined process. The successful delivery of patient statements through an EHR integration should focus on three primary areas from your vendor partner: simple and fast implementation, top-notch customer service, and scale and flexibility.

Step 2: Using EHR Delivery

Use this checklist to evaluate a vendor partner to ensure a seamless EHR delivery of patient statements:   

  • Enables rapid onboarding
  • Works seamlessly with current and future releases
  • Builds new templates to create industry-leading statements
  • Provides an enhanced patient statement based upon your EHR’s data inputs
  • Develops patient statements created with design thinking methodology to accelerate collections
  • Helps you retire old statements to give you a refreshed statement template
  • Streamlines production and allows for timely changes to statements
  • Offers digital delivery and online patient viewing 
  • Provides focused service team specializing in supporting new releases
  • Offers an integrated solution with omni-payment offerings
  • Adheres to the highest levels of PCI security and has HITRUST CSF® Certification (The foundation of all HITRUST® programs and services is the HITRUST CSF®, a certifiable framework that provides organizations with a comprehensive, flexible and efficient approach to regulatory compliance and risk management.)

Professional patient statement services help you save time and money, making billing and collection easier to manage so you can focus on your patients. When patient-centric statements are combined with streamlined delivery, providers may experience quicker patient payments, which can lead to more productive fiscal health.

Bryce Bruner is product director, communications and payment solutions, Change Healthcare.


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