A recent study by customer communications experts Enghouse Interactive determined that poor customer service causes 60% of customers to take their business elsewhere. Although the study was broad in scope, the results can be applied to physicians and their patients. In this day and age, when the federal government is essentially rewriting healthcare reimbursement to reflect a value based model, it is important for health care providers to recognize patients as consumers of healthcare.
As of this year Medicare is basing 30% of its reimbursements on value based measures. By 2018 that number will increase to 50%. The idea is to insure a positive patient experience that engages them in their health management decisions. The emphasis is on quality over quantity, for healthcare consumers, transparency and open communication are essential. To this end the effective use of your staff, communication avenues and practice processes is essential.
Call centers and answering services are definitely on their way out. In the information age consumers are accustomed to immediate access and immediate responses. To achieve the level of patient satisfaction necessary for proper reimbursement under the value based system physicians will need to employ a different approach; focusing on patient overall satisfaction.
Each individual patient has a communication preference, whether it be phone calls, emails, text messages, etc. Furthermore, each patient expects a high level of service regardless of how you are communicating with them. An important part of healthcare practice management will be to meet these varied demands. Embracing patient interaction through different channels will enhance the patient experience and insure maximum reimbursement in the value based healthcare model.
Here are some basic tips to incorporate to your practice in efforts to improve patient communication and in turn increase practice revenue:
It is essential to communicate with patients and confirm upcoming appointments, keeping schedules booked and maximizing physician’s days at the office. On this call the patient should be informed of any prior balances due as well as any co-pays to be collected at the date of service.
In effort to keep accurate patient demographics and valid insurance information; registration at the time of appointment is necessary. It is the ideal moment to gather all forms of contact for the patient. Phone Numbers, primary and secondary and emails are the most common used when communicating with Patients.
Follow up Communication
A value based healthcare model focuses on quality over quantity, therefore a form of follow up; no matter the avenue, is necessary in providing a complete experience for the patient.
Remember that in the value based model patient satisfaction is key. For a more in-depth assessment on your practice processes, contact ProMD Practice Management for a full circle practice assessment. Our team is here to help, providing you with the tools necessary to take your practice to the next level.
ProMD Practice Management is happy to help with your billing assessment needs so you can maximize profits and increase patient satisfaction. To learn more about how ProMD can make your practice run like a well-oiled machine, call 888-622-7498 or fill out our online form to request a billing assessment.