Do you provide cost estimate to patients for non-routine services? If your answer is no, then you need to start providing cost estimate to patients. According to MGMA stat poll the majority of healthcare leaders (68%) said their organizations provide cost estimates to patients. While others (27%) response were ‘no’ they do not provide cost estimate and remaining 5% were not sure.
Physicians or healthcare organization should provide cost estimate before treatment is provided. It creates very good patient experience. As per MGMA some healthcare leaders responded that in below cases they provide cost estimate to patients:
- When requested for by a patient
- At the time of scheduling the service
- Cost estimate are provided to self-pay patients only
Transparent billing creates more satisfaction to patients. This helps them to know how much they will be paying for services. This helps patients to arrange budget. Visiting hospital is very stressful time for patients and their families. Providing cost estimate upfront will help patients to reduce the stress and create a better patient experience.
Patients who have an idea about their bills can budget wisely. They go in with their open eyes, which leads to improved revenue cycle management and better patient experience. At the end both the patient and the hospitals get what they want.
Patient experience components for reimbursement, transparency is becoming more important than ever for effective medical practice management. To understand how healthcare organizations can adapt to this changing environment, Sheila Augustine, director, patient financial services, and Wendy Hanson, support manager at Nebraska Medicine suggested the following solutions:
- Utilize EHR assistance to clarify contracted/non-contracted services
- Verify patients’ insurance prior to service
- Educate patients on their financial responsibility and help them navigate potentially narrow networks with a team of specialized financial counsellors
- Provide patients with cost estimates prior to service
- Utilize online cost estimator tools for services
Nowadays, people prefer to use their credit or debit cards to pay for all online products and services. So, why wouldn’t they also expect this same convenience in paying their healthcare bills? According to the Waystar survey, over 75% of patients would be willing to leave their credit card number with healthcare organization and authorize it to charge up to $200 after adjudication. Credit card-on-file solution ensures a secure, speedy patient payment and eliminates patient confusion with their bills.
Using technology such as cost estimation tools, credit card-on-file solutions, electronic statements, and online payment options can speed patient collections while boosting satisfaction. Patient health and financial health should go hand-in-hand!
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