Healthcare providers and organizations are stepping up their game and continuing to find ways to enhance patients’ healthcare experiences. But as they work to deliver better clinical care, upgrade facilities and deliver more of what they believe patients want, one thing that is sometimes overlooked is the financial side of healthcare experiences. Here are five reasons healthcare teams need to make a more dedicated effort to minimize financial frustrations and boost patients’ financial experiences.
- Seventy-two percent of patients feel strongly or somewhat that healthcare is falling behind other industries when it comes to delivering exceptional experiences, and frustration over healthcare billing is a primary factor. This insight comes from a West survey of 1,036 adults and 317 healthcare providers in the U.S. that also revealed that 41 percent of Americans think billing issues are more of a problem in healthcare than in other industries.
- Patients say confusing bills are a big part of the problem and can detract from healthcare experiences. Nearly one in three Americans (30%) think healthcare bills are more confusing than other bills. Even more interesting is the fact that 61 percent of providers agree that this is the case. When it comes down to it, providers may know that fixing healthcare bills and making them less confusing is necessary.
- Understanding what is covered by insurance versus what is owed out of pocket is challenging and contributes to patients’ frustrations. For this reason, 96 percent of patients say that to create ideal healthcare interactions, it is important for providers to help clarify what is covered by insurance and what is owed out of pocket. Eight in ten patients (80%) believe getting this clarification is “very or extremely” important.
- Patients want and expect providers to do more to help them understand medical expenses. According to patients, communication from providers could help alleviate confusion about bills, but it is lacking. More than one in five patients (21%) say there is not enough communication from providers between in-person interactions in healthcare.
- Revenue is at stake. In addition to helping patients, providers help their own organizations when they improve healthcare financial experiences. How? For starters, it is easier to collect payments from patients when they feel supported and have positive billing experiences. In fact, one study found that 74 percent of patients who were satisfied with billing paid their healthcare bills in full. However, only 33 percent of patients who reported being dissatisfied with billing paid their bills. So, to avoid revenue problems, it is a smart idea to communicate with patients and offer support to improve financial experiences.
While it makes sense to focus on clinical care and facilities, don’t overlook the important role that billing plays in the overall patient experience. For more information about simple ways healthcare teams can help patients better understand healthcare billing and their financial obligations, download When Billing Breaks the Patient Experience: Communication Strategies for Resolving Patients’ Financial Frustrations.