Many healthcare providers have spent years and millions implementing electronic health record systems. These providers are equipped to thrive within the emerging value-based care model that is complete through integration between their EHRs with the billing system in a way that streamlines the collection process, starting at the point of care thereby making a direct impact on the revenue cycle of the organization. This integration increases operational efficiency and accuracy, thus reducing the chances of errors.
Engagement with patients has been important for better outcomes. Successful patient engagement is a win for patients and the practices.
Patient Engagement Helps:
- Improve office efficiency and productivity
- Lower practice costs and improve value-based reimbursements
- Provide high quality, patient-focused care
- Creates happier, healthier patients
To improve the EHR implementation, it is important that the right data framework is applied to show higher accuracy and maximum relevancy. Must keep a watch on the following points:
- Patient flow data to enhance output
- Demographic examination of data
- The examination data should have easy interconnectivity
- Generating red alerts for important medications
- Reminders for vaccinations (these alarms assist in driving crucial care communication)
Healthcare vendors must focus on transferring patients’ clinical data from inherited systems to modernized systems such as mobile-friendly and cross-platform. Interoperability endorses mobile healthcare, but its acceptance so far has been insufficient. The interoperability can be effectively applied to the EHR systems by retrieving data via APIs through different organizations. It also should support testing and experimentation across mobile technologies that are trending today.
The medical technology solutions must adapt the supervisory steps and processes that guarantee patient privacy. The technologists guarantee that HIPAA safeguards patient data security and privacy to protect the diffusion of data via the digital channel. It is compulsory to follow the latest HIPAA agreement rules with regular risk valuation checks for an effective EHR implementation. Thus, patients should be getting better quality care at reduced costs as expected from this technology.
Revenue cycle management focuses on maximizing insurance reimbursements, but the patient financial responsibility continues to increase. There were potential delays in the revenue cycle due to ICD-10 implementation. According to the consumer-focused environment, the revenue cycle begins before the patient walks into the practice. Creating consumer-focused culture, one that emphasizes patient satisfaction over collections, can streamline your revenue cycle process and directly show a positive impact.
Patient engagement means understanding how well your organization is serving the needs of its patients. Redefining the Revenue Cycle keeping the patient engagement in mind:
- Prior to visit: connect with patients before they visit and prevent delays, reduce denials, and enhance patient satisfaction. The revenue cycle staff can make appointments and send reminders. Can also confirm the patient’s preferred method of communication (email, phone, text message).
- Time of Service: when it is time for your patients to visit, continued consistent communication with the patient can significantly improve reimbursement. 75% of patients say that understanding out-of-pocket costs improves their ability to pay for healthcare. The patient realizes it is easy to pay their bills. Offering payment plans and incentives for self-pay upfront can greatly increase reimbursement and patient satisfaction. POS payment portals and kiosks can make it convenient for returning patients to pay their balances.
- Post-Visit: after the visit, can continue to help the patients understand their bills. A post-visit call, thanking the patient for their business, can be used to conduct a patient satisfaction survey that can the demonstrate quality of your practice. It is best to have revenue cycle staff serve as a single point of contact for the patients. Rather than going back to insurance providers, facilities, or government agencies. Finally, consolidate payments and balances. This makes it easy for the patient to pay for everything in one place. Thus eliminating billing confusion.
Apply strategies for collections from patients such as:
- Create a consumer-focused culture
- Be there when and where it is convenient for your patient
- Make it convenient and easy for patients to pay
- Offer payment plans upfront
- Offer incentives for self-pay
- Treating patients with dignity and respect during the billing process
Patient Engagement tools have a positive impact on today’s Revenue Cycle Management. Some of the tools are:
- Patient Portal – gives patients the freedom to manage their own health by updating their demographics, reviewing personal health records, view lab results and other educational materials. They may also ask for referrals or ask questions related to clinical questions securely.
- Appointment Reminder – The patient can also request prescription refills and appointments. May also have the advantage of wellness visits, patient scheduling, and appointment reminder communications to verify their insurance.
- Documentation is also a critical component of the delivery of healthcare. Documentation helps to plan and evaluate a patient’s treatment. It creates a database to evaluate the effectiveness of the treatment and facilitates research too. It also creates a record for patients’ future care and substantiates billing.
Consequently, focusing on patient education and satisfaction will give stronger reimbursement. Satisfied patients translate to higher Medicare reimbursements. Emphasizing customer service can help verify insurance and uncover secondary or additional insurance. This will dramatically streamline the revenue cycle process.
Lastly, it is most important to provide clarity of communication. This builds loyalty and increases trust over time. Patients who are highly satisfied with an organization’s billing process are likely to return and recommend the organization (billing company) to others.