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How patient text reminders streamline care and collections

Published: June 18, 2024 by Experian Health

How-patient-text-reminders-streamline-care-and-collections

Could patient text reminders play a key role in making healthcare more convenient and accessible for patients? Experian Health’s latest State of Patient Access 2024 survey found that six in ten patients want more digital tools to manage their healthcare. Overall, it indicates a greater demand for more transparent, simpler processes. Patient text reminders make this a reality by reducing the cognitive load of scheduling and paying for care.

With 98% open rates and an average response time of 90 seconds, text messaging is a simple but powerful engagement tool for providers. For the eight in ten providers gearing up to invest in digital patient access tools in the near future, sending patient text messaging reminders could be a smart choice.

Here are three use cases to consider.

Use case 1: Patient text reminders can boost patient collections

For providers with squeezed margins, every cent counts. While healthcare affordability poses the biggest challenge for patient collections, outdated billing and payment processes hinder patient revenue overall.

SMS (text message) reminders prevent unnecessary delays by gently prompting patients to settle their bills. They’re direct, convenient and discreet, so they’re more likely to be acted upon, as opposed to emails or phone calls that are easily ignored.

Texting also supports a tailored experience. For example, Experian Health’s PatientText solution integrates with Collections Optimization Manager to segment patients based on their needs and preferences. The Text-to-Pay feature sends patients personalized messages with secure links to payment options, so they can pay their bills when convenient without having to remember a username and password.

Case study: See how St Luke’s used Collections Optimization Manager and targeted patient outreach to increase average monthly collections by $1.7 million.

Use case 2: Reduce no-shows with patient appointment reminders

Almost 90% of patients say they want to be able to schedule appointments at any time via online or mobile tools. Automated text reminders ramp up the return on investment in online scheduling and mobile registration tools by reducing no-shows, optimizing patient flow, and ensuring patients get the care they need.

Messages can include preparation instructions, so patients know exactly where to go and when, and if they need to fast beforehand or bring anything. It’s much easier for patients to click a link in a text to confirm, reschedule, or cancel appointments, than to check their email or wait to speak to a call center agent. That’s good news for call centers too – when more patients opt for self-service options, providers can scale targeted outreach while keeping call volumes manageable.

Case study: See how IU Health transformed patient scheduling with self-service automation

Use case 3: Patient text reminders increase patient satisfaction and care plan adherence with handy alerts

Patients actively engaged in their health are more likely to follow through with treatments and care plans, leading to better health outcomes. Text messages can remind patients about post-appointment care, check-ups and medication refills to help them stay on track and reduce the risk of missed doses or appointments. Closing gaps in care and preventing avoidable complications is not just good from a medical perspective – it also reduces the risk of more expensive care being needed further down the line.

However, one of the most significant advantages of using patient text reminders is creating a more organized and patient-friendly experience with little effort, benefiting patients and staff. Automated, timely messages through patients’ preferred channels ensure they feel cared for and informed, without staff needing constant, high-touch follow-up. Staff members are free to focus on patient support and other revenue-generating tasks, instead of wading through endless admin.

Read more: 5 benefits of automated patient outreach

PatientText in practice: How one provider used targeted outreach to boost collections by nearly $2M

One of Experian Health’s clients offers a snapshot of what they’ve achieved in the year since implementing SMS-based patient outreach:

  • $1.89M in patient collections via Text-to-Pay
  • $168 collected per transaction on average
  • 11K+ transactions via text

These results show that offering patients the flexibility to engage with payment processes at their convenience leads to higher transaction amounts and more dollars collected overall.

Take advantage of smartphone culture with patient text reminders

Many patients have their smartphone with them 24/7, which gives providers a fantastic opportunity to improve patient engagement through automated text reminders. Whether the drive is to increase collections, improve patient flow, or create convenient patient experiences, it’s clear that this relatively simple technology punches above its weight.

Schedule a demo to see how Experian Health’s patient text reminders solution, PatientText, can help your organization improve patient engagement and optimize collections.

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