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Putting Patients in the Driver’s Seat

33 drivers. 200 laps. 500 miles. The Indianapolis 500 is one of the greatest spectacles in racing. As drivers prepare their cars, finesse their strategy and jump into the driver’s seat for a chance to win the coveted title, it’s also time for providers to put their patients back in the driver’s seat when it comes to billing and payments.

More and more, patients see healthcare from a retail perspective. They desire a closer relationship with their care team, including better communication and payment offerings. As a result, they’re beginning to take charge of their care in a whole new way. Here are three ways providers can help guide their patient’s decisions and put them back in the “driver’s seat.”

  1. Start with insights. In racing, the odometer and other vehicle indicator alerts are vital to race performance. Likewise, using a payment estimation tool to help patients understand their care costs up front gives them the information they need to budget properly. Additionally, providing them convenient payment options makes it easier for them to take care of their responsibilities faster. The good news? That’s exactly the kind of convenience patients want.
  2. Check your signage and other communication tools. Green and yellow flags let racers know what to expect on the coming laps, and help them communicate with their teams so they can make adjustments to their strategy as the race progresses. Similarly, ensure your staff has a number of communication tools at their disposal to guide patients on their healthcare journey. It can include digital signage in the office, of course, as well as:
    • Training front-desk staff to ask for patients’ payment preferences and gather their email addresses and cell phone numbers to facilitate ongoing billing and communication.
    • Establishing and introducing responsible and respectful payment polices driven by emotional intelligence, which allow patients to concentrate on feeling better while supporting your need to run the practice in the green.
  1. Stay steady at the wheel. Racers will tell you that sometimes the hardest race to win is the one you’re already leading. Maybe your patient satisfaction scores are strong, and your accounts receivables are on track. If so, it’s the perfect time to stay the course and build your momentum. Use analytics to dig into your data, assess what’s working and pinpoint what you could be doing even better to keep patients happy and help them feel like they’re in control of their healthcare billing decisions:
    • Identify patterns of success and build on them as best practices. What positive feedback do patients offer? What measures have improved in the last six months and what efforts did you put in place to make them happen?
    • Uncover and target the problems you’re solving. Do patients know all of their payment options? Does the front-desk balk at asking for payments because they don’t have time? These are issues easily solved with ongoing training – and are simple ways to spring-clean your revenue cycle, so you can collect more and stress less.

Putting patients in the driver’s seat can be easier than you might think. So enjoy the Indy 500 then catch our on-demand webinar for more insights: Patient Payment Realities and Best Practices for Success.