The need to put self-service tools in patients’ hands to help them manage increasingly higher co-pays, deductibles and a greater share of their cost of healthcare has never been more apparent. As patients struggle to pay medical bills, and providers experience more aging Accounts Receivable and bad debt, automated patient engagement solutions are increasingly being retooled with a patient’s perspective.
Applications that until recently, resided out-of-sight in the administrative areas of the healthcare organization, are now accessible by patients through multi-channels of outreach such as online portals and smart technology empowering communication through email, SMS text and Interactive Voice Response (IVR).
New patient-facing applications for scheduling, pre-registration, price estimates, billing, financial assistance, account management—even shopping for services—give patients the autonomy they need to manage their healthcare in challenging times. By anticipating how to best help each patient, these self-service tools offer up a proactive user experience that helps them navigate an increasingly difficult healthcare journey.
The industry trend toward data-driven patient engagement is an efficiency story. Having the ability to hands-on manage healthcare 24/7, to understand previously hard-to-read statements, and to access information that informs decision-making, is a boon to patients. It also offers advantages to the hospital or practice itself: saving staff time, encouraging timely collections and strengthening the relationships that are the lifeblood of healthcare organizations.