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Written by Andrew Neal on Feb 7, 2023

Payment Trends Show Patients Want Digital Communications

During a recent webinar, members of the Salucro leadership team discussed healthcare revenue cycle trends specifically centered around patient payment and engagement solutions. Andy McDonald, Vice President of Operations, and Alona Dunlap, Vice President of Account Management, highlighted emerging digital communications that can help improve the overall billing experience. Here’s what revenue cycle leaders need to know about the latest trends in healthcare payments.

Watch the full Digital Communications Webinar here.

A confusing financial experience keeps patients from returning to their provider.

Data from a recent Salucro survey underscores the importance of the billing and payment experience from the patient’s point of view. According to the 2022 Trends in Patient Communications Report, 64% of patients would not return to their provider if they experienced incorrect or confusing charges.

“A main takeaway from this survey, when it comes to the overall experience – especially communicating balances and confirming payments – is it’s important to invest in simple, accurate, and flexible billing systems,” said Andy McDonald.

Other financial experiences that would keep patients from returning include a difficult and unorganized payment process, limited self-service capabilities, and a lack of financing options.

Three potential revenue cycle roadblocks in 2023.

The revenue cycle can be filled with pain points, including non-integrated billing and statement solutions, non-comprehensive engagement channels, and multiple vendors with varying degrees of EHR/PAS integration.

On the importance of a fully integrated statement and billing solution, Alona Dunlap said, “[s]ending clear, easy-to-read, well-designed statements to patients on an established cycle not only increases the efficiency of receiving payments, but it also effectively captures self-pay revenue while improving the patient financial experience overall.”

A poorly designed billing process could result in defaults on payments or no payment at all. The traditional patient payment experience may still include a statement in the mail, but patients prefer online payment portals for flexibility and a frictionless experience more than ever before. A quality integrated payments partner can ensure these options are available to build customer loyalty and maximize efficiency.

Text-to-Pay and digital communications give patients more options.

Salucro provides healthcare organizations with payment and engagement solutions to help improve patient loyalty, meet changing patient demographics, reduce operational costs, and streamline payments processes. This includes text-to-pay and messaging solutions that allow patients to interact and pay their provider the way they prefer.

“Text-to-pay is a fast, convenient, and safe method for patients on the go, or those who may not use their computer often or even have one,” said Alona Dunlap. “this method is becoming very popular since almost anything can be done from your smartphone.”

It is the job of your integrated payments partner to ensure a frictionless payment acceptance experience for your patients, and this includes offering options that allow them to pay and receive updates using their preferred channels.

Sending notifications with high open and response rates.

Using SMS notifications, providers can directly communicate to patients with a high degree of assurance that they will open and read the message. Many studies have found that text messages have an [open rate of 98%[(https://techjury.net/blog/sms-marketing-statistics/).

These notifications can alert patients to their new balance or statement availability, and provide options for setting up payment plans. This is a powerful way to reach out to patients, increase self-pay collections, and provide a better patient experience by making it easy for them to stay on top of their bills.

Integration is essential for effective revenue cycle solutions.

Revenue cycle leaders looking to enhance their patient financial engagement experience while increasing payment efficiency know that integration is key to all workflow processes associated with patient payments and engagement.

Salucro’s integrated statements are a powerful tool for any organization, offering more than 40 customizable data points to allow you to personalize communication with your patients and make sure all relevant information is clearly communicated. Salucro’s statements are designed to quickly draw attention to critical balance elements, and features direct calls-to-action so patients can quickly understand how they can pay bills.

“At Salucro, we offer patient financial engagement solutions that integrate with your EHR and allow you to communicate seamlessly with patients,” said Andy McDonald.

These solutions can help improve patient loyalty, meet patient demands, reduce operating costs, and accelerate the payment process.

Additionally, features such as custom branding with logos and colors help to ensure that the message resonates even more with patients. With these effective tools in the revenue cycle, administrators can easily ensure that every patient receives an accurate statement and gets their questions answered quickly by knowledgeable staff.

Patient loyalty is paramount.

The billing process continues to play a material role in either strengthening or weaking patient loyalty, as errors and inaccurate bills can lead to patient turnover. According to the 2022 Trends in Patient Communications Report, 41% of patients would consider switching providers due to a poor billing experience.

“A seamless billing process remains the biggest factor in gaining consumer loyalty,” said Alona Dunlap. “Salucro’s payment technology solutions are designed with your patients in mind.”

Since our last report, 22% more patients responded that they’d leave their provider due to incorrect bills and confusing charges.

The most successful providers have methods of engaging with a diverse patient audience through their preferred channels. These providers can also quickly shift between methods as preferences change.

A healthcare revenue cycle experience tailored to the patient.

A growing number of patients expect to be able to pay their medical bills online or through a mobile app, and patients anticipate more digital tools to be introduced in the healthcare revenue cycle. That’s why Salucro is committed to providing easy to use patient payment and engagement solutions that meet the demands of the most cutting-edge healthcare organizations and the patients that walk through their doors.

Our goal is to make it easy for patients to understand and pay their healthcare bills, so that providers can focus on delivering quality care. Request a demo with one of our Salucro experts to learn more.

Download our latest eBook: How Digital Statements and a Text-Based Billing Process Can Benefit Your Bottom Line.

Looking for a partner to help your practice enable a new, integrated digital payment experience?

Reach out to our team today to make 2024 your most effective year yet.